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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary (’77) Donates Papers from Landmark SCOTUS Case to Law Library

The Law Library and Riesenfeld Rare Books Center recently received an important archival donation from Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary (’77) of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The donated material relates to R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992), a key U.S. Supreme Court First Amendment case—indeed, the first hate speech case ever heard by the court. Cleary, who argued the case from the trial level to the Supreme Court, has generously gifted the library his copies of the petitions, transcripts, briefs, and correspondence related to the case, for preservation and study. The donated collection also includes the annotated typescript and proofs of Cleary’s book Beyond the Burning Cross: The First Amendment and the Landmark R.A.V. Case (Random House, 1994).

R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul revolved around the case of a teenager (known in court documents only as R.A.V. and represented by Cleary as an appointed public defender) who was charged under a St. Paul bias-crime ordinance for burning a cross on an African American family’s lawn. The charge was dismissed by the trial court, reinstated by the Minnesota Supreme Court, and ultimately dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision. Under the First Amendment, a government entity may not punish expression on the grounds that it does not approve of the ideas being expressed. In the R.A.V. case, SCOTUS said the St. Paul ordinance could not be enforced because it “prohibits otherwise permitted speech solely on the basis of the subjects the speech addresses.” R.A.V. is the most-cited SCOTUS opinion to come from a case originating in Minnesota in the state’s history. 

At the dinner commemorating the Law School’s 125th anniversary in October 2013, R.A.V. was honored—having been chosen from among 150 cases worked by Law School alumni—as the case that had most helped to shape the legal system. Other Minnesota Law graduates were involved in the case, as well. Michael Cromett (’78) was of counsel to Cleary. Tom Foley (’72) was Ramsey County attorney at the time and represented the appellant at the Minnesota Supreme Court; Foley was also the respondent in the SCOTUS case. Judge Charles Flinn (’65) presided in the juvenile court where R.A.V. first appeared with Cleary. Allen Saeks (’56) joined the amicus curiae briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and represented the Anti-Defamation League. A number of other Law School alumni and professors were involved in the amicus briefs that were filed in support of one side or the other.

Cleary was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Minnesota Gov. Dayton in 2011, after having served as a judge for the state’s 2nd Judicial District (Ramsey County) since 2002. Before that he was director of the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (1997-2002), a lawyer in private practice for nearly 20 years, and an assistant public defender for Ramsey County. In 1996, Beyond the Burning Cross was named the winner of the American Library Association’s Oboler Memorial Award, which honors the nation’s best work on intellectual freedom.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Finals Study Break: Wednesday, Dec. 13

Come out next Wednesday for a study break during finals!  Grab coffee and tasty fresh-baked donuts outside the Riesenfeld Rare Books Center.

When: Wednesday, December 13, 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Where: Outside the Riesenfeld Rare Books Center (N30 - on the sub-plaza past Sullivan Cafe)
What: Coffee and donuts!

Good luck on finals, and best wishes for the holidays from the Law Library!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

New Acquisitions: Clarence Darrow Collection

The Law Library’s nationally preeminent Clarence Darrow Collection has recently grown through several notable acquisitions and donations. 

The Library has acquired four volumes of Herbert Spencer’s nine-volume System of Synthetic Philosophy from an online auction held by Sotheby's. The volumes, published in 1890 and 1891, come from Clarence Darrow's personal library. Each volume features Darrow's bookplate and signature. 

Spencer (1820-1903) was an English philosopher and political and social theorist who was enormously influential in his time. He is credited with coining the phrase “survival of the fittest” after reading Darwin. In his 1864 work, The Principles of Biology, Spencer wrote: "[t]his survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called 'natural selection.'" 

In his later essay, "Why I Am An Agnostic," Darrow wrote, "man has always speculated upon the origin of the universe, including himself. I feel, with Herbert Spencer, that whether the universe had an origin - and if it had - what the origin is will never be known by man." It was a good chance that we were able to acquire books that Darrow not only owned, but that he read and that influenced him. Darwin's theory of evolution was at the heart of the famous Scopes Trial in 1925, in which Darrow argued against creationism, and it formed a central part of his pessimistic philosophy. Relatively recently, we also obtained a copy of the Reply Brief and Argument for the State of Tennessee from the Scopes Trial, to complement our copy of John Scopes' lawyers' briefs.

In addition to these volumes, the Library was fortunate to acquire by donation Darrow's personal set of Illinois Reports, formerly held by a law firm in Illinois. Many of the volumes show Darrow’s name on the spine, and a number include underlining in the text.

Finally, the Library has continued to expand its collection of Darrow photographs, spanning his life and career, and has collected another series of public debates and essays that Darrow participated in and penned, particularly in the 1920s, when Darrow was at the peak of his celebrity as a public intellectual and American iconoclast.  

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections, and Mike Hannon, Associate Director for Access Services & Digital Initiatives

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halloween, Oct 31: Special Rare Books Open House!

All are invited to the Riesenfeld Rare Books Center's special Halloween Open House, next Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.! 

Come out on Halloween to see spooky treasures from our collection - including witch trials (and other sensational trials) - and pick up free snacks, drinks, and Halloween candy!

Come out in costume and get a picture on our Tumblr page!

When: Tuesday, Oct. 31st, 12 p.m - 3 p.m.
Where: Riesenfeld Rare Books Center
What: Rare books, snacks, drinks, candy and costumes!

(The Center is in N30, sub plaza on the hallway past Sullivan Cafe and N20.)

Friday, October 20, 2017

New Donation: Everett Fraser's Books and Notebooks

Recently the Law Library and Riesenfeld Center were fortunate to receive a donation of materials owned by former Dean Everett Fraser (1879-1971). The generous donation of annotated casebooks, notebooks and other books was a gift from Hennepin County District Court Judge Thomas Fraser, son of former U.S. congressman and Minneapolis mayor Donald Fraser (‘48), Humphrey Institute Senior Fellow Emerita Arvonne Fraser, and grandson of Dean Fraser. A legendary figure, Dean Fraser led the University of Minnesota Law School to national prominence from the 1920s to 1940s, and oversaw the Law School's move from Pattee Hall to the newly constructed Fraser Hall in 1929. Dean Fraser’s focus on curriculum reform – culminating in what became known as the “Minnesota Plan” – made him a recognized authority in innovative legal education and the training of lawyers for effective client advocacy and public service. Of particular personal interest in the collection is an undergraduate notebook, from 1901-1903, containing Fraser’s “Autobiography,” a unique record of his life growing up in Canada. The donation also includes the typescript speech Dean Fraser gave at the University of Minnesota to mark the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. Like other former and current faculty members, Dean Fraser's legacy as a scholar and educator lives on in the Law Library's Faculty Collection.

More on Dean Fraser's tenure can be found in the online edition of 'Never Whisper Justice': A Tribute in Photographs to the University of Minnesota Law School, and in Professor Robert Stein's book, In Pursuit of Excellence: A History of the University of Minnesota Law School.

 - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections


Friday, September 29, 2017

Wednesday, Oct. 4: Rare Books Open House

All are invited to the Riesenfeld Rare Books Center's first rare books open house of the semester, next Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.! 

Come out to enjoy free snacks and drinks, and see treasures from the library's rare books and special collections.

Best of all: enter a contest to win a Supreme Court bobblehead! (The Center has a complete collection, and some will be on display.)

When: Wednesday, October 4th, 12 p.m - 3 p.m.
Where: *Riesenfeld Rare Books Center
What: Rare books, bobbleheads, snacks and prizes!

(*The Center is in N30, sub plaza on the hallway past Sullivan Cafe and N20.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Monday, September 18: Constitution Day Donuts!

Come out and celebrate Constitution Day in the Law Library!  

Come and grab donuts and coffee, as well as a quiz about the US Constitution, for prizes.  Don't be ashamed, take a selfie with James Madison!

When: Monday, September 18th, 11 a.m - 1 p.m.
Where: Library Lobby
What: Donuts, coffee, and prizes!

We'll have on display some rare books from the collection, and a sign up for the rare books group also.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Acquisitions: Early US Supreme Court Cases

American law is one of the main areas of
collection in the Law Library's Riesenfeld Center, including law of the early republic, and early and separate printings of Supreme Court cases and case-related documents.

Recently we acquired several new and interesting titles related to early Supreme Court cases and issues, two of which represent key decisions of the Marshall Court. The titles and cases are below, along with several interesting features.   

The Answer and Pleas of Samuel Chase...to the Articles of Impeachment (1805). The impeachment of Justice Samuel Chase was a highly political affair, as Chase had become a target of Jefferson and the anti-federalists, who sought to remove him from the bench for his conduct as a trial judge. He was acquitted by the Senate and remains the only Supreme Court justice ever impeached. Our copy includes the rare replication and exhibits in the case.

National Intelligencer newspaper (from Saturday, March 6, 1824), featuring on the front page the first printing of John Marshall's majority opinion in the case of Gibbons v. Ogdendecided four days earlier. In this foundational Supreme Court case on the commerce clause, Thomas Gibbons challenged Aaron Ogden's monopoly right, granted by New York, to operate steamboats on its waters. Former business partners, Gibbons had been sued by Ogden for operating another steamboat line, between Elizabeth, New Jersey, and New York. Gibbons argued that interstate commerce, including navigation for the purpose of commerce, was regulated by Congress and that his right was vindicated by a 1793 federal law. In the Supreme Court, Gibbons prevailed, with important consequences for federal authority to regulate states

Opinion of the Supreme Court...in the Case of Samuel P. Worchester (1832).  Samuel Worchester and others were indicted under Georgia law for residing in "the Cherokee nation without a license." Chief Justice Marshall wrote the majority opinion, invalidating the Georgia statute that regulated citizens' relations with the Cherokee. Only the federal government and Congress had the power to enter into relations with sovereign nations, Marshall declared, of which the Cherokee was one.

Opinions of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Case of the Proprietors of Charles River Bridge (1837).  In 1785 and in 1828 Massachusetts granted charters to two bridge companies to build over the Charles River in Boston. The earlier-chartered company sued, claiming the state had broken its contract. The Marshall Court heard the case, but did not render a decision. When reargued several years later, the Taney Court sided with the second company, agreeing that the original charter should be construed narrowly and did not imply exclusive rights.  

 - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Networks and Connections: Digital Projects and British Legal History

Several weeks ago, I attended and presented at the 23rd British Legal History Conference, a biennial meeting held this year at University College London. The University and its Wilkins Building offered a wonderful venue for explorations of British legal history and for this year's conference theme, networks and connections. Amidst a busy program of stimulating papers and discussions, several presentations had connections to a digital project recently undertaken at the Riesenfeld Center. The project will create a digital site for documents relating to an extraordinary woman, Anna Petronella Woodart, an 18th-century Jamaican manumitted from slavery by her father, naturalized as a British citizen, and made heir to his estate in Jamaica and England.        

Holly Brewer, a noted scholar of early American history and the British empire, set out in her plenary lecture a persuasive argument that slavery was part of English common law from an early, formative period, and that the institution was accommodated within common law in various ways. Brewer noted the role of Charles II and his family at the head of the slave trade, suggested its importance to the English economy in the 17th century, and touched on developing slavery laws in the British colonies of the Caribbean and North America. Another paper, by Aaron Graham, focused on legislation in Jamaica from 1664-1839, while Lee Wilson treated slavery in the Atlantic world with a focus on South Carolina. Tim Soriano discussed colonial Sierra Leone - colonized in part by Jamaicans - and a number of other papers touched on colonial legal questions and issues as well.  
Map reproduction courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal
Map Center at the Boston Public Library
Our project is to create a digital site for the documents held in our collection relating to Anna Petronella Woodart, and to contextualize some aspects of her life and the period in which she lived. Although extraordinary and unusual, Anna's life sheds light on broad issues of law, society and economy in colonial Jamaica, and on networks of relations across the Atlantic world, from Kingston to Philadelphia, which were anchored in London. 

One terrific new database developed by University College London has already proven useful in understanding the slave-owning English family of the Fosters, of whom Anna was a member. The database contains the identity of all slave-owners in the British colonies at the time slavery ended and all estates in the British Caribbean colonies to 1833. It is an extremely impressive and very useful collection of relevant material, and represents a remarkable tool for researchers. The database is part of a wider initiative, the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership, which opened last September and promises to shed much further light on the role of slavery in the British empire.

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections


A Visit Abroad: Middle Temple Library

A view of Middle Temple Library
During the recent British Legal History Conference, I had the good opportunity of a tour at Middle Temple Library, courtesy of Bernadette Keeley, an expert guide and the librarian for the Library's UK and US collections. 

A private library for the barristers of Middle Temple - one of the historic Inns of Court in London - Middle Temple Library also contains a terrific rare books collection, including over 9,000 printed volumes and 300 manuscripts. The nucleus of the rare collection was formed from the library of Robert Ashley (1565–1641), through a bequest in his will. The Library itself was built in 1650 and escaped the Fire of London in 1666. Its early collection is recorded in print in the Bibliotheca Illustris Medii Templi Societis (London, 1700). The extent of the current collection, rare and modern, is cataloged and accessible online.  

Among standout treasures in the rare collection are the first printed English law book, the Abbreviamentum statutorum, printed 1481/82 by Machlinia and Lettou, and a manuscript copy of draft Parliamentary acts from 1652 and 1653. Beyond the rare collection, the historic Middle Temple Hall, dating to 1562, is another treasure, and the hallways leading to it feature famous portraits of Temple members, including William Blackstone.        

Today, head librarian Renae Satterley oversees a busy modern library as well as the rare books collection that provided service to the young barristers educated there centuries ago. One of the Library's recent projects was the digitization of the Treasurer's Receipt Books, from 1800-1922, and the Library has used their archives to connect barristers to the rich history of their society. 
There is currently also an excellent rare books exhibit on display, "Disagreeing Badly: Religious Dispute in Early Modern Europe," curated by Dr. Stefan Bauer and Bethany Hume of the University of York. The exhibition highlights collection items from the "age of confessional polemic," the 16th and 17th centuries, including the first vernacular translation of the Quran. In a surprising (and wonderful) connection to the University of Minnesota, the exhibit text was adapted from a text by University of Minnesota English Professor Nabil Matar.

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections 


Monday, June 5, 2017

The Hermann Kantorowicz Collection at the UMN Law Library

Hermann Kantorowicz (1877-1940)
The University of Minnesota Law Library and Riesenfeld Rare Books Center are pleased to announce the creation of the Hermann Kantorowicz Collection, a significant collection of books and articles formerly owned by Hermann Kantorowicz (1877-1940), one of the twentieth century’s most eminent legal scholars. Comprising over 1,850 titles from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries, the Kantorowicz Collection includes notable early modern works, and rare and important scholarship on medieval law, jurisprudence, criminal law and German constitutional law, among other fields. Previously dispersed throughout the Law Library’s collections, Kantorowicz’s library has recently been identified and organized into a discrete collection in the Riesenfeld Center. 

A jurist of the highest stature, Hermann Kantorowicz reflected on some of the most important legal and political questions of his time. Born in Poznan, Germany, in 1877, Kantorowicz studied law at the University of Berlin, where he was influenced by Franz von Liszt and Emil Seckel. A noted early work was a historical study of criminal law, which drew on his expertise in the medieval jus commune, a central area of research over his career. In 1906, under the pseudonym Gneaus Flavius, Kantorowicz published one of the fundamental works of jurisprudence in the 20th century, Der Kampf um die Rechtswissenschaft. As a critique of both natural law theory and excessive formalism in the application of law, the treatise articulated a far-reaching view, that a more ‘free’ judicial interpretation was required to fill unavoidable lacunae in the written law. The work was called the foundation of the Free Law movement in Germany by fellow legal giant Gustav Radbruch, and prefigured the development of legal realism, perhaps the most influential school of legal interpretation in the US in the first half of the last century. 

Kantorowicz was known as an outspoken law professor at Freiburg and then Kiel, where he was removed from his post in 1933 by the Nazi government. Neither his Jewish heritage nor his political views would have allowed him to remain safely, and in the same year Kantorowicz moved to England with his family. After a short period of teaching in the United States, he returned to teach at Cambridge and the London School of Economics; between 1934 and his death in 1940, Kantorowicz taught primarily legal history at Oxford and Cambridge. Over a productive career, he published numerous works in German and also some influential work in English. With his important contributions, particularly to the fields of jurisprudence, legal history and criminal law, Kantorowicz remains a towering legal figure of the twentieth century.  

The Kantorowicz Collection sheds particular light on the scholars and works with which Kantorowicz was engaged, as well as his own work, published during his career in Germany and in England. Highlights include Kantorowicz’s own annotated copy of Der Kampf um die Rechtswissenschaft (1906), his key contribution to jurisprudence; manuscript lecture notes from the mid-nineteenth century, inscribed to Kantorowicz by his friend Gustav Radbruch; Kantorowicz’s marked (underlined) copy of Grotius’s seminal De jure belli ac pacis (1651); and marked and unmarked copies of a broad range of important scholarship, with a focus on medieval Roman and canon law, the theory and practice of criminal law, and the philosophy of law. Other items stand on their own, including a first edition of Hegel’s Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts (1821), and a manuscript of student notes on Savigny’s lectures on the Pandects. Taken together, the Kantorowicz library is a valuable resource for study.

The Kantorowicz Collection is available for consultation in the Law Library’s Riesenfeld Center, and the titles in the collection can be viewed and downloaded here:


For further information or an appointment for research, please contact Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections (rgreenwo@umn.edu; 612-625-7323).

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections

The Hermann Kantorowicz Collection – History

The new Hermann Kantorowicz Collection at the Riesenfeld Center has an interesting, though not entirely known, history. The titles that form the collection were purchased in 1941, originally from Hermann Kantorowicz’s widow, Hilda, after the eminent jurist passed away in England in 1940. At the time, the more contemporary titles were dispersed in the Law Library's general circulating collection, usually with a bookplate to identify their origin. The books judged rare and special, ranging from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, were separated and later became part of the Arthur C. Pulling Rare Books Collection in the Riesenfeld Center. Correspondence from 2002 between Hermann Kantorowicz’s son, Frank, and Katherine Hedin, my predecessor, alerted me to the extent of our Kantorowicz material, and we decided to reunite the collection for better preservation and access. 

The project to assemble the Kantorowicz library was carried out by our colleague and collections expert extraordinaire, Ingrid Miza, and a student worker, Amanda Aho. Some Kantorowicz titles were identified based on notes in our catalog records, but Ingrid often relied on the more recondite art of recognizing likely bindings, subject areas and titles among works in the general collection. She also carefully deciphered handwritten entries in the original accession books, which contain the itemized purchase records from 1941. Identified items were checked for their Kantorowicz bookplates, and their accession numbers were matched to the accession records. Many of the titles were not represented in our catalog—or, in some cases, in WorldCat—and our rare books cataloger, Sarah Yates, did a wonderful job to catalog these. The collection was then
transferred to our closed Riesenfeld Center stacks. The nineteenth- and twentieth-century titles now reside largely in one aisle, and sixteenth- through eighteenth-century books have been kept in their existing rare books collections.

The question of why the books came to the UMN Law Library does not have a clear answer, though some guesses can be made. The correspondence from Kantorowicz’s son indicates that Hilda Kantorowicz first offered the titles for sale to Harvard Law Library. What Harvard did not want, according to Mr. Kantorowicz, was sold on to the University of Minnesota Law Library. My colleague Karen Beck at Harvard Law Library very kindly passed on copies of their relevant accession records, confirming that Harvard did purchase titles from Kantorowicz’s library about the same time in 1941. Harvard only purchased about 200 items, probably because their library already had copies of the remaining material. The
University of Minnesota Law Library director at the time, Arthur Pulling, had come from Harvard in 1912 and was responsible for building the library into a nationally significant research collection. When he departed in 1942, he returned to Harvard to become the law library director. It seems likely that his connections account for Minnesota receiving second consideration for the books. The developing collections of foreign and international law, as well as rare books, benefitted richly from the acquisition.

In addition to the collections of largely printed Kantorowicz material at the University of Minnesota Law Library, and at Harvard Law Library, there is also a collection - including the manuscript of Der Kampf um die Rechtswissenschaft - housed in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge. The bulk of Kantorowicz’s papers can be found at the University of Freiburg in Germany, and an important center for research in law, legal history and theory that bears the jurist's name is the Hermann Kantorowicz Institute at the University of Kiel.

For more on Kantorowicz, his work and his career, see the excellent chapter by David Ibbetson, "Hermann Kantorowicz (1877-1940) and Walter Ullmann (1910-1983)," in Jurists Uprooted: German-Speaking Emigre Lawyers in Twentieth-century Britain, ed. J. Beaton and R. Zimmermann (Oxford, 2004), 269-98; and the online biographical tribute to his father by Tom Carter.   

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections

Friday, May 19, 2017

Colonial New York Laws: David Gardiner, Eius Liber (1726)

(The following guest post is by our colleague Claire Stuckey, who has been doing terrific work to catalog our rare state law collection.  Some of these rare volumes date to the early colonial period, while others cover early state laws for those that achieved statehood later.) 

While cataloging a book for our rare collection, I found a bookplate and an inscription that led me to do some investigating, and I discovered a fascinating back story. I can’t confirm that the story is definitely related to the book we own, but it seems quite likely and is worth sharing.

The book in question is Actsof Assembly Passed in the Province of New-York, from 1691, to 1725, printed and sold by William Bradford, printer to the King’s most Excellent Majesty for the province of New-York, in 1726.  Bradford was the first printer in New York, and one of the earliest in the American colonies.  Benjamin Franklin sought employment from him, and an apprentice in his shop was John Peter Zenger.

At the front of this important volume of New York laws is an interesting bookplate. Although I was not able to identify the family crest as from the Gardiner family (discussed below), a single lion depicted on it may indicate Scotland. Sub cruce salus, the motto on the crest, is Latin for “salvation under the cross.” If anyone is able to discover more information on this crest, I would be very interested!

I had better luck with an inscription in the book: “David Gardiner, Ejus Liber 1726.” (Ejus liber means his book in Latin.) The date of the inscription, and the fact that the book is of New York laws, would fit with the book being the former property of a notable New York landholder, David Gardiner (1691-1751). The abbreviation, Esq., follows his name on his tombstone. According to a genealogical site, he was said to be a gentleman; a good farmer who kept about two hundred head of cattle, forty horses, and three thousand sheep; and a hunter who supposedly killed 365 wild ducks and sixty-five wild geese in one year. Most interestingly, he was the fourth proprietor of Gardiner’s Island and the first to be buried there.

Gardiner’s Island is a small island off of East Hampton, New York, which was granted in 1639 by King Charles I to David’s great-grandfather, Lion Gardiner (1599-1663). The island is still owned by the Gardiner family, and is the only American real estate still intact as part of an original royal grant. Lion also purchased the island from the Montaukett tribe, bartering a large black dog, blankets, a gun, powder, and shot. Lion and Wyandanch (1615-1658), the tribe’s sachem (primary chief), were said to be close friends, especially so after Lion arranged for the safe return of Wyandanch’s daughter when she was kidnapped by another tribe.

John Gardiner (1661-1738), Lion’s grandson and David’s father, had a brief encounter with the famed Captain Kidd (1645-1701), who visited the island in 1699 and buried some of his treasure there in John’s presence. Kidd told John that he would return to find the treasure intact or he would kill either John or David, who was eight years old at the time. Another story relates that he threatened to kill the entire family, should anything be missing from the buried treasure.

Kidd left the island shortly thereafter, sailing to Boston to meet with Lord Bellomont, the governor of the province of New York. Kidd trusted that Bellomont would help him clear his name of any wrongdoing with the English Crown. After all, he was officially a privateer for the English Crown, and Bellomont had been a major financial sponsor of Kidd’s in England. A series of circumstances, including quelling a near mutiny, had led Captain Kidd to piracy in 1698. Kidd’s trust in Bellomont was misguided, and he was arrested and shipped back to England. The treasure was retrieved from Gardiner’s Island and inventoried by commissioners for Bellomont, and a statement was taken from John Gardiner. Kidd was tried, found guilty, and eventually hanged (twice, because the rope broke) for the murder of a member of his crew and for piracy.

In 1953, the sixteenth proprietor of Gardiner’s Island, Robert David Lion Gardiner (1911-2004), took the Gardiner family’s copy of the inventory of Kidd’s Gardiner’s Island treasure with him to England when he and his wife attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was compared to the inventory taken when the treasure arrived in England with Kidd in 1699. They didn’t match.  There is at least one known piece of that treasure remaining in the United States. Captain Kidd gave John Gardiner’s wife a piece of gold silk, which is on view at the East Hampton Library.


   - Claire Stuckey, Cataloger

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tuesday, April 18: Celebrate Clarence Darrow's Birthday!

Come out and celebrate Clarence Darrow's birthday with the Law Library!  There will be great treats - cake and cupcakes - as well as a quiz about Darrow, his life and career, for prizes.  Don't forget to take a selfie with Clarence!

When: Tuesday, April 18, 11 a.m - 1 p.m.
Where: Library lobby
What: Birthday cake, cupcakes, and prizes!

The Law Library and Riesenfeld Center holds the preeminent collection of Darrow autograph letters, as well as works by and about Darrow and his career.

It is never too late for good presents!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Medieval Manuscripts in the Rare Books Collection

One of the interesting and valuable finds in early modern books are medieval manuscript fragments. Used at the time to strengthen the books' bindings, particularly along the spines, they have since become a subject of interest for book historians. In our collection we occasionally come across these fragments - technically our earliest materials - and have recorded several examples. More spectacular and more rare are books that are fully covered in medieval manuscript leaves, of which we also have a few.

These volumes often draw the interest of visitors and scholars, not only for the beauty and antiquity of their bindings, but also for the fragmentary manuscripts they preserve. Two examples in the collection are a 1575 edition of the Italian jurist Alessandro Tartagni's commentary on the Corpus juris civilis (the collection of Roman law received during the Middle Ages, which forms the basis of modern civil laws), and an influential Scottish collection of medieval laws and customs, the Regiam maiestatem Scotiae (1613).

Tartagni (1424-1477) was a legal standout of his day, a widely renowned, semi-itinerant jurist sometimes called the 'doctor of truth' or the 'golden doctor.' He taught canon and Roman law - as the latter was adapted to early Renaissance Italian life - to students who filled the cities as lawyers, diplomats, teachers and bureaucrats. Tartagni himself received doctorates from Bologna, the first and most famous medieval law school, and taught at Pavia, Ferrara, Padua, and Bologna, where he died. Each of our volumes of Tartagni's four-volume commentary on Roman law is covered in vellum (or animal skin) leaves from 13th-century manuscripts.  

At left is a detail from the cover of Tartagni's commentary on the middle books of Justinian's Digest of Roman law, known as the Infortiatum. Strikingly, the pictured manuscript leaf also includes an early commentary on the Digest. The leaf shows a section of book 19 of the Digest, on locatio conductio, or contracts for leasing goods and hiring services. The Roman legal text is in black, with red and blue initial letters to focus the reader's eye. A surrounding marginal gloss - a kind of abbreviated commentary - can be seen in a fainter brown ink. Just as Tartagni was commenting on Roman law in his volumes, a medieval scribe was filling the margins of his manuscript with short explanations of the same texts. A small history of evolving thought and pedagogy can thus be seen at a glance; all the more so as 16th-century editors then added footnotes to Tartagni's commentary. 

The Regiam maiestatem Scotiae is equally interesting, even if the connection between the text and the covering manuscript leaf is less clear. Grand in scope, the Regiam maiestatem was composed in Scotland in the 14th century and includes parts of Glanvill's medieval Treatise on the Laws and Customs of England, as well as elements of Roman and canon law, and ancient Scottish laws. Our edition was published in London, four years after the first edition compiled by John Skene was published in Edinburgh.

The manuscript that covers our Regiam maiestatem, at right, is a late 13th- or 14th-century antiphonal (or antiphonary), a liturgical book used for chanting the divine office in choir. It was tailored for use by monks, and needed to be large enough to be read by a small group. The particular leaf that covers the front and back of our volume is very similar to this leaf online (and the music can be sung with the aid of modern notation). Notably ours features a more intricate decorated initial letter "E." Monastic liturgical books were not much in demand in early modern Protestant Scotland, which may help explain its repurposed use here. Yet its aesthetics were not lost on an early modern binder, who positioned the beautiful "E" across the spine, where it would be seen more easily.  

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections    


Monday, April 3, 2017

Wednesday, April 5: Rare Books Open House

All are invited to the Riesenfeld Center's monthly rare books open house, this Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.! Come out to enjoy free snacks and drinks, and see more treasures from the Library's rare books and special collections - including gems of early Minnesota law!

Rare Books Open House

When: Wednesday, April 5, 12 p.m - 3 p.m.
Where: Riesenfeld Rare Books Center (N30, on the sub-plaza past Sullivan Cafe).
What: Treasures from the rare books and special collections, and free snacks and drinks.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

Announcement for the Ninth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition:

The Legal History and Rare Books (LH&RB) Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), in cooperation with Cengage Learning, announces the Ninth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School.

The competition is designed to encourage scholarship and to acquaint students with the AALL and law librarianship, and is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, and related fields. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses to attend the AALL Annual Meeting. 

Winning and runner-up entries will be invited to submit their entries to Unbound, the official journal of LH&RB. Past winning essays have gone on to be accepted by journals such as N.Y.U. Law ReviewAmerican Journal of Legal HistoryUniversity of South Florida Law ReviewWilliam & Mary Journal of Women and the LawYale Journal of Law & the Humanities, and French Historical Review.

The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website: www.aallnet.org/sections/lhrb/awards 

Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m.April 17, 2017 (EDT).

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wednesday, March 1: Rare Books Open House

All are invited to the Riesenfeld Center's second rare books open house this semester, next Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.! Come out to enjoy free snacks and drinks, and see more treasures from the Library's rare books and special collections!

Rare Books Open House

When: Wednesday, March 1, 12 p.m - 3 p.m.
Where: Riesenfeld Rare Books Center (N30, on the sub-plaza past Sullivan Cafe).
What: Treasures from the rare books and special collections, and free snacks and drinks.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Wednesday, February 8: Spring Exhibits Open House

All are invited to an open house this Wednesday, February 8, for the Law Library's 2017 spring exhibits:

"Rights Writ Large: Between the State and the Individual in International Law" and "Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective"

Open House:    Wednesday, February 8, 2017
                         12 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
                         Riesenfeld Rare Books Center (N30, Sub-plaza)

                         Snacks and refreshments will be served.

 “Rights Writ Large: Between the State and the Individual in International Law,” explores the rich history of rights discourse in international law, from early modern treatises on the laws of war and peace, to contemporary international humanitarian law, to highlight interrelated origins and important contemporary questions.   

Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective,” consider a question as enduring as conflict itself - by what means, and how far, are deep violations of law and justice to be redressed in the wake of conflict - with reference to interesting examples and practices of transitional justice in history. 

For more information about the exhibits, please see the links above.  The exhibits will be open from February 8 through June 2, 2017, in the Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center.  For more information or directions, please contact Ryan Greenwood (rgreenwo@umn.edu; 612-625-7323).

New 2017 Spring Exhibit: "Rights Writ Large"

Hugo Grotius, Mare liberum (1633)
The University of Minnesota Law Library and Riesenfeld Rare Books Center are pleased to announce the 2017 spring exhibits:

“Rights Writ Large: Between the State and the Individual in International Law” together with “Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective”

“Rights Writ Large: Between the State and the Individual in International Law,” highlights the rich history of rights discourse in international law.  The rights of nations – primarily the right of war to maintain territory – were framed as the basis of their relations by Hugo Grotius and others in the early modern period.  At the same time, and drawing on the same sources, the rights of individuals began to play a larger role in national political movements, as the foundation of legitimate government.  In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the rights of individuals took on increasing importance in international law, first in the context of war, and finally as universal human rights defined by international conventions and protocols.

Sir Hersh Lauterpacht (1897-1960)
This exhibit, drawn from the rich Arthur C. Pulling Rare Books Collection, considers the historical “dialogue of rights” between states and individuals in international law, and sources that have influenced that dialogue, to highlight interrelated origins that still inform important questions in contemporary international law.

Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective,” is also on display through the spring.  This exhibit explores a question as enduring as conflict itself: by what means, and how far, are deep violations of law and justice to be redressed in the wake of conflict?  The exhibit showcases volumes that touch on theories and moments of transitional justice and post-conflict reconciliation: from the first legal commentary on a peace treaty, to the trial of Charles I of England, and the notebook of a Dachau war crimes prosecutor, the exhibit invites visitors to consider transitional justice from its foundations in history and comparative practice. 

“Rights Writ Large: Between the State and the Individual in International Law,” and “Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective,” are on display from February 8 through June 2, 2017, in the Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center.  For more information or directions, please contact Ryan Greenwood (rgreenwo@umn.edu; 612-625-7323).

The exhibits were designed and curated by Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections, Pat Graybill, Digital Technology Specialist, and Ian Moret, Special Collections Assistant. 

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday, February 2: Rare Books Open House

All are invited to the Riesenfeld Center's first rare books open house of the semester, next Thursday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.! Come out to enjoy free snacks and drinks, and see more treasures from the Library's rare books collection!

Rare Books Open House

When: Thursday, February 2, 12 p.m - 3 p.m.
Where: Riesenfeld Rare Books Center (N30, on the sub-plaza past Sullivan Cafe)
What: Treasures from the rare books collection, and free snacks and drinks!