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Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Rare Books Acquisition: The Reister Collection

Henry Swinburne, A Briefe Treatise of
Testaments and Last Wills
(London, 1590)
The Law Library and Riesenfeld Rare Books Center have recently received a donation of important rare law books from the collection of Raymond A. and Ruth A. Reister. The donation comprises nearly one hundred titles on inheritance, wills and estates in Anglo-American law that were collected by Mr. Reister during his lifetime. The books range from a rare 16th-century treatise, to valuable 17th- and 18th-century material, including books by William Blackstone and Francis Bacon, to humorous works on eccentric wills.  The collection represents a valuable resource for students and scholars interested in the history of this foundational area of law. The Reister collection will be kept permanently at the Law Library and Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center, and made available to patrons.

The Law Library and Riesenfeld Center is grateful to the trustees of the Ruth A. Reister Trust Estate, Robert Struyk (‘61) and Sonny Miller, for this generous donation. 

Raymond A. Reister (1929-2005), a long-time Minneapolis attorney, practiced for thirty-nine years at Dorsey and Whitney. A nationally recognized expert in Trust and Estate law, Mr. Reister was co-editor of Minnesota Estate Administration, and served, among other organizations, on the Board of the Minnesota Humanities Commission, as Treasurer of the Minnesota Historical Society, and Vice President of the Minneapolis Athenaeum. The Athenaeum seeks to acquire rare books and manuscripts for the public benefit. 

Mr. Reister's wife, Ruth A. Reister (1936-2015), graduated from Michigan Law School in 1964, as the only woman in her class. A leader in government and business, Ms. Reister worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, as deputy undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and later served as president of FBS Agricultural Credit Corporation. She was also very active in the local community.

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections


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