We have a new exhibit in the Reading Room about the Second Amendment, with books and articles about the interpretation and history of gun control in the United States. If you’re in the area, stop by and see it!
A few months ago we told you about our collection of U.S. Supreme Court bobblehead dolls on display in the Reading Room. They’ll be on view for another couple of weeks, so come on in and check them out.
The Law Library is pleased to announce its new exhibit of recently acquired Supreme Court bobbleheads. Created and distributed by The Green Bag, each wobbly Justice is fashioned in the interest of “scholarly artistry,” simply for the fun of it. The bobbleheads, together with explanatory notes, are available for viewing in the Law Library’s Reading Room display cases throughout the spring semester.
The Green Bag is a self-described “quarterly journal of short, readable, useful, and sometimes entertaining legal scholarship.” The Law Library thanks Ross E. Davies, Editor in Chief of The Green Bag, for his assistance in building the collection.
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.
If you dare, check out our new display case in the Reading Room featuring Case Law from the Crypt, a compilation of the best cases generated by Halloween. Haunted houses, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, sexy costumes, and tombstones abound. For more details, read the article that inspired the display case. Authored by Buffalo attorney Daniel Moar, the full article is available in the October, 2011, issue of the New York State Bar Association Journal, accessible through our catalog.
Incoming and returning students may wish to check out the new display in the Law Library Reading Room, Cornell Law School Programs & Projects. Cornell Law School is known not only for its strong instruction in traditional and newly-emerging fields of law, but also for its diverse projects, institutes, programs, and research centers. Among the many initiatives located here at the Law School and directed by our talented professors are:
- AVON Global Center for Women and Justice, Sital Kalantry, Faculty Director & Sara Lulo, Executive Director;
- Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture, Annelise Riles, Director;
- Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative, Tom Bruce, Director of the Cornell Legal Information Institute & Cynthia Farina, Professor of Law;
- Death Penalty Project, John Blume, Director & Sheri Johnson, Assistant Director;
- Empirical Legal Studies: Judicial Statistics Project, Ted Eisenberg & Kevin Clermont, Professors of Law;
- Lay Participation in Law International Research Collaborative, Valerie Hans, Professor of Law.
What do these novels have in common: The Bluest Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The House Gun, in addition to offering gripping action and memorable social vision created by brilliant women? These books are part of the canon of great literature in which law plays a prominent part. For more examples of law in literature see the display case at the stacks entrance to the Reading Room.
What do Lizzie Borden, a middle-aged white woman living in Fall River, Massachusetts at the turn of the nineteenth century, who inherited a small fortune after her parents were savagely murdered in their own home, and O.J. Simpson, all-American athlete turned Hollywood celebrity, who was charged with the brutal murder of his ex-wife and her boyfriend at the turn of the twentieth century, have in common? If you knew that they were both acquitted, and that many people think they literally got away with murder, then you would be right. If you knew that both were defendants in two of the most publicized trials in U.S. history, you would also be right. For these and more famous American trials see the display case in the center of the Reading Room.
What do John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, John Jay, and Salmon Portland Chase have in common? If you know that they all served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, then good for you. But that’s not the answer. What about Patrick Henry, Abe Lincoln, and Daniel Webster? Yes, they were all prominent statesmen. But that’s not it, either. For the answer to both questions, which happens to be the same in each instance, see the display case in the center of the Reading Room.