Monday, April 23, 2012

A Recent Gift

We are excited to introduce this new gift from a long-time friend and benefactor, Professor Michael Hoeflich, the John H. & John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas Law School. Professor Hoeflich gifted the BC Law rare books program a lovely collection of Roman law books in 2009, and has now followed that gift with the donation of this 1616 Heidelberg edition of Fragmenta XII Tabularum by Iacobi Gothofredo. This important work represents Gothofredo's attempt at reconstructing the fragments of the Twelve Tables, the ancient Roman law that was carved into ivory tablets and publicly displayed in the Roman Forum. This rare volume contains plates with reconstructions of those tables.

Gothofredo (often referenced as Gothofredus or as Jacques Godefroy) was born in France in 1587 to a family of legal scholars and historians. In addition to this work, he also is responsible for an incredibly influential edition of the Codex Theodosianus, an important compilation of Roman law prepared under Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Recent events

The last couple of weeks have been busy ones in the Rare Book Room. I was thrilled to host two classes--Mary Ann Neary's Bankruptcy Research Class and Karen Breda's Insurance Research class. For the bankruptcy students, we looked at several classic treatises, including William Cooke's A Compendious System of the Bankrupt Laws (London, 1785), a first edition. Several documents from our Brooker Collection were also on display, including letters from the Boston Overseers of the Poor to the overseers in other towns, asking for reimbursement for housing citizens of the other towns.

For the insurance research class, we looked at some classic insurance treatises, among them the first American edition of Samuel Marshall's Treatise on the Law of Insurance (Boston, 1805). From the Brooker manuscript collection, students viewed an 1803 marine insurance policy, insuring a ship and her cargo for $1700 on a journey from Connecticut to Puerto Rico and back.

On Wednesday, March 28, I was happy to have several law students join me in the Rare Book Room for a look at some of our treasures. We looked at our Book of Hours, a beautiful Ethiopian bible, a 1475 edition of Justinian's Codex, a 1539 Robert Redman Magna Carta, a 1569 Bracton, a 1639 edition of Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum (with the New Atlantis included in the back), the first edition of Blackstone's Commentaries, several law student notebooks from the early 1800s, and many others. Thanks to all of the students who participated!