The Law Library invites you to look at our main display case inside the Reading Room. The case shows off, in photos, some of the many Rare Treasures of the Cornell Law Library. The display is presented in anticipation of three open houses at which you can view the actual materials. The Law Library will open the Dawson Rare Book Room at the East end of the Reading Room on February 10th, March 9th, and April 20th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Note that some of these materials may be accessed in digital form here.

The Law Library has rich collections of rare materials. The Trials Collection is one of the most popular. It contains pamphlets that report trials involving murder, domestic disputes, and love triangles! The most famous of these trials are those of Lizzie Borden and Edward Rulloff. The Donovan Nuremberg Trial transcripts have attracted scholars from the United States and Europe.

A collection unique to the Cornell Law Library is the Laws of Liberia. The library has had requests from law firms, the United Nations, and the Liberian government for this material. Another treasure is The Charter of the Province of Pennsylvania and City of Philadelphia printed and sold by Benjamin Franklin in 1742. Additional materials of importance in Anglo-American law include Coke’s Institutes and Blackstone’s Commentaries.

On display in the Rare Book Room is the Scottsboro Train Replica used as an exhibit in the historic 1930’s trial of the “Scottsboro Boys”. It, among other materials, was a gift of the defendants’ attorney, Cornell Law alum Samuel S. Leibowitz, ’15. You can see a portion of this famous model train, an eighteenth-century Blackstone, and a seventeenth-century Littleton in our display case. We invite you to join us at one of our open houses this spring to see more of our riches.

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