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Rare books and manuscripts join the eYLS Repository!
The Rare Book Collection is excited to announce that it now has its own section in the Lillian Goldman Law Library's eYLS Repository. Titled Yale Law Special Collections, it contains digitized rare books and manuscripts from the Rare Book Collection. You can download, print, or just view them online by visiting the eYLS Repository.
The collection is arranged in several sub-series: American Trials, British Trials, Connecticut Legal History, Legal Education, History of the Yale Law School, and Italian Statutes. Pictured below is one of the items in the Connecticut Legal History series: A sermon, delivered at Danbury, Nov. 13th, 1817: being the day appointed for the execution of Amos Adams, for the crime of rape (New Haven: T.G. Woodward, 1817) by the Rev. William Andrews (1782-1838).
Stay tuned for announcements of additions to our online collection, on these and other topics.
This material is brought to you free of charge and free of restrictions. We only ask that, as a courtesy, you cite the Rare Book Collection, Lillian Goldman Law Library, as the source, and that you notify us if you plan to publish images.
For more information, contact Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian, <mike.widener[at]yale.edu>.
-- CESAR ZAPATA
Collection & Access Coordinator
Capturing dealer descriptions in our online catalog
One of my most pleasurable duties as a rare book librarian is reading the catalogues sent by rare book dealers. Each book's listing is typcally accompanied by a narrative description that describes the book's context and significance. The best book descriptions do more than merely tout a book or manuscript to potential buyers. They are nuggets of bibliographical and historical scholarship, and models of lively, concise writing. Much of my early training consisted of reading rare book dealer catalogues, and I still learn from them.
Thanks to the Law Library's online catalog, MORRIS, and to the cooperation of book dealers, I have been attaching dealers' descriptions to our catalog records for the books.
When you look at the record of an individual title in MORRIS, you will see a button on the left side of the screen, labeled "Add a review". Those with a Yale ID and password can add a review of the title. If a review has been added, you will see a headline under the "Add a review" button that is a link to the review. Click the headline link and the review pops up in a window. (Note that the display works better in Firefox than in Internet Explorer.)
Since January 2008, I have been adding rare book dealers' descriptions as "reviews" in MORRIS. For example, look at the record for Iustinianae constitutiones civiles (Bologna, 1608). Click the link, "The judicial system in Bologna,1608" and you will see the following description:
"Attractive and rare set of decrees concerning the functioning of the judiciary in the papal city of Bologna. These city statutes were promulgated by the Pope's legate, Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani (1554-1621). Despite the issuing authority, the constitutions (a word indicating legislation of the highest level) are entirely non-religious in content, relating to civil law justice in the city. They shed considerable light into how courts worked in Bologna. Included are instructions on cases involving poor people; rules for notaries; the keeping of registers; seizures of property; taking of suspects; payment of officers; expert witnesses; and the governing of appeals. Pages 192-198 comprise papal edicts on the salaries of Bolognese judges and notaries." -- Leo Cadogan Rare Books (Dec. 2011)
The description adds value to our catalog. It records a wealth of information about the book that would be impossible to include in the online catalog record.
I follow these guidelines:
- I must first obtain the dealer's permission to use the descriptions for all books and manuscripts the dealer sells to me. The descriptions are the dealer's intellectual property and dealers are sensitive (rightly so) about whether and how their descriptions are re-used. I assure the dealer that I will understand if he or she prefers to refuse permission.
- I enter a dealer's descriptions only for the books and manuscripts I buy from that dealer.
- I copy the description verbatim, editing only for length, punctuation, and spelling.
- I enclose the description in quotations, and I attribute the description to the dealer, including the catalogue (or if not in a catalogue, by the date it was quoted to me).
- I never include the price.
To date I have added over 500 descriptions by over forty dealers from across the U.S. and Europe. I hope you find them as useful and educational as I do.
Rare Book Librarian
A Tribute to Morris L. Cohen (1927-2010)
The latest issue of Law Library Journal is a special issue, "A Tribute to Morris L. Cohen (1927-2010)." Our own Fred Shapiro organized this fitting tribute to our mentor and friend. All of the articles can be downloaded from the LLJ website. -- MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian
Law Library Journal
Volume 104, no. 1 (Winter 2012): A Tribute to Morris L. Cohen (1927-2010).
"Introduction." Fred R. Shapiro.
"Morris L. Cohen, 1927-2010: A Remembrance and Celebration." Vincent DiMarco, Kent C. Olson, Balfour Halévy, Lika Miyake, Mary Jane Kelsey, Sharon Hamby O'Connor, & Robert C. Berring.
"In Praise of Morris L. Cohen's Bibliography of Early American Law." Daniel A. Cohen.
"Morris L. Cohen: A Reminiscence." Morris S. Arnold.
"Memories of Morris--and How I Use His BEAL." Jordan D. Luttrell.
"Morris Cohen and Rare Book School." David Warrington.
"Morris Cohen and the Art of Book Collecting." Michael Widener.
"Cornerstones for Enduring Law Libraries: Morris Cohen's Influence at Yale." S. Blair Kauffman.
"Birth of a Nutshell: Morris Cohen in the 1960s." Kent C. Olson.
"The End of Scholarly Bibliography: Reconceptualizing Law Librarianship." Robert C. Berring.
"Appeals to the Privy Council Before American Independence: An Annotated Digital Catalogue." Sharon Hamby O'Connor & Mary Sarah Bilder.
"Blackstone and Bibliography: In Memoriam Morris Cohen." Wilfrid Prest.
"Booksellers in Court: Approaches to the Legal History of Copyright in England Before 1842." James Raven.
"Practicing Reference . . . 'That Most Congenial Lawyer/Bibliographer'." Mary Whisner.
"Reflections: An Interview with Morris L. Cohen." Morris L. Cohen & Bonnie Collier.
"Morris L. Cohen: A Bibliography of His Works." Ryan Harrington & Camilla Tubbs.
Justice as a Sign of the Law: Further Reading
- Judith Resnik & Dennis Curtis, Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011). "By mapping the remarkable run of the icon of Justice, a woman with
scales and sword, and by tracing the development of public spaces
dedicated to justice—courthouses—the authors explore the evolution of
adjudication into its modern form as well as the intimate relationship
between the courts and democracy." In addition, the Representing Justice page, in the Lillian Goldman Law Library's Document Collection Center, brings together image collections, articles, and videos relating to the book.
- Fondo Antico - Immagini della Giustizia, a website prepared by the library of the Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, is a well organized and thorough examination of how the image of Justice is employed in early printed books. It includes a lengthy bibliography.
- The Digital Collections page of the Rechtshistorie website includes annotated lists of useful links under the headings "Databases for legal iconography" and "Thematic image collections".
- Rechtshistorie's editor, Otto Vervaart, also writes a companion blog, Rechtsgeschiedenis. He has written several thoughtful and informative posts on the topic of legal iconography, dealing with their importance for legal history and the challenges in locating online resources. See, for example, "The face of justice" (Dec. 19, 2010) and click the Legal iconography tag to see the others.
- Justitia: Iconography of Justice is a Flickr gallery that as of September 2011 contained 133 images of Justice taken from volumes in the Rare Book Collection, Lillian Goldman Law Library. See also the related gallery, Justitia - headpieces. Headpieces are ornaments
used as decoration at the head of a
chapter or division of a book.
"The Remarkable Run of a Political Icon: Justice as a Sign of the
Law" is curated by Judith Resnik, Dennis Curtis, Allison Tait, and Mike
Widener, and is on display Sept. 19-Dec. 16, 2011, in the Rare Book
Exhibition Gallery, Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law
Internet resources for collecting law books
I prepared the following set of links for the class I'm teaching at the Rare Book School next week, "Law Books: History and Connoisseurship." Colleagues and readers of this blog might find some of them useful or interesting. If you want to know where I spend my time online, here are a few hints...
Online library catalogues
- WorldCat: Public-access version of the largest union catalogue of library holdings world-wide.
- KVK - Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog: Meta catalog of over 50 national library catalogs, regional library catalogs, and union catalogs.
- ESTC - English Short Title Catalogue (British Library): 460,000 items published between 1473 and 1800 mainly, but not exclusively, in English, published
mainly in the British Isles and North America, from the collections of the British Library and over 2,000 other libraries.
- Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (British Library): "The international database of 15th-century European printing created by the British Library with contributions from institutions worldwide."
- Virgo: Online catalog for the University of Virginia Library.
- MORRIS: Online catalog for the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.
- Yale University Library
Resources on Book Terminology
Internet Databases for Rare & Used Books
- AddALL: Searches 24 online databases of used and rare books in North America and Europe (including ILAB and ABE), with the option of restricting searches to selected databases.
- ViaLibri: Designed especially for rare & collectible books. It allows you to permanently filter out print-on-demand books from your search results (yay!). Another great feature is the ability to search 72 library catalogs, including WorldCat (public version), KVK, ISTC, ESTC, and dozens of other union catalogs, national library catalogs, and individual library catalogs.
Searches almost 100 listing services (like ABE), online bookstores, and
even "rental services" (!) for new, used, and rare books.
- International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB): Restricted to listings from member booksellers. Offers an automated "wants" notification to registered users (registration is free), a searchable directory of member booksellers, multilingual glossaries of bookseller terms, Carter's ABC for Book Collectors in PDF format, a calendar of book fairs, and a large "Library" of articles on the book trade, collecting, and related topics. ILAB's U.S. affiliate, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) offers most of the same features, but is limited to U.S. dealers.
- AbeBooks.com: Registered users can create automated "wants" lists, and are notified by e-mail of matching books.
Book Collecting Resources
Legal History Resources
More images of Lady Justice -- LOTS more!
This past month I've added 44 additional images containing depictions of Justitia (Lady Justice), to our Flickr gallery Justitia: Iconography of Justice. In addition, the Courtroom Scenes gallery grew by a dozen or so images. Below is an image that now appears in both places: it is the frontispiece to Johann Stephan Burgermeister's Teutsches corpus juris publici & privati, oder, Codex diplomaticus (Ulm: In Verlegung Johann Conrad Wohlers Buchhändlers, 1717), and shows Lady Justice as the presiding judge, encouraging the downtrodden of the Holy Roman Empire to draw near and enter their pleas.
For the past several months I've been scouring our collection for such images, and also buying books containing images of Justitia, as part of our collecting focus on illustrated law books. The project has taken on additional relevance with the publication of Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-states and Democratic Courtrooms by Yale Law professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis (Yale University Press, 2011), and the Spring 2011 seminar, "Representing Justice," taught by Professors Resnik and Curtis. See the Law Library's Representing Justice page in its Document Collection Center.
I've discovered that an Italian law library shares our interest in images of Lady Justice. The law library of the Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia has built an excellent website, Immagini della Giustizia. The user can view examples based on their role in the printed book (frontispiece, headpieces, initials, architectural borders, etc.), as well as via iconography (the scales, sword, blindfold, etc.). I don't read Italian, and I still found the site easy to navigate. It also has a thorough bibliography. Our rare book collection owns very few of the examples in the Modena website, so I have new titles to pursue!
Rare Book Librarian
Video tour of Rare Books
You can now take a video tour of the Lillian Goldman Law Library's Rare Book Collection, thanks to Yale Law School's Office of Public Affairs.
The 20-minute tour is available as Rare Books Library Tour - Part 1 and Rare Books Library Tour - Part 2, in the Yale Law School's YouTube channel. You can also view the entire video on Yale Law School's website.
Kaitlin Thomas, Office of Public Affairs, organized the project and conducted the interview. Dan Griffin of Information Technology Services was the videographer and editor, and provided the voice-over. Thank you Kaitlin and Dan!
Rare Book Librarian
Early Italian Statutes: Links
The Flowering of Civil Law: Early Italian City Statutes in the Yale Law Library
One of the main reasons for organizing this exhibit is to encourage students and scholars to use the Yale Law Library's outstanding collection of early Italian statutes. All of the volumes in the collection are represented in our online catalog, MORRIS. Feel free to contact Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian; see the Rare Books homepage for contact information.
Below is a selective list of online resources, bibliographies, and publications on early Italian statutes.
- The Biblioteca del Senato della Repubblica "Giovanni Spadolini" (the library of the Italian Senate) houses the world's most extensive collection of early Italian statutes. The introduction to the site is also provided in French and English. See especially the description of the catalogues, which contain a wealth of information on Italian legal history and local history, The entire Catalogo della raccolta di statuti (8 volumes so far) is available online, as well as updates to the earlier volumes.
- Kenneth Pennington, professor of ecclesiastical and legal history at Catholic University, provides an concise overview of Italian legal history from the Middle Ages to the present, including a critical guide to the literature. See also his Roman and Secular Law in the Middle Ages.
- De Statutis is the website of the Comitato Italiano per gli Studi e le Edizioni delle Fonti Normative (CISEFN). The site is in Italian. See the Bibliografia Statutaria Italiana for an extensive bibliography of scholarship, mainly in Italian, on early Italian statutes, divided into a general section and sections on regions.
- Statuti della Liguria is a project of the Società Ligure di Storia Patria, with support from the Faculty of Jurisprudence, University of Genoa, to catalog and digitize statutes from the Liguria region, 12th-18th centuries. The site is in Italian and includes an extensive bibliography and a searchable database.
- Biblioteca del Senato della Repubblica (Italy). Catalogo della raccolta di statuti, consuetudini, leggi, decreti, ordini e privilegi del comuni, delle associazioni e degli enti locali italiani, dal medioevo alla fine del secolo XVIII (Roma: Tipografia del Senato, 1943- ). Eight of the nine volumes have been published so far, and when it is complete it will be the most comprehensive bibliography of early Italian statutes. The entire set is available online at the website of the Biblioteca del Senato, along with updates to the earlier volumes. The Yale Law Library has a copy, which is currently shelved in the Rare Book Librarian's office.
- Leone Fontana, Bibliografia degli statuti dei comuni dell' Italia superiore (3 vols.; Torino: Fratelli Bocca, 1907). The Yale Law Library has a copy.
- Luigi Manzoni, comp., Bibliografia statutaria e storica italiana (2 vols. in 3; Bologna: G. Romagnoli, 1876-1892). Volume 1 covers statutes; volume 2 (which our library lacks) covers local histories. The Yale Law Library's copy is currently shelved in the Rare Book Librarian's office.
- Statuti italiani: riuniti ed indicati dal conte Antonio Cavagna Sangiuliani (2 vols.; Pavia: Prem. Tipografia successori fratelli Fusi, 1907). This entire collection is now in the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and it is probably the only early Italian statute collection in the U.S. that rivals the Yale Law Library's collection. The catalogue is available online, but stops with entries for the letter M.
Books and articles
- Mario Ascheri, "Beyond the Comune: The Italian City-State and Its Inheritance," in The Medieval World (Peter Linehan & Janet L. Nelson eds.; London: Routledge, 2001), 451-468. "[T]he sections of statutes relating to public law have every right to be treated as constitutional history, even if their wide dispersion, mutability and multiplicity make them difficult to study. Paradoxically, it is their very richness that is responsible for the comparative neglect they have suffered. ... The city-states were the precursors of the majoritarian principle. In order to delimit the activities of different governmental agencies they introduced systems of checks and balances. They pioneered measures designed to depoliticise judges and the administration of justice and to moderate the excesses of their officials."
- George Bowyer, A Dissertation on the Statutes of the Cities of Italy (London: Richards and Co., 1838). Although 170 years old, it is so far the only full-length book in English on early Italian municipal statutes. The Yale Law Library has a copy in its collection, and it is also online in Google Books.
- Carlo Calisse, A History of Italian Law (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1928). Translated by Layton B. Register, with introductions by Frederick Parker Walton and Hessel E. Yntema. Volume 8 in the Continental Legal History Series. The book is a translation of parts of Calisse's Storia del diritto italiano, and was described in a contemporary review as "a long and complicated book." The Yale Law Library has a copy.
- Kenneth Pennington, "Law Codes: 1000-1500," in Dictionary of the Middle Ages 7 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1986), 425-431.
Rare Book Librarian
Illustration: Perugia (Italy), Statuta augustae Perusiae (Perugia, 1523-1528).
Legal history on the web
A quick round-up of new sources for legal history on the web...
From Prof. Robert C. Palmer, University of Houston: "The Anglo-American Legal Tradition website now has available the acquisitions from Spring 2008. The site contains about 2.1 million frames of documents from the U.K. National Archives from the years 1218 to 1650. If you have not used the site in the last few months, you will find it much more user-friendly ... The main document series on the site are CP40 (court of common pleas plea rolls), KB27 (court of king's bench plea rolls), KB26 (king's bench and common pleas plea rolls from Henry III), E159 and E368 (exchequer memoranda rolls), C33 (chancery orders and decrees), CP25(1) (feet of fines), DL5 (duchy decrees and orders), and REQ1 (court of requests orders and decrees) ... The AALT website runs through the O'Quinn Law Library at the University of Houston under a non-commercial license from the U.K. National Archives."
Legislación Mexicana, offered by the Biblioteca Daniel Cosio Villegas of the Colegio de México, is a project to digitize the contents of an essential work for the legal history of 19th-century Mexico, Legislación mexicana: ó, Coleccion completa de las disposiciónes legislativas expedidas desdé la independencia de la República [1821-1906] / ordenada por Manuel Dublán y José María Lozano (42 vols.; México, 1876-1912). Thanks to the Philobiblos blog for the heads-up.
The 1582 edition of the Corpus Juris Canonici has been put online by UCLA's Charles E. Young Research Library. This edition is known as the "Correctores Romani" edition, because it was prepared by a Vatican-appointed panel of editors charged with ridding the text and gloss of corruptions that had crept in over the centuries. The site also features corrected, expanded and searchable versions of indexes to the Liber Extra and its gloss.
From Vicenç Feliú, Paul M. Hebert Law Center Library, Louisiana State University: "On the occasion of the Bicentennial of the Louisiana Digest of 1808, the Paul M. Hebert Law Center’s Center for Civil Law Studies has published an electronic version of the Digest of the Civil Laws now in Force in the Territory of Orleans (enacted on March 31, 1808) on its Civil Law Online website ... The original French and the English translation can be viewed separately or together on the same screen ... In addition, the manuscript notes of 1814, attributed to Louis Moreau-Lislet who, with James Brown, drafted the Digest, are available on this website. These notes are extracted from the De la Vergne Volume, a copy of the Digest bound in 1808 with interleaves between the English text on the left and the French text on the right. The manuscript notes on the interleaves give reference mainly to Roman and Spanish laws, but also mention French sources, such as Domat and Pothier ... This volume belonged to the de la Vergne family for generations, and is presently in possession of Mr. Louis V. de la Vergne." I add my congratulations to my good friend Louis de la Vergne for helping make this project possible.
From the University of Georgia: "The Civil Rights Digital Library promotes an enhanced understanding of the Movement by helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale. The CRDL features a collection of unedited news film from the WSB (Atlanta) and WALB (Albany, Ga.) television archives held by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries. The CRDL provides educator resources and contextual materials, including Freedom on Film, relating instructive stories and discussion questions from the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia, and the New Georgia Encyclopedia, delivering engaging online articles and multimedia."
English Medieval Legal Documents AD 600 - AD 1535: A Compilation of Published Sources. Prepared by Hazel D. Lord, Senior Law Librarian, University of Southern California School of Law: "The goal of this project is to create a collaborative database on the published sources of English medieval legal documents, and to provide links to the growing number of online sources currently being developed."
Rare Book Librarian
The most creative books in American law
Robert F. Blomquist surveyed 426 law professors who have taught legal history for his paper, Thinking About Law and Creativity: On the 100 Most Creative Moments in American Law (Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-04, May 2008). Below I've extracted the books and articles that appear in Blomquist's top 100. I provide links for those books that are in the Yale Law Library's online catalog, MORRIS. Legislation and court cases make up the majority of the list, and I did not include these, although arguably The Federalist (1788) is a component of the #1 creative moment, "The Constitution of the United States (1787) and the ratification debates (1787-1788)."
You can find a brief critique of Blomquist's paper on Mary Dudziak's Legal History Blog.
Most Creative Books in American Law...
15. James Kent, Commentaries on American Law (1826-30).
16. Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833).
17. Christopher Columbus Langdell’s initiation of the case method of study at Harvard Law School initiated by his casebook, A Selection of Cases on the Law of Contracts (1871).
18. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Common Law (1881).
27. Benjamin Cardozo, The Nature of the Judicial Process (1921).
43. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962).
44. Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (1949).
46. Charles Reich, The Greening of America (1970).
54. Richard Posner, Economic Analysis of Law (1973).
55. Hart & Sacks, The Legal Process (1958).
68. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance (1992) and An Inconvenient Truth (2006).
79. The Politics of Law (1982).
Most Creative Law Review Articles in American Law...
45. Justice Douglas’ dissent in Sierra Club v. Morton (1972) (citing Christopher D. Stone, Should Trees Have Standing?--Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects, 45 Southern California Law Review 450 (1972).
75. Samuel D. Warren & Louis D. Brandeis, Right to Privacy, 4 Harvard Law Review 193 (1890).
Rare Book Librarian
Special collections, present and future
I recommend two recent meditations on the present and future roles of rare book libraries and special collections:
Both Darnton and Turner argue that today's digital information world makes rare books & manuscript collections more important, and not simply as mines for content creators.
Several of my favorite "oldies but goodies" in this vein are by Daniel Traister at the University of Pennsylvania.
Finally, two blogs worth checking out:
, dedicated to "Books - Illustrations - Science - History - Visual Materia Obscura - Eclectic Bookart", is a consistently satisfying feast for the eyes and the mind, as well as an instructive exercise in data mining. The curator, Paul K. of Sydney, brings together an incredible variety of graphic material in books, manuscripts, advertising, and ephemera from around the world.
Rare Book Librarian
Legal fiction reviews
The Law and Politics Book Review, one of my favorite electronic journals, has just put out a special issue on Legal Fiction, with reviews of 22 American, British, and European novels from the 19th to 21st centuries. The goal of the editors was "to find out how others who teach courses in political science, criminal justice, or law use novels in their teaching." The standard law-and-literature canon is well represented -- Dickens' Bleak House, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Kafka's The Trial -- but there were a few surprises as well, including two science fiction titles (Isaac Asimov's I, Robot and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.Highly recommended for librarians and collectors interested in the law-and-literature or law-and-popular-culture fields.
Rare Book Librarian