Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Christmas from a child judge and murderous cat

We've once again been the beneficiaries of the generosity of Professor Michael H. Hoeflich, John H. & John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas.  In addition to several lovely 17th century texts on Roman law, Professor Hoeflich has donated his collection of legal postcards and ephemera.  These were the subject of his book, The Law in Postcards and Ephemera, 1890-1962 (Clark, NJ: Lawbook Exchange, 2012). The book contains hundreds of images of ephemeral items that provide a glimpse into how the public viewed the law and lawyers.  Many of the cards portray children dressed up as lawyers. 

The card shown here features a child dressed a judge, apparently trying a very guilty-looking cat with the crime of murdering a bird.  I'm not sure where the "Happy Christmas" message comes in!  Is the kitty getting a reprieve from the beneficent kid judge?  Was the cat a menace and we're celebrating a holiday miracle that s/he can no longer terrorize the neighborhood?  I don't know, but it's a wonderful little item.  Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

The Legal History and Rare Books (LH&RB) Section of the American Association of Law Libraries, in cooperation with Cengage Learning, announces the Sixth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Cohen was a leading scholar in the fields of legal research, rare books, and historical bibliography.

The competition is designed to encourage scholarship, and to acquaint students with the American Association of Law Libraries and law librarianship. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The competition is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, and related fields.
The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website: Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., March 17, 2014.

The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses associated with attendance at the AALL Annual Meeting. The runner-up will have the opportunity to publish the second-place essay in LH&RB's online scholarly journal "Unbound: An Annual Review of Legal History and Rare Books."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New acquisition: Bacon's Novum Organum Scientiarum

This is another exciting addition to our wonderful Francis Bacon collection, which is currently on exhibit.  The Novum Organum was the centerpiece of Bacon's planned masterwork on science and philosophy, which he called the Instauratio Magna.  In the Novum Organum, Bacon detailed his view that inductive reasoning is the best method for scientific inquiry.  Professor Coquillette's gift included a first edition of this work; this new acquisition is the second edition, which was published in Latin (the first is in English) in Leiden in 1645.

The title page features a ship boldly pushing past the Pillars of Hercules, a mythical symbol of the outermost bounds of knowledge.  The Latin phrase beneath the picture translates (courtesy of Google Translate!) as "Go through and increase knowledge."