Rare Books: The U.S. Constitution

Michael Widener
The Constitution of the United States (Hartford, 1788)

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/browse?source=deprecated_spark_cdp. 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

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