Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List
Please read the following before the course:
Items marked with three asterisks (***) are essential reading. I encourage you to read as many of the other items as your time and/or individual interests dictate. If you have difficulty locating some of the readings, email me at email@example.com and I will see if I can help.
Bibliography & book collecting
- *** Belanger, Terry, "Descriptive Bibliography," in Book Collecting: A Modern Guide, ed. Jean Peters (New York, 1978), pp. 97-115.
- *** Carter, John, ABC for Book Collectors (London, 1980). Read preferably the latest (8th) edition, but earlier editions are fine. (The most recent edition of Carter's ABC for Book Collectors is also available for downloading online without charge as a .pdf file.) See below for specific assignments.
- Cohen, Morris L., "Administration of Rare Materials," in Law Librarianship, a Handbook (Rothman, 1983), v. 2, pp. 603-688.
- Hoeflich, M. H. "Legal History and the History of the Book: Variations on a Theme," 46 University of Kansas Law Review (1998), pp. 415-431.
- *** Reese, William. "Books in Hard Times." http://www.reeseco.com/papers/biht.htm. A talk given at the Grolier Club symposium with the same title, 22 Sept. 2009.
- *** Traister, Daniel. “Are There New Paths for Book Collectors?”. http://www.english.upenn.edu/~traister/newpaths.html, Talk delivered to the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, Philadelphia, 10 May 1998.
- Trimble, Marsha. "Archives and Manuscripts: New Collecting Areas for Law Libraries," 83 Law Library Journal (1991), pp. 429-450.
- Widener, Michael (ed.) "Public Services Issues with Rare and Archival Law Materials," 20 Legal Reference Services Quarterly (2001), pp. 1-189. See especially the articles by Gordon, Warrington, Cohen, Silver, & Diamond.
- Wroth, Lawrence. "The Bibliographical Way." Available online in Rick Ring's Notes for Bibliophiles blog, at http://pplspcoll.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/the-bibliographical-way/. This essay originated as an address at a joint meeting of the Bibliographical Society of America and the American Historical Association, 30 Dec. 1936, and was later published in The Colophon (Spring, 1938) and reprinted in About Books: A Gathering of Essays (1941).
- *** Baker, John, "The Books of the Common Law" in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume III, 1400-1557 (Cambridge,1998), pp. 411-432 and "English Law Books and Legal Publishing" in The Cambridge History of the Book, Volume IV, 1557-1696 (Cambridge,1998), pp. 474-503; OR Baker, John, "Legal Literature" in his Introduction to English Legal History, 4th ed. (London, 2002), pp. 175-194.
- *** Cohen, Morris L. "An Historical Overview of American Law Publishing," 31 International Journal of Legal Information 168 (2003).
- Friedman, Lawrence M. A History of American Law, 2nd edition (New York, 1985), pp. 90-104, 322-333, 621-632.
- Parrish, Jenni, "Law Books and Legal Publishing in America, 1760-1840," 72 Law Library Journal (1972), pp. 355-365; scan rest of article.
- Simpson, A.W.B., "The Rise and Fall of the Legal Treatise: Legal Principles and the Forms of Legal Literature," 48 University of Chicago Law Review (1981), pp. 632-679.
- Topulos, Katherine, "English Legal History Research: A Guide to Core Academic Law Library Materials," 24 (1/2) Legal Reference Services Quarterly (2005) pp. 73-101.
Roman, canon & civil law
- *** Apple, James G., & Robert P. Deyling. "A Primer on the Civil-Law System." Washington, D.C.: Federal Judicial Center, n.d. Available online at http://www.fjc.gov/public/pdf.nsf/lookup/CivilLaw.pdf/$file/CivilLaw.pdf.
- Diamond, Lucia. "Roman and Canon Law Research," 20 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 99 (2001).
- Hoeflich, Michael H. "Bibliographical Perspectives on Roman and Civil Law," 89 Law Library Journal 41 (1997). Available in the Roman Law section of Tarlton Law Library's Legal History Guide, http://tarltonguides.law.utexas.edu/legal-history.
- Pennington, Kenneth. "Comparative European Legal History: Roman Law and the Ius commune," http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/Law508/Law508.html. This website for Pennington's course at Catholic University contains several useful readings, especially "Roman and Secular Law in the Middle Ages" and "Feudal Law and the Ius Commune."
- *** Pennington, Kenneth. "A Short History of Canon Law from Apostolic Times to 1917." http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/Canon%20Law/ShortHistoryCanonLaw.htm.
- *** "Roman Legal Tradition and the Compilation of Justinian," http://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/robbins/RomanLegalTradition.html, Robbins Collection, University of California at Berkeley.
- Sass, Stephen L. "Medieval Roman Law: A Guide to the Sources and Literature." 58 Law Library Journal 130 (1965). Available in the Roman Law section of Tarlton Law Library's Legal History Guide, http://tarltonguides.law.utexas.edu/legal-history.
- *** Stein, Peter. "Justinian's Compilation: Classical Legacy and Legal Source." 8 Tulane European & Civil Law Forum 1 (1993).
- Stein, Peter. Roman Law in European History (Cambridge University Press, 1999), see esp. pp. 32-end. Although there’s a lot to read here, it's still the best compact introduction to the authors and literature of Roman and civil law up to the 19th century.
Legal history - general
- *** Legal History, http://tarltonguides.law.utexas.edu/legal-history. This excellent research guide from the Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas, is a thorough and well-organized guide to both print and online resources. Highly recommended.
- Rechtshistorie, http://www.rechtshistorie.nl/en/. This Dutch site (in English) gives useful overviews of Roman, canon, common, and civil law, with plenty of links to other sites.
Book exhibitions are themselves "mini-collections," books with a common feature or theme brought together by the curator to tell a story. Take a look at these examples.
- Dying Speeches & Bloody Murders: Crime Broadsides Collected by the Harvard Law School Library. http://broadsides.law.harvard.edu/
- Exhibit Highlights (Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room). http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/library/about/rarebook/exhibitions.html. Links to over 20 exhibits; see especially "Collectors on Collecting."
- The Flowering of Civil Law: Early Italian City Statutes in the Yale Law Library. http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/rarebooks/archive/tags/Early+Italian+Statutes+exhibit/default.aspx
- Freedom of the Seas, 1609: Grotius and the Emergence of International Law (Yale Law Library). http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/rarebooks/archive/tags/Freedom+of+the+Seas+1609+exhibit/default.aspx
- Landmarks of Law Reporting (Yale Law Library). http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/rarebooks/archive/tags/Landmarks+of+Law+Reporting+exhibit/default.aspx
- The Last Will of Williston Fish (Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin). http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/exhibits/fish/
- The Law Dictionary Collection (Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin). http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/exhibits/dictionaries/index.html
- Milestones in Legal Cultures and Traditions (Robbins Collection, UC-Berkeley). http://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/robbins/milestones/launch.html
- The Roman-Dutch Legal Tradition (Robbins Collection, UC-Berkeley). http://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/robbins/roman-dutch/launch.html
- The Works of John Selden (Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin). http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/exhibits/selden/index.html
Assignments from ABC for Book Collectors
The contents of the ABC should be thoroughly mastered, for it is impossible to talk intelligently about rare books without an understanding of what is a very specialized terminology. A good way to approach this task is to study the preliminaries (everything before page 12) and the definitions of the terms printed in boldface in the list below. Then learn the definitions of the remaining terms on this page. Finally, read this irresistible book straight through.
The course will assume familiarity with the terms listed here. To place things in perspective, you may wish to read Belanger's article first.
|Recto||Paste-down||Facsimiles and fakes|
|Blank leaves||Edition and impression||Law calf|
|Forme||Issues and states||McKerrow|
|Folio||First edition||Original state/condition|