Monday, June 27, 2011

Welcome to the collection! Kent's Commentaries, 8th ed.

One of our most recent acquisitions is this lovely four-volume set of the eighth edition of James Kent's Commentaries on American Law (New York: published by William Kent, 1854). Other editions of this seminal treatise on American law are already housed in the Rare Book Room, and we are excited to add this set to the collection. The significance of this particular edition lies in the fact that it was the last one undertaken by James Kent's son, William Kent. Following his father's death in 1847, William took on the duty of updating the treatise and published the sixth, seventh, and eighth editions before his own death in 1861.

It should be noted that William Kent was an important jurist in his own right. He was a Judge of Circuit Court of New York City from 1841-1845; a professor at Harvard Law School; and one of the founders of NYU Law School. Notably, it was William who encouraged his father to compile, edit, synthesize and allow his lecture notes from Columbia Law School to be printed--a suggestion that the elder Kent ultimately heeded, leading to the publication of the first volume of the first edition of Kent's Commentaries in 1826.

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Acquisition--Little Brown Catalog

The most recent addition to the Rare Book Room is A Catalogue of Law and Miscellaneous Books published by Boston's own Little, Brown and Company in July 1862. It is a small catalog, in very nice condition, with original sewn wraps. The first 34 pages list law books for sale, while the remainder of the catalog is devoted to imported English and French books, including law journals. Most of the entries are accompanied by descriptions and often excerpts from reviews. For example, the entry for Kent's Commentaries (a staple of our collection) includes the $16 price tag for the four volume set and a quotation from a reviewer stating that "[i]t is with the immortal Commentaries on the laws of England, that those on American law are now classed, and the names of Blackstone and Kent are fated never to be disjoined."

Little, Brown and Company is one of the oldest publishing houses in the country; it was established in Boston in 1837 by Charles Little and James Brown, and it still exists today as an imprint of Hachette Book Group.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Come study in the Rare Book Room!

The Rare Book Room provides a beautiful and quiet place to study. Come visit and study for the bar exam, or work on other projects that require an especially studious atmosphere! Please remember that no food or beverages are allowed in the room, so you will not encounter the annoying sounds of potato chip bags crinkling or straws shrieking on plastic cups.

Summer hours:
Monday-Thursday from 9am-5pm
Friday from 9am-1pm

Please note that the Rare Book Room will be closed on Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7 for maintenance.