A collection of all the court seals we can muster.
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Welcome to the Court Seal Rookery

This is a collection of court seals that can be cloned and used in any project. Original files can be found in the orig directory and converted versions can be found in the numerical directories.

The goal of this project is to collect and maintain an updated repository of all the seals that courts have created and to create seals for those rare courts that lack them altogether.


This project is blissfully easy to contribute to and we need lots of help gathering or making files. The process for this is pretty simple.

  1. Find or make the image and ensure it follows our quality guidelines (below).
  2. Add the image file to the orig directory.
  3. Edit seals.json to include the relevant fields for your new file.

That's it!

index.html is a tool for quickly being able to see the progress on obtaining seals and quickly check the quality of the seals that have been obtained. You can refresh this file by opening it and pasting in the contents of seals.json where indicated (sloppy but effective).

If you wish to get involved as a developer, you'll want to install this repository from git. Do the following:

  1. Install imagemagick:

    sudo apt-get install imagemagick
  2. Download and link up the code:

    sudo git clone https://github.com/freelawproject/seal-rookery /usr/local/seal_rookery
  3. Install from your local source:

    python setup.py install
  4. Update the local copies of the images:

    update-seals -f

Installation for Non-Developers

Basic usage doesn't require any installation, but if you wish to import the seals.json file into a Python program, you may want to install the Seal Rookery as a Python module in your system. To do so:

  1. Install imagemagick

    sudo apt-get install imagemagick
  2. Install the seal rookery

    pip install seal_rookery
  3. Update the seals

    update-seals -f

You can then import the seals.json information into your project using:

from seal_rookery import seals_data

And you will have various sizes of all the seals ready to go on your system.

In the future, when you get the latest version of the rookery, run update-seals again to generate copies of any new images at various sizes. To see more information about this command run update-seals --help.

Quality Guidelines

Fact is, images are hard to work with and courts don't always do the best job. Follow these guidelines so we can have nice things:

  1. Convert your original file to png or svg, as appropriate. If you have the ps file, include that as well.
  2. If you use transparency or the file has it, make sure the file looks OK on a background other than white. If it looks bizarre on an orange or blue background, fix it by adding a white layer on the bottom.
  3. Trim any extraneous margins and if the seal is circular, make the corners transparent.
  4. If the item was previously a jpeg or gif, it's good to clean up the splotchiness created by the jpeg compression. You'll see it if you zoom in.


We know of no instances where courts have requested a take down of their seal, however usage of government seals has caused a few stirs in the past. Don't attempt to represent the government or its agents.


  1. Update the version info in setup.py.

  2. Install the requirements in requirements-dev.txt

  3. Set up a config file at ~/.pypirc containing the upload locations and authentication credentials.

  4. Generate a distribution:

    python setup.py bdist_wheel
  5. Upload the distribution:

    twine upload dist/* -r pypi


Two things. First, if you are creating original work, please consider signing and emailing a contributor license to us so that we may protect the work later, if needed. We do this because we have a lot of experience with IP litigation, and this is a good way to protect a project.

Second, if you're just curious about the copyright of this repository, see the License file for details. The short version of this is you can pretty much use it however you desire.

Credit Where Due

This project inspired by the initial visualization work of @nowherenearithaca.