Magna Carta: History, Legacy, and Idea

June 12, 2015

The Magna Carta is recognized as one of the most important documents in the history of the law. To commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta this three part exhibition highlights the document’s legal, historical, and cultural significance.

An exquisite timeline details the history of the Magna Carta and its legacy. From the coronation of Æthelred the Unready in 979, through to the British Human Rights Act coming into force in 2000, significant events relating to the Magna Carta are detailed with gorgeous illustrations and concise text. 

An exhibit highlights the Magna Carta as Idea, focusing on the symbol of the Magna Carta and the rights it was thought to bestow rather than those it actually did. This display highlights the ideals prescribed upon the Magna Carta by time which have woven their way into the fabric of popular culture. 

A display of books and images includes books from the Law Library’s collection pertaining to the influence of the Magna Carta over the centuries. The display also includes images from manuscripts in our Rare Book collection, including Bracton and Coke, who use the Magna Carta to justify legal arguments such as the King is subject to English law, and a citizen’s right to due process of law.

On view at the Lillian Goldman Law Library through October 31.

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