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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


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