Rare Books Blog

Institutiones imperiales (Cölle, 1563)
March 13, 2014

Institutiones imperiales latinogermanicae : die vier bücher Institutionum Keisers Ivstiniani… [The Latin-German Institutes of the Emperor: the four books of Emperor Justinian’s Institutes…]. Cöllen: Erben Johann Quentels vnd Gerwinem Galenium, 1563.    

This book contains a parallel text of Emperor Justinian’s Institutes in Latin and German, translated by 16th-century German lawyer Justin Göbler.

The text block is printed on handmade paper in black ink, and sewn on split thongs laced into paper boards made with printer’s waste. The book is covered in alum-tawed skin and blind-tooled with decorative rolls. One roll depicts the biblical characters David and Goliath, and the other is a palmette frieze motif commonly used on books of this period.

 

The two images above show an RTI of the palmettes roll (left), and a rubbing of a similar roll (right) found in the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve (DELTA 54853 RES, Thomas à Kempis, Opera Omnia).

 

The image on the left above is an RTI image of the second decorative roll, and on the right are the results of a rubbing of that roll. Using the transcribed text seen in the RTI images of the roll, we were able to find an exact match in Einbandattenbank (EBDB). The text reads DAVID SCHLEGT GOLIATH DEN PHILISTER HAVPTM; “David strikes Goliath, the headman of the Philistines”.

           –Notes by Fionnuala Gerrity. Translation of the title and stamp text is courtesy of Professor Rebekah Ahrendt, Yale Department of Music.

“Reflections on Bindings: Using New Imaging Technology to Study Historical Bindings,” is on display from February 3 - May 24, 2014, on Level L2 in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.  The curators are Chief Conservator Christine McCarthy and Conservation Assistants Fionnuala Gerrity, Ansley Joe, and Karen Jutzi, Yale University Library.

Institutionum (Nuremberg, 1529)
March 10, 2014

Institutionum : seu elementorum d. Iustiniani … libri quatvor … [Institutes: or elements of Justinian … four volumes…]. Nuremberg: apvd Io. Petreium, 1529.

This binding has a decorative roll depicting Biblical scenes which were identified from the text captions. Using RTI images of the bindings, Karen Jutzi transcribed the text and found the biblical passages from which the phrases derived. Fionnuala Gerrity then searched for other decorative tools containing similar text.

The text on the panels from the decorative roll reads, from left to right:

ECCE VIRGO CONCIPIET

 “Behold a virgin shall conceive” There fore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 

APSORBTA EST MORS [IN VICTORIA]

“Death was swallowed up [in victory] When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortal, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:54

IPSE PECC(A)TA NOSTRA TULIT [IN CORPORE SUO…]

“He himself bore our sins [on his body…]” He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness, by this wounds you have been healed.  1 Peter 2:24

      –Notes by Fionnuala Gerrity, and text identification by Karen Jutzi

“Reflections on Bindings: Using New Imaging Technology to Study Historical Bindings,” is on display from February 3 - May 24, 2014, on Level L2 in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.  The curators are Chief Conservator Christine McCarthy and Conservation Assistants Fionnuala Gerrity, Ansley Joe, and Karen Jutzi, Yale University Library.

Institutionum (Nuremberg, 1529)
March 7, 2014

Institutionum : seu elementorum d. Iustiniani … libri quatvor … [Institutes: or elements of Justinian … four volumes…]. Nuremberg: apvd Io. Petreium, 1529.

This book contains the Institutes of Justinian, a 6th-century codification of Roman law, edited by the 16th-century German jurist Gregor Haloander.

The text block is printed in black ink, and sewn onto split thongs (the bumps along the spine). The boards are made of wood, which was covered in alum-tawed pigskin and decorated with a blind tooled roll, center panel stamps, and a stamped coat of arms on the front cover.

The book was printed in Nuremburg, and the coat of arms stamped on the cover contains the Greater and Lesser coats of arms for the city of Nuremberg underneath the arms of the Holy Roman Empire, with the Austrian State arms in the center. We were unable to identify the coat of arms at the base of design. Examination under a microscope revealed that the coat of arms had once been painted with gold.

           –Notes by Fionnuala Gerrity

                                               

Arms of Holy Roman Emperor                          Greater and Lesser Arms, Nuremberg                       

      Arms Stamped on Cover

“Reflections on Bindings: Using New Imaging Technology to Study Historical Bindings,” is on display from February 3 - May 24, 2014, on Level L2 in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.  The curators are Chief Conservator Christine McCarthy and Conservation Assistants Fionnuala Gerrity, Ansley Joe, and Karen Jutzi, Yale University Library.

Ryan Greenwood
March 6, 2014

Ryan Greenwood, our 2013/14 Rare Book Fellow, is the subject of the latest “Bright Young Librarians” feature in the blog of Fine Books & Collections Magazine, “profiling the next generation of special collection librarians and curators.” Ryan discusses his background and his views on special collections librarianship.

Ryan had this to say about the future of special collections librarianship:

I think one key is the synergy between digital projects and special collections and rare book librarianship. The huge number of digital projects are varied, useful and appealing for librarians, various other educators and audiences, and they will continue to point back to the physical collections which underlie them. At the same time the easy access and appeal of digital collections challenges rare book and special collections departments to expand outreach and teaching opportunities in new ways, and to promote new digital projects. It’s a complimentary process which pushes libraries outward, and encourages increased collaboration with academic departments and other institutions.

Amen.

– MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian

The Constitution of the United States (Hartford, 1788)
February 24, 2014

The Rare Book Collection’s resources on U.S. constitutional history were spotlighted in a video produced for Yale Law School Professor Akhil Reed Amar’s online course, “Constitutional Law.”  The video is available on YouTube, and can be viewed via the link below.

Teaching Assistant Lauren Biksacky hosted the video interview. The featured items included our first edition of The Federalist (1788), the proceedings of the Massachusetts ratification convention, and one of the earliest Connecticut printings of the U.S. Constitution, a 1788 Hartford printing that is bound with a set of early Connecticut session laws that once belonged to Seth P. Staples, one of the founders of the Yale Law School (pictured here).

Professor Amar’s popular “Constitutional Law” class is a massive open online course (MOOC) that is reaching tens of thousands of students around the world, giving them the chance to learn from one of the leading Constitutional scholars of our time. Anyone with an interest can sign up, for free, for the 12-week online course, at the course website, https://www.coursera.org/course/conlaw. Coursera is a collaborative project of universities and institutions from around the world, including Yale, with the goal “to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.”

– MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian

 

 

 

New exhibit: "350 Years of Rebellious Lawyering"
February 20, 2014

In conjunction with the 20th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference at the Yale Law School, the Law Library’s Rare Book Collection has a new exhibit, “350 Years of Rebellious Lawyering,” showcasing nine historic examples of public interest lawyering.

Leach, The bribe-takers of jury-men partiall, dishonest, and ignorant discovered and abolished

William Leach. The bribe-takers of jury-men partiall, dishonest, and ignorant discovered and abolished; and, honest, judicious, able, and impartiall restored. London, 1652.

“Leach brought his experience as a common attorney, as well as a defendant, to the public discussion of legal reform that followed the execution of Charles I in 1649. … In The Bribe-Takers of Jury-Men (1652) he complained that the fall in money values allowed such disreputable types as ‘needy alehouse-keepers’, who were subject to pressure from their bailiff customers, to sit on lower court juries.” – Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


Pearce, The poor man's lawyer

Thomas Pearce. The poor man’s lawyer, or, Laws relating to the inferior courts laid open. London, 1755.

“Therefore Gaolers are the Oppressors of the People; and their Fees are Extortion; and that Thief-Catchers, Hussars and Pandours, are a Confederacy of wicked People, chiefly designed to entrap poor unwary People; and are the chief Causes of Hurrying poor abandoned Wretches into their Wiles and Contrivances.” – page 71.


Eckartshausen, Handbuch fur Kriminalrichter

Karl von Eckartshausen (1752-1803). Handbuch für Kriminalrichter. Munich, 1792.

“The present work deals with historical jurisprudence (early legislation of the ancients as well as Germans and the English) and criminology; included are the theories of Beccaria and von Soden. There is a section dealing with the bad state of prisons.” – Jeffrey D. Mancevice, Inc., August 2008 List, no. 20.


Considerazioni di Francesco Mario Pagano sul processo criminale

Francesco Mario Pagano (1748-1799). Considerazioni di Francesco Mario Pagano sul processo criminale. Milan, 1801.

“Following on from Beccaria and Montesquieu, Pagano was convinced that by means of a reform of penal law existing social and political structures could be changed, if there was enough will for reform. Pagano was one of the most active and influential members of the republican government in Naples in 1799. With the return of the Bourbons he was arrested and executed, despite the guarantees given to the Republicans in the capitulation agreement.” – Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books (April 2010)


Argument of William H. Seward in defence of William Freeman

Argument of William H. Seward in defence of William Freeman, on his trial for murder. Auburn, N.Y., 1846.

Freeman, an African American, murdered an entire family with an axe. “His trial, and particularly his defense by former Governor William H. Seward, aroused great excitement because of the plea of insanity. … The case did much to insure a better hearing for the insane who, until then, received small consideration in the courts.” (McDade, Annals of Murder).


Boston slave riot, and trial of Anthony Burns

Boston slave riot, and trial of Anthony Burns. Boston, 1854.

“The trial and rendition of Anthony Burns was one of the most dramatic and famous incidents in the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act” (Finkelman, Slavery in the Courtroom). Several of Boston’s leading lawyers, including Richard Henry Dana, argued unsuccessfully for Burns’ release. After a disastrous attempt to rescue Burns, he was sent back to slavery under heavy military guard.


Argument of Clarence Darrow in the case of the Communist Labor Party

Argument of Clarence Darrow in the case of the Communist Labor Party in the Criminal Court, Chicago. Chicago, 1920.

“I am interested in the verdict of this jury as to whether this country shall be ruled by the conscienceless men who would stifle freedom of speech when it interferes with their gold; or whether this jury will stand by the principles of the fathers and, whether so far as you can, you will stop this mad wave that threatens to engulf the liberty of the American citizens.” – page 11


 pardon Tom Mooney-innocent

Governor Young: pardon Tom Mooney-innocent. San Francisco, 1930.

Tom Mooney (1882-1942), a militant labor organizer, and his colleague Warren Billings were framed on murder charges in 1916. Their death sentences were commuted to life in prison. This pamphlet is part of the decades-long campaign to win their release, which resulted in Mooney’s pardon in 1938. The Law Library has close to 30 items on the Mooney case.


Mr. Natural in Bailed out

Legal Self-Defense Group. Mr. Natural in Bailed out. Boston, 1971?

“Drawn in the style of Robert Crumb, and featuring his character ‘Mr. Natural,’ but signed ‘by a Follower of R. Crumb.’ The Legal Defense Group appears to have been a section of the Massachusetts Lawyers Guild, a left -wing legal consortium devoted to civil liberties.” – Lorne Bair Rare Books, Catalog 12, no. 94


“350 Years of Rebellious Lawyering” was curated by Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian, and Ryan Greenwood, the 2013/14 Yale Law Library Rare Book Fellow. The exhibit is open to the public, 9am-10pm daily, February 20 - April 30, 2014, on Level L2 in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

Institutionum: seu elementorum d. Iustiniani (Nuremberg, 1529)
February 10, 2014

Rare book bindings are fascinating objects, which are often beautifully decorated with intricate images. Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) offers exciting new possibilities for safely capturing a book’s surface decorations, revealing details that cannot be seen using traditional methods or the naked eye. A new exhibit of books treated to these innovative techniques is now on display at the Lillian Goldman Law Library.

“Reflections on Bindings: Using New Imaging Technology to Study Historical Bindings,” features books from the Rare Book Collection of the Law Library, which have been analyzed using RTI to show exquisite details from early modern blind-stamped bindings. These details can help us to identify the book’s early owners and understand attitudes about the books within the bindings.

The analysis was expertly undertaken by members of Yale University Library’s Conservation & Exhibition Services team, who curated the exhibit. The curators are Chief Conservator Christine McCarthy and Conservation Assistants Fionnuala Gerrity, Ansley Joe, and Karen Jutzi.

The exhibit is open to the public, 9am-10pm daily, February 3 - May 24, 2014, on Level L2 in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

For more information, contact Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian, at (203) 432-4494 or <mike.widener@yale.edu>.

Shown at left is one of the books on display, Institutionum: seu elementorum d. Iustiniani (Nuremberg, 1529).

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