The Session Papers at the heart of SCOS are held by the University of Virginia Law Library and the Law Library of Congress. The UVA Law Library holds 58-linear feet of Session Papers preserved in archival boxes. Originally bound together in an unknown number of volumes, the majority of the Session Papers in the UVA Law Library's collection were disbound prior to their acquisition in the mid-1980s. Only a few volumes with their original bindings remain reasonably intact. By contrast, the Session Papers in the Law Library of Congress's collection remain bound together.
Advocates, lawyers, and even litigants filed printed Session Papers with the court as a lawsuit moved through the court system. Cases might consist of a single, short petition of just a few pages or include multiple Session Papers submitted over several years amounting to several hundred pages. Over time the lawyers, judges, and other parties who accumulated Session Papers in a particular case had them bound into a volume along with documents from other litigation. Many of these volumes survive intact in British and American libraries. Other Session Papers, like those in the UVA Law Library's collection, were largely separated into individual cases.
The case glossary presents each case as a distinct intellectual unit. It reflects the UVA collection's disbound nature and it provides convenient access to the documents associated with specific litigation. See "Session Papers and the British Atlantic World" for more information on court procedure and the production of Session Papers or "Session Papers by Repository" for a more detailed description of the collections in SCOS.