Rare Books Blog

 Cuba y sus jueces, by Raimundo Cabrera (1895)
November 15, 2016

A number of our recent acquisitions are in the field of Cuban law. Here are some of the highlights.

Raimundo Cabrera (1852-1923), Cuba y sus jueces: rectificaciones oportunas (8. ed.; Filadelfia: Cía. Lévytype, 1895).
Cabrera was a jurist, writer, journalist, and a leader in the fight for Cuban independence. His book is an extended argument for Cuban home rule. This edition was probably published in Philadelphia because the armed struggle for Cuban independence was in full swing by 1895. An English translation, Cuba and the Cubans, was issued the following year by the same publisher.

Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1867-1928), ¿Toros? (Habana: Compañía Editora de Libros y Folletos, 1940).
The text is a short story by Blasco Ibáñez, a prominent Spanish writer. There is an epigraph, “¿Permitiremos en nuestra Cuba un espectáculo tan cruel y anticubano?”, which in English is “In our Cuba, will we permit such a cruel and anti-Cuban spectacle?” The front cover is inscribed “Sr. Segundo Curtis / Ministro de Gobernación / Habana Oct. 1951”. Only two other U.S. libraries report owning copies.

13 leyes de gobierno revolucionario (Ministerio de Estado República de Cuba, 1960?). DALA Suplemento; no. 1.
This publication of the Departamento de Asuntos Latinoamericanos, aimed at a Latin American audience, gives special prominence to the agrarian reform laws. Only two other U.S. libraries report owning copies. The introduction states: “Economic underdevelopment has been the fundamental cause of the problems of social injustice, political instability, administrative corruption, and cultural backwardness that we Cubans have suffered, and the legal dispositions recently enacted have been aimed at eliminating this condition of inferiority, the cause of our ills, by transforming the semi-feudal economic structure we inherited from the colony.” [MW translation]

Mario Díaz Irizar, Comentarios a las leyes de marcas y patentes (Habana: Imprenta V. Alvarez Hno. y comp., 1917).
This treatise on Cuban trademark and patent law features dozens of stunning full-color illustrations of Cuban trademarks, including 22 leaves of plates. Only four other U.S. libraries have copies.

– MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian

Illustration from Mario Díaz Irizar, Comentarios a las leyes de marcas y patentes (1917).

Commission from Doge Andrea Gritti appointing Federico Renier as governor of Verona, 1530.
November 7, 2016

The role of imagery in the governance of Renaissance Venice will be explored in an exhibit talk sponsored by the Yale Law Library. Christopher W. Platts (History of Art, Yale University) will speak on “Representing the Law in Renaissance Venice: Images of Authority from the Reigns of Doges Leonardo Loredan (1501-21) and Andrea Gritti (1523-38)” on November 11, 2016, at 1pm in Room 121 of the Yale Law School.

Platts co-curated the Law Library’s current exhibition, “Representing the Law in the Most Serene Republic: Images of Authority from Renaissance Venice,” with Mike Widener, the Law Library’s rare book librarian. The exhibit is on display through December 16, 2016, in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery, on Level L2 of the Sterling Law Building.

The exhibition draws on the outstanding collection of Italian law books in the Law Library’s Rare Book Collection, along with drawings and medals from the Yale University Art Gallery and reproductions from the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. A catalogue of the exhibition is available online.

Platts is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art Department at Yale. His dissertation treats the development of Venetian Gothic painting during the early fourteenth century. Before Yale he trained in art history at Harvard and the Courtauld Institute in London, and at Yale he took an MPhil in Medieval Studies. The Law Library exhibit is not his first. At the Getty Museum in Los Angeles he conceived and co-curated the 2015 exhibition “Renaissance Splendors from the Northern Italian Courts.”

For more information, contact Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian, phone 203-432-4494, email <mike.widener@yale.edu>.

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