Rare Book Collection

Welcome! The Rare Book Collection at the Lillian Goldman Law Library isone of the outstanding collections of historical law books and manuscripts in North America. The Collection supports the curriculum of the Yale Law School, and the research of students and faculty within Yale and far beyond. The collection also hosts an active exhibition program and digitization projects.
Collection highlights include:
  • The world's largest collection of the works of Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), author of *Commentaries on the Laws of England*.
  • Legal manuscripts from the 12th to the 20th centuries, including medieval treatises, English case reports, and student notebooks from the Litchfield Law School (1794-1826).
  • Close to 4,000 published trial accounts, with a special emphasis on American trials.
  • The Roman-Canon Law Collection of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (over 1,600 volumes), as well as growing holdings in the history of Roman and canon law.
  • Italian municipal statutes from the 14th to the 19th centuries, which represents the largest such collection in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The Juvenile Jurisprudence Collection, over 200 law-related children's books.
  • The Founders Collection, the nucleus of the original Yale Law Library.
  • The Walter L. Pforzheimer Collection of copyright law.
  • A growing collection of law books with illustrations.
For news on acquisitions, exhibits, and events, please visit the Yale Law Library Rare Books Blog.
Visitors may take a video tour of the Rare Book Collection. Close to 2,000 images from the collection are available on our Flickr site
The Rare Book Collection is located in the Paskus-Danziger Rare Book Room, on Level L2 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library.  
The hours are 9am-4pm, Monday-Friday.  Appointments are not required, but recommended in order to enable the staff to better serve you. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian, at (203) 432-4494 or by email at mike.widener@yale.edu.
Our mailing address is P.O. Box 208215, New Haven, CT 06520-8215, and our shipping address is 127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511-8918.

Rare Books Staff

Ryan Greenwood
Rare Book Fellow
Room 005 (L2)
Phone: 203-432-5678
Susan Karpuk
Rare Book Cataloger
Room 005 (L2)
Phone: 203-432-2512
Mike Widener
Rare Book Librarian & Lecturer in Legal Research
Room 003 (Level L2)
Phone: 203-432-4494