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Association of the Bar collections are finished!
Another cataloging milestone to report... All of the collections that the Lillian Goldman Law Library acquired from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY) are now completely cataloged in our online catalog, MORRIS. The Roman-Canon Law Collection was completely cataloged in 2008. This fall, cataloging on the two remaining collections was completed. These collections are:
- The German Law Collection of the ABCNY (678 titles in 856 volumes). The collection arrived in September 2007. Fourteen of the titles are the only North American copies reported in OCLC, including the oldest: Ludwig Fruck's Teutsch Formular (Strassburg, 1529). Another, Civitatum Hanseaticarum Ordinatio nautica et jus maritimum (Hamburg?, 1660?), the maritime laws of the Hanseatic League, is an apparently unrecorded edition. Well over 500 of the titles were part of the law library of Konrad von Maurer (1823-1902), a leading historian of early Germanic and Nordic law.
- The Foreign Law Collection of the ABCNY (186 titles in 271 volumes). This collection was acquired in October 2008, as part of a cooperative effort with the Jacob Burns Law Library, George Washington University. The collection's title hints at its eclectic contents. It contains significant holdings of Italian, Flemish, Dutch, and Spanish law, additional titles in Roman, canon, and German law, and law books from jurisdictions as diverse as France, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Ireland, and Bengal. There are some truly rare books here. The OCLC database reports only one other copy of the 1530 edition of the Practica Papiensis printed in Lyon by Fradin (Berlin State Library), and the 1507 Cologne edition of Petrus Ravennas's Compendium juris pontificii (Columbia University). One of my favorites is pictured below, Johannes Buno's Memoriale Institutionum juris (Ratzeburg, 1672), a textbook on Justinian's Institutes that employs a complex system of illustrated memory aids.
Thanks to the Law Library's outstanding cataloger, Susan Karpuk, for her fine work. Thanks again to the Yale Law School's Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund for funding these acquisitions.
-- MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian
Source: Johannes Buno (1617-1697), Memoriale Institutionum juris (Ratzeburg, 1672); from the Foreign Law Collection of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Early Law Books and Their Readers, Part 2
In my previous post I sought help identifying a signature that is found in many of the books that came from the library of the German legal historian Konrad von Maurer
(1823-1902). Von Maurer's law books were acquired in 1904 by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and later came to our Rare Book Collection. I have an answer, not from my colleagues at the American Association of Law Libraries
(AALL) 2012 annual meeting in Boston where I showed the images, but via Facebook. My friend the legal historian Mark Weiner forwarded my query to his European colleagues. One of them, Professor Dr. Peter Gröschler (Chair for Civil Law and Roman Law, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz), explained that the signature is an old German style of script and that it reads "Maurer". Since the earliest examples of this signature date from 1823, the year Konrad von Maurer was born, the signature is probably that of his father, Georg Ludwig von Maurer (1790-1872), himself a legal historian and statesman.
This reinforces one of the points I made at my AALL presentation, namely that crowdsourcing via social media is a powerful and useful tool for solving provenance questions. My thanks to Mark Weiner and Professor Gröschler for their help.
All of the examples I showed at AALL are in a Flickr gallery, "Connecting Roman Law Books."
Rare Book Librarian
Early Law Books and Their Readers
On July 23, I am giving a brief presentation, "Early Law Books and Their Readers: Examples from the Yale Law Library," at the American Association of Law Libraries 2012 annual meeting in Boston. It is part of a session, "Connecting Roman Law Books: Commentaries, Marginalia, Bookplates and More," offered by the Roman Law Interest Group, part of the Foreign, Comparative & International Law Special Interest Section, and organized by my colleague Lucia Diamond, Senior Librarian at the Robbins Collection, University of California-Berkeley School of Law.
The images I am showing can also be seen in a Flickr gallery, "Connecting Roman Law Books."
As part of my presentation, I am asking for help in reading and identifying the signature shown below. It appears in dozens of the books that once were part of the library of Konrad von Maurer (1823-1902), a professor of law at the University of Munich who was a leading scholar of early Germanic and Nordic law. Von Maurer's law books were acquired in 1904 by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; since 2006 the majority of them have come to the Yale Law Library, with some going to the Jacob Burns Law Library, George Washington University. The dates on these signatures begin in the early 1820s and end around 1860; see the Flickr gallery for more examples. It would seem that von Maurer acquired this individual's library en bloc. I'll be grateful for any clues.
Rare Book Librarian
Finished! The ABCNY Roman-Canon Law Collection is completely cataloged.
The Yale Law Library has finished cataloging the Roman-Canon Law Collection of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY). This means that all of this rich and valuable collection is accessible to researchers via the Law Library's online catalog, MORRIS.
A round of applause is due to Susan Karpuk and the
two catalogers who worked under her direction on this project, Ruth
Alcabes and Maureen Hayes. Susan described this cataloging project in a
recent article, "Processing a Large Acquisition of 16th-19th Century
Roman-Canon Law Books at the Yale Law Library," LH&RB 14:1 (Winter
2008), which is available online at <http://www.aallnet.org/sis/lhrb/>.
The Law Library is grateful for the generous support from the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund,
Yale Law School, for funding the acquisition and cataloging. Thanks
also to Richard Tuske, Director of Library Operations at the ABCNY, and to the ABCNY's Board of Directors, for making this acquisition possible.
The ABCNY's Roman-Canon Law Collection contains 1197 titles in 1754 physical volumes, and arrived in August 2006 on permanent loan. Its acquisition represents a
quantum leap in our already strong holdings in Roman and canon law,
making the Yale Law Library's Rare Book Collection one of the premier
libraries for research in European legal history.
The work pictured at right, Martin Sánchez' Arbor dividui et individui
(1538) is one of several that are the only copies in U.S. libraries
according to WorldCat. The oldest imprint is a 1501 compilation of the regulations for the Papal Chancery. The collection also includes one manuscript volume, an 18th-century digest of Roman-Dutch law.
There are 80 volumes of the decisions of the Rota Romana, the Vatican's highest court and for centuries one of Europe's most important courts. There are 16 collections of consilia, the legal opinions given out (for a fee) by leading jurists at the request of institutions, rulers and others.
The collection is valuable not only for legal history but for the history of the book. Many of the early volumes retain their original bindings. Six of the volumes were once academic prizes, presented to outstanding students in the 17th-18th centuries in elegant bindings. The bindings and ownership marks suggest that most of the books were
originally in German or Austrian collections. The ABCNY acquired many of
the volumes in 1904 from the library of Konrad von Maurer (1823-1902),
professor at the University of Munich and an influential historian of
I could go on and on about the treasures and curiosities in the ABCNY's Roman-Canon Law Collection. I've highlighted some of the individual volumes in recent posts and there is more to come. For now, you can browse the entire collection via a collection-level record in our online catalog, MORRIS. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
Rare Book Librarian