The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same

Welcome to the newest Colorado Supreme Court Library.

Located on the first floor of the recently constructed Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, the Colorado Supreme Court Library is a hub of information. In one form or another, the Library has served the legal information needs of the people of Colorado for more than 150 years. On Nov. 6, 1861, Colorado’s first Territorial Legislature passed legislation to create a Territorial Library and Cabinet. Under that act, the Library was charged with “the custody of all books, maps, papers, charts, engravings, paintings, and all other things properly belonging to the library . . .” and “All persons [were] permitted to visit . . . examine and read the books there.”

Today, the Library’s mission is much the same. Open to the public, the bench, and the bar, the Library is committed to serving the modern legal information needs of all persons. Likewise, as the guardian of much of Colorado’s legal history (both past and in the making), the Library’s role as the custodian of books, maps, papers, and data of all shapes, sizes, and formats continues to this day. Finally, as the caretaker and educational coordinator for the Colorado Judicial Learning Center and its associated programs, the Library has fully embraced education and outreach as central to its ongoing public service role.


The Colorado Supreme Court Library is a full-service modern law library. In addition to assisting users with access to our large collection of print and electronic resources and materials, the Library provides a full array of professional services. Highlights of Library services and amenities include:

  • Wireless Internet access
  • Access to Lexis and Westlaw on four public access computers with the ability to email search results at no charge (Lexis only)
  • A broad selection of Matthew Bender and other widely used electronic secondary resources
  • Access to photocopiers and the ability to create personal or firm copy accounts (Bar members only)
  • Free access to the public ICCES database to review and research state cases, orders, and pleadings
  • Interesting and informative CLE programs coordinated by the Library and hosted by the Courts
  • Quiet, well-lit work spaces with convenient access to electrical outlets
  • Research assistance from professional reference librarians during all operating hours
  • Quick and reliable e-reference service via email
  • Electronic or print document delivery at a reasonable fee
  • Educational opportunities for children and adults at the Colorado Judicial Learning Center, a new 4,000 square foot interactive museum space dedicated to civics education and the rule of law. (Call 720-625-5104 or visit courts.state.co.us/courts/education/learningcenter for more information).

The Library is staffed by professional law librarians who understand and speak the language of the law. Out of the dedicated team of seven, six are lawyers and members of the Colorado bar, five have Master’s degrees in library science, four have worked in other types of libraries (e.g., academic, public), and all are expert researchers committed to providing excellent customer service.


The Library houses an impressive collection of current and historic resources and materials. Although not a lending library, all of the Library’s resources and materials are available for use in the Library without restriction. The Library’s print holdings can be searched using an online catalog (available at cscl.colibraries.org), or reference requests may be submitted by email (library@judicial.state.co.us) or telephone: 720-625-5100.

In addition to print, a wide variety of electronic resources are available for use in the Library on four public access computers. Notably, the Library provides access to Westlaw, Lexis, and HeinOnline. Access to all of the Library’s electronic resources is provided at no charge to users, and Lexis users may email search results from the database at no charge. A printing fee of 25 cents per page is charged for copies and printing.

Some highlights of Library resources include:

  • HeinOnline (Current and historic access to most U.S. law journals and trade publications; current and historical state and federal primary law including statutes, session laws, and regulations; U.S. Federal legislative histories; Canadian and English reporters and statutes; and much more)
  • Westlaw (U.S. and Colorado primary law)
  • Lexis (U.S. and Colorado primary law; Matthew Bender and other national treatises; and a variety of other secondary resources and practice aids)
  • An extensive collection of historic Colorado Code of Regulations (CCR) documents
  • A full run of all Colorado Statutes and Session Laws (Territorial to current)
  • Current national treatises and print resources for most practice areas
  • A comprehensive print collection of Colorado practice materials
  • Historic Colorado and national secondary resources spanning more than 150 years of U.S. law
  • A large collection of historic English and Commonwealth reporters, statutes, and treatises

With a collection of print materials spanning beyond 150 years and a broad selection of current secondary and practice oriented materials, it is likely the Library possesses resources that will aid you in some aspect of your research and practice. Should the Library not own or have access to a resource you need, our librarians are experts at locating obscure and/or difficult-to-find resources locally, regionally, and nationally. This is a service we provide regularly to our justices, judges, and law clerks, and it is a service we offer to you.

Location, Hours, and Contact Information

The Library is located adjacent to the Colorado Court of Appeals Courtroom on the first floor of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, 2 E. 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80203. The Library is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (excluding Court holidays). Reference requests may be made in person at the reference desk during any open hours, by telephone at 720-625-5100, or via email at library@judicial.state.co.us.

Although much has changed since we first opened our doors as a Territorial library in 1861, the Colorado Supreme Court Library has maintained its place as a resource for all persons seeking access to legal information in Colorado. Our newest set of doors is now open for you. We invite you to visit the space, chat with a librarian, and use our resources. We hope to see you soon.

By Chris Hudson

CategoriesLegal Research