Book Talk: The Yale Law School Guide to Research in American Legal History

Book Jacket: The Yale Law School Guide to Research in American Legal History
October 31, 2018

Please join the Lillian Goldman Law Library for a book talk with John B. Nann, Senior Librarian for Reference, Instruction and Collection Development and Lecturer in Legal Research, with commentary by Mike Widener, Rare Books Librarian and Lecturer in Legal Research. They will discuss John’s new book, The Yale Law School Guide to Research in American Legal History.

The event will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 2:10 – 3:00pm in SLB 129

The book arose from a course that Morris Cohen started at Yale Law School in the 1990s. John joined Morris in teaching the course before taking it over shortly before Morris passed in 2010.

Morris and John wanted to bring some of the classroom into the book. That desire lead to the addition of “research examples” in each chapter. They also thought about how teaching legal research in an historical context might allow them to restructure their approach to the material. Most legal research texts are organized “bibliographically” or by source of law. However, most of The Yale Law School Guide to Research in American Legal History is organized chronologically. The structure allows the book to have as a subtext a general description of the development of legal research in America.

The study of legal history has a broad application that extends well beyond the interests of legal historians. An attorney arguing a case today may need to cite cases that are decades or even centuries old, and historians studying political or cultural history often encounter legal issues that affect their main subjects. Both groups need to understand the laws and legal practices of past eras. This essential reference is intended for the many nonspecialists who need to enter this arcane and often tricky area of research. 

John B. Nann is Senior Librarian for Reference, Instruction and Collection Development, and Lecturer in Legal Research, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School. 

The late Morris L. Cohen was Law Librarian and Professor of Law at Yale, Harvard, Penn and SUNY-Buffalo Law Schools. 

Mike Widener is Rare Books Librarian and Lecturer in Legal Research, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School. 

Light refreshments will be provided.

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