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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Upcoming Exhibits (Part II): Treasures of the Swedish Law Collection

This spring semester, a second exhibit will partner with "Noted and Notable: Treasures of the Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center." The second exhibit, “‘Böcker Har Sina Öden’ (Books Have Their Destinies): Treasures of the Swedish Law Collection at the Riesenfeld Center,” will meditate on the artifactual value of books through the prism of our outstanding Swedish law collection. In the exhibit, Professor Eric Bylander, Distinguished University Professor in the Faculty of Law, Uppsala University, describes Swedish law books he has chosen for their uniqueness as historical objects. In particular, he has identified notable owners of the volumes, and physical features that draw attention to the richness of these treasured books. As Professor Bylander shows, the books in our Swedish collection, too, have had their various destinies – they have gained their individual significance through time, and have eventually found a home here in Minnesota.

A rare book collector and an expert in heraldry, Professor Bylander developed a keen eye for rare law books that reflect on the history of Swedish law through their prior owners, often noted Swedish lawyers and politicians. Professor Bylander's own journey to Minnesota is also notable. He first visited the Law School in 1997, as an exchange student, and has returned twice as a visiting professor, most recently in 2019. His interests in our collection were piqued during a visit in 2015, and some of the results of his research into the collection will be on display. For more on our Swedish law collection, please see our earlier blog post, and stay tuned for more information about the spring exhibits.

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections  

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