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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Law Library Publication Wins Prestigious Award

The Law Library is pleased to announce that it has received the 2024
 Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) for its publication, Jewels of the Collection: Treasures of the Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center (University of Minnesota Law Library, 2023). The Andrews Award recognizes significant textual contributions to legal bibliographical literature and is one of the most prestigious awards presented by AALL. The award criteria evaluate works for originality and creativity, and honor publications in legal bibliography, legal research, and those that advance the field of law librarianship.

Jewels of the Collection is a catalog of one hundred selected treasures from the Riesenfeld Rare Books Center's collections. Its aim is to introduce rare and unique legal materials that explore a global legal heritage. The catalog's selected items are accompanied by detailed descriptions that explain their significance and place them in historical context. Included in the publication are many books, pamphlets, letters, and other documents that represent important contributions to law and history, or are landmark 'firsts' of legal literature. Other items are notable for associations with famous authors and owners, such as Clarence Darrow, whose preeminent collection of letters is held at the Riesenfeld Center, or because they stand as unique artifacts and works of art. The volume trains a spotlight on familiar and lesser-known works that provide important insights into the historical development, and progress, of diverse traditions of law.

Jewels of the Collection was co-authored by Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections, and Patrick Graybill, the former Library Digital Initiatives Technologist, with editorial support from law librarians Michael HannonConnie Lenz, and Sarah YatesPublications authored or edited by the University of Minnesota Law librarians have now won the Joseph L. Andrews Award five times, a remarkable achievement.

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections

Thursday, May 9, 2024

New Law Library Digital Resource: Historical Foundations of First-Year Law School Cases

The University of Minnesota Law Library is pleased to announce the release of an exciting new digital resource, Classic Cases: Historical Foundations of First-Year Law School Cases.  It is also available through the link here, as part of the Law Library's growing digital collections.

Early in their legal education, law school students are introduced to foundational cases that highlight key doctrines of historical and current law, including classics such as Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad (1924), Hadley v. Baxendale (1854), and the complex rule against perpetuities from The Duke of Norfolk’s Case (1682). The reasoning and authorities relied on in these cases, drawn from the pages of first-year casebooks, offer valuable insight into the ways that lawyers have argued and judges have decided cases for centuries.

 

Classic Cases: Historical Foundations of First-Year Law School Cases features summaries of cases in five areas of law: constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. Following these summaries are discussions of selected historical precedents and authorities which contextualize the rulings and their contemporary frameworks.

 

The classic cases and their selected citations include the corresponding case reports and links to relevant volumes in the Law Library’s collections. The site also features further bibliography, images, and links to additional information. A timeline for the classic cases furnishes visual and chronological context. Researchers and students are encouraged to use the site to learn more about the development of the common law tradition. Of particular note, this site provides access to scans from selected volumes from the Library’s rich Arthur C. Pulling Rare Books Collection. These showcase the depth of the historical legal resources found in the Law Library’s Stefan A. Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center.  

 

Classic Cases: Historical Foundations of First-Year Law School Cases was supervised by Michael Hannon '98, Associate Director for Access Services & Digital Initiatives, and Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections, with the invaluable assistance of law students Rachel Canoun ‘24, Mason Medeiros ‘22, Loren Olson ‘26, and Alec Shaw ‘19, who wrote and edited the case summaries. Law Library colleagues Joy Brown, Digital Technologist, designed and built the digital site, and Sophia Charbonneau, Special Collections Assistant, assembled the materials featured on it, as well as provided editing and proofreading.

  

For more information about the digital site, please contact Ryan Greenwood (612-625-7323; rgreenwo@umn.edu).


Friday, April 12, 2024

Wednesday, April 17: Celebrate Clarence Darrow's Birthday!

Come out and celebrate Clarence Darrow's birthday with the Law Library, next Wednesday, April 17!  

Pick up cake and donuts in honor of Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), America's legendary defense attorney. Don't forget to take a quiz about Darrow's life and career for prizes, and take a selfie with the legal giant. 

When: Wednesday, April 17, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Where: Law Library lobby
What: Birthday cake, donuts, coffee, tea, and prizes!

The Law Library and Riesenfeld Center holds the preeminent collection of letters to and from Darrow, as well as works by and about the great attorney. For more information about Darrow, including some of his most famous cases, please see the Library's award-winning Darrow Digital Collection.



Sunday, March 31, 2024

Wednesday, April 3: Rare Books Open House!

Come out to the Riesenfeld Center's rare books open house for April, this Wednesday, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.!


Enjoy snacks and drinks, and see more treasures from the library's rare books and special collections!  

WhenWednesday, April 3, 12 p.m - 3 p.m.
WhereRiesenfeld Rare Books Research Center*
WhatRare books, bagged snacks and treats, and refreshments!


(*The Riesenfeld Center is in N30, on the subplaza past Student Orgs. in N20.)



14th Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

The Legal History and Rare Books Special Interest Section (LH&RB-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), in cooperation with The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., announces the Fourteenth 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 $1,000.00 prize from The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., and will be invited to present their paper to AALL members via webinar.

Winning and runner-up entries will be invited to submit their entries to UNBOUND: A Review of Legal History and Rare Books, the official journal of LH&RB. Past winning essays have gone on to be accepted by journals such as NYU Law Review, American Journal of Legal History, University of South Florida Law Review, William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, and the French Historical Review.

The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website:
 

Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., on May 15, 2024 (EDT).

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Wednesday, March 13: Rare Books Open House!

Come out to the Riesenfeld Center's rare books open house for March, this Wednesday, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.!

Enjoy snacks and drinks, and see treasures from the library's rare books and special collections! This month we highlight in particular Women's History month and St. Patrick's Day.

WhenWednesday, March 13, 12 p.m - 3 p.m.
WhereRiesenfeld Rare Books Research Center*
WhatRare books, bagged snacks and treats, and refreshments!


(*The Riesenfeld Center is in N30, on the subplaza past Student Orgs. in N20.)



Sunday, February 4, 2024

Dachau Exhibit Features Horace Hansen Collection Images

In 2021, The Riesenfeld Center released a digital exhibit commemorating the World War II career of Horace Hansen (1910-1995). Hansen was a St. Paul native and
 a chief prosecutor overseeing the main Dachau war crimes trials in occupied Germany. In that role, from 1945 to 1946, Hansen and his staff gathered evidence and prepared cases for trial at Dachau, representing the Dachau main camp trial, and the Buchenwald and Mauthausen camp trials. The trials held at the Dachau concentration camp became the largest prosecution of war crimes undertaken by American forces, resulting in more than 1,400 convictions. The Riesenfeld Center's digital exhibit features narrative accounts of Hansen's military service and war crimes investigations. In addition, the exhibit includes trial transcripts from the Dachau trials, images, and documents from Hansen's personal collection of papers, kindly donated to the Library by Jean Hansen Doth, Hansen's daughter. 


In 2022, the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, located at the notorious Nazi camp, opened a new exhibit, "Dachau Trials - Crimes, Proceedings, Responsibility." The exhibit commemorates the Dachau war crimes prosecutions, the devastating testimony and the criminal judgments passed against the accused camp staff and guards. The exhibit was opened on the 77th anniversary of the day of Dachau's liberation in 1945 and has now been extended through the end of 2024. In the exhibit, Horace Hansen has also found a place, by way of photographs he took as evidence of war crimes, and photos captured by the government at the Dachau trials that are contained in the Center's Hansen Collection. The latter images were used by the US Army to publicize and memorialize the tribunal's proceedings. We are grateful to contribute digital images to the exhibit at the Dachau Memorial, which will soon feature a virtual tour for online visitors.

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections