Dauphin County Courthouse (Fourth Floor)
101 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: (717) 780-6605
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00 PM-4:00 PM.Closed 12:00 PM-1:00 PM.
The mission of the Law Library is to acquire, store, retrieve, disseminate, and preserve legal information. The Law Library was created and is maintained to meet the informational needs of its patrons. Information and research are the lifeblood of legal practice and education. The Law Library applies basic standards such as referencing, cataloging, and acquisitions to achieve our mission. We are committed to sound financial management and to the continued advancement and modernization of the Law Library. The Law Library provides free, equal access, and quality service to judges, attorneys, students, government employees, paralegals, and the residents of Dauphin County.
HISTORY: The Dauphin County Law Library was established by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1865 and was originally located on the fifth floor when the current Courthouse was dedicated in 1943. In 2004, the Law Library relocated to the fourth floor, but many of the furnishings and glass door panels are original from 1943. The Law Library now has approximately 35,000 volumes, down from the 47,000. These volumes focus on statute and case law for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Federal Courts. A few of the historical books in the collection include Laws of Pennsylvania from 1801 to the present and a complete set of the Dauphin County Reporter dating back to 1898.
The Law Library maintains a small archive of newspaper articles, photographs and other historical documents pertaining to the Dauphin County Courthouse and the Judges of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. Please contact the Law Library for additional information on viewing the archived items.
WHO MAY USE THE LAW LIBRARY? The Law Library is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00 PM-4:00 PM.
*Please note: the Law Library staff is not permitted to interpret the law or give any legal advice to its patrons.
CIRCULATION PROCEDURE: A member of the Dauphin County Bar Association may circulate material from the Law Library by signing a receipt located at the front desk. An eligible attorney may request permission for his/her law clerk to have circulation privileges at the Law Library. The request should be in writing and addressed to the Law Librarian. A law firm or attorney may send a staff member to the Law Library to borrow materials. If a staff member circulates library material, it must be signed out in the requesting attorney's name.
Library materials may be circulated for three business days. The three-day rule does not include Saturday, Sunday, or County holidays. Renewals are permitted for an additional three days, not to exceed six days, and may be done by telephone. The Librarian may restrict the borrower from circulating materials if s/he has overdue materials. Disregard for the circulation policy may result in library privileges being revoked and the offender being reported to the Court.
Books, periodicals, and newspapers marked "reference" shall NOT be circulated.
COMPUTERS: Westlaw is available free of charge on one computer terminal. An additional computer terminal is available for general internet research or to type documents. The print fee is .20 per page.
SELF-HELP CENTER: Located in the Law Library, self-represented litigants can purchase forms for filing in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. The forms may also be printed free of charge from the following link, Self-Help Center.
THE SELF-HELP CENTER STAFF AND THE STAFF IN ANY COURT OFFICE ARE NOT PERMITTED TO GIVE YOU LEGAL ADVICE. THE INFORMATION IN THE PACKETS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE. THE COURT ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTS NO LIABILITY FOR ACTIONS TAKEN BY USERS OF THESE DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING RELIANCE ON THEIR CONTENTS. IF YOU WANT TO OBTAIN THE SERVICES OF AN ATTORNEY BUT DO NOT KNOW WHOM TO CONTACT, YOU MAY CALL THE DAUPHIN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE AT (717) 232-7536. IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH A CUSTODY OR DIVORCE ACTION, YOU MAY CONTACT MIDPENN LEGAL SERVICES AT (717) 232-0581.