Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This Just In . . . An Early Magna Carta

We have just acquired an early edition of the Magna Carta, printed in 1556 by the famous London legal publisher Richard Tottell. Like many others of its kind, this edition includes a collection of early English statutes. It joins other Magna Cartas and early English statutory compilations in our collection, including a 1539 edition printed by Robert Redman, and a modern limited edition engraved plate of the actual manuscript Charter.

The 1215 Charter imposed limits on King John's power over his subjects, and granted them certain privileges and protections. It remains an important symbol of the rule of law in England and America, and is considered part of England's uncodified constitution.

We are delighted to welcome this important and attractive little volume to our collection!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Brief Preview of Our Next Exhibit

We have been processing Professor Mike Hoeflich's gift of Roman Law books in preparation for our January 2011 exhibit, and I could not resist sharing a sneak peek at one of the most magnificent books in the collection. This large folio volume of Jacques Godefroy's (aka Jacobi Gothofredus') legal works is bound in gold-tooled vellum with the date of the binding, 1758, stamped on the front cover.

Jacques Godefroy (1587-1652) was a jurist, politician, and legal scholar who was most famous for his edition of the Theodosian Code. The work on view here, Opera Juridica Minora, is another of his famous works.

We look forward to sharing more treasures from Professor Hoeflich's gift when the exhibit debuts in January. Stay tuned. . . .