Library of Congress Depiction of law in film and television will be subject of July 20 program

The depiction of the law in art and culture is as old as storytelling. Its manifestation in moving pictures often focuses on questions and concerns about the rule of law and equal citizenship in a well-functioning democracy.

The Law Library of Congress and the Library's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation will offer a program highlighting the depiction of law in film and television at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20 at the Packard Campus Theater, located at 19053 Mount Pony Road, Culpeper, Virginia. The event is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required.

The event will feature Professor of Law Jessica Silbey from Northeastern University School of Law. Silbey will present a lecture titled "A History of Law in American Film" with a focus on the courtroom process-from the beginning of film in 1895 to the present day. She will also reference the depiction of the law in other forms of popular culture. As part of the Law Library's ongoing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision, Miranda v. Arizona, the program will also feature a film montage that will show the reading of the Miranda Warning over the past 50 years in film and television.

Silbey is an expert on the use of film to communicate about law. Her writing explores how film is used as a legal tool and how it becomes an object of legal analysis. Her publications on this subject include "Law and Justice on the Small Screen" with Peter Robson (Hart, 2012); "Picturing Moral Arguments in a Fraught Legal Arena: Fetuses, Phantoms and Ultrasounds," 16 Geo. J. Gender & Law (2015); "Images In/Of Law," 57 N.Y.L.S. L. R. 171 (2012/2013); "Evidence Verité and the Law of Film," 31 Cardozo L. R. 1257 (2010); "Cross-Examining Film," 8 U. Md. J. Race, Religion & Gender & L. 101 (2008); "Filmmaking in the Precinct House and the Genre of Documentary Film," 29 Colum. J. L. & Arts. 107 (2006); and "Judges as Film Critics: New Approaches to Filmic Evidence," 39 Mich. J. L. Reform 493 (2004).

Silbey teaches in the areas of intellectual property and constitutional law. Her intellectual property research focuses on the empirical and humanistic dimensions of the legal regulation of creative and innovative work. She explores this theme in "The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators and Everyday Intellectual Property" (Stanford University Press, 2015). Silbey holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a JD and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Michigan.

The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States-and extensive materials from around the world-both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at and register creative works of authorship at

The Library's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation's library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings ( The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library's National Film Preservation Board (, the National Recording Preservation Board ( and the national registries for film and recorded sound.

The Law Library of Congress was founded in 1832 with the mission to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community, and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 2.9 million volumes, the Law Library contains the world's largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its website at

Published: Mon, Jun 27, 2016