Legal Bibliography

The NCPL Bibliography is intended to comprise all English language secondary source materials, both domestic and international, pertaining to the law of nonprofit organizations. It addresses the difficulty of researching secondary source materials in the field of nonprofit law. While the Web has been an excellent research tool for primary sources, no online index of secondary sources includes materials dated earlier than 1975. The NCPL Bibliography contains an outstanding collection of thousands of citations to secondary source materials including legal treatises, law review articles, other journal and periodical articles, and selected government materials.

The NCPL has created a Web site through which the Bibliography can be searched. The Web site accommodates a simple query for quick search results, as well as more complicated queries including full Boolean searches. A majority of the articles in the Bibliography have been assigned multiple subject-area keywords, to aid with more advanced searches.

One of the special features of our Bibliography is the output of all citations in “Bluebook” citation form. In addition, each of the search screens has a drop-down list of four report display options: a Web page, a Microsoft Word document, a WordPerfect Document, or an Adobe Acrobat file. Depending on your Web browser configuration and the software installed on your computer, either the documents will open in a browser window or you will be prompted to save the file. Please note that formats other than a Web page take more time to process. To prevent server overload, we ask that you select these other formats sparingly.

Accessing the Web Site

The Web site may be accessed at

Searching the Bibliography

The Bibliography may be searched through a “Simple Search,” a “Guided Search,” or an “Advanced Search” screen. After you log in, you will be taken by default to the “Simple Search” screen. The other screens may be accessed by clicking the appropriate link at the top of the page, directly under the NCPL logo.

The Simple Search screen combines all of the primary data fields into one convenient search. Search terms entered are matched against author, title, and keyword fields of the database. The Guided Search screen allows searching by title, keyword, author, publication title, or a combination of some or all of those fields. The Advanced Search screen, employing a similar interface to that of the Lexis or Westlaw Boolean search screens, allows searching by title, keyword, author, publication title, date, or any combination of those fields. While the Simple Search is the most convenient of the three types of searches, it takes the most time to process because it forces a search of all data fields. The other search screens direct the search engine to the specified fields and return results faster.

Detailed instructions for the use of each search screen can be found by clicking the “Help” link at the bottom left corner of the screen.

Providing Feedback

We would greatly appreciate any suggestions about the Web site, including comments regarding the search screens, ease of use, formats of search results, or content of the database itself. We also invite you to provide us with citations not currently in the database. Please direct your comments to This address can be accessed by clicking the “Contact” link at the bottom right corner of the bibliography screen.

This Bibliography Project is made possible by generous gifts from The Pew Charitable Trusts, Surdna Foundation, Inc., and Markle Foundation.