Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Fun: Our Latest Acquisition

We just acquired a little gem of nineteenth-century law book advertising: an 8-page brochure from the Edward Thompson Company, extolling the virtues of the American and English Encyclopaedia of Law (1887-96). The publishers called their Encyclopaedia "The Most Wonderful Law Book of the XIX Century," and asserted "If all other Law Books should be destroyed, the world would have lost but little of its legal information."

I thought this was a lot of hyperbole for an encyclopedia I'd never heard of. But lo and behold, 135 libraries in WorldCat still own it, it is available electronically through the Internet Archive and Law Library Microform Consortium, and it went into a second edition in the first decade of the twentieth century.

I may not have spent a lot of time reading the Edward Thompson Company's law books, but I sure am a fan of their ads. Besides this one, we own the sheet music for a "Pleading and Practice Grand March" commissioned by the publishers to commemorate its Encyclopedia of Pleading and Practice.

You can view the rest of this ad brochure at our flickr site.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Josiah Quincy, Jr. and Professor Coquillette Honored

On June 8, Professor Daniel R. Coquillette and Josiah Quincy, Jr. were feted in two very venerable venues: the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Judges, historians, Boston College and Harvard faculty and staff, alumni, colleagues, family, and friends gathered to celebrate the publication of Dan's landmark five-volume series of books on Josiah Quincy, Jr., co-edited with Neil Longley York.

Speakers included the Hon. Robert Cordy (SJC), Colonial Society President Donald Friary, the Hon. Chief Justice Margaret Marshall (SJC), and of course Professor Coquillette himself. We learned about the fascinating life and tragic death of Quincy, who wrote what eventually became the first volumes of law reports in Massachusetts. With the publication of these volumes, Quincy's court reports are now available in an authoritative, fully annotated version, suitable for citation and scholarly study. Congratulations to Professor Coquillette, and thanks to the SJC and the Colonial Society for throwing one heck of a party! And special thanks to Joyce Sullivan for providing this photo.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rare Book Room is Closed June 7 - 11, 2010

We will be closed the week of June 7 - 11, 2010, for exhibit and maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Last Chance to See Our Spring Exhibit!

Our current exhibit, "Books and Their Covers: Decorative Bindings, Beautiful Books," closes on Friday June 4 at 1 pm. Please come visit!