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Legal Curiosities: What am I?

I had an idea the other day to try and test the observational skills and knowledge of our readers, as well as highlight some of the items in the Law Library’s vast collection.

I intentionally put a book on the wrong shelf.  To my librarian colleagues who came to me with heart palpitations that I misplaced a book on the shelves, please do not worry, I made sure that I put it back in its proper place afterwards.  Can you tell from the (intentionally blurry) picture and the clues which item it is?  Books

  • I am over one hundred years old and one of nine.
  • Legal scholars, professionals and students alike rely on me.
  • I provide both history and clarity.
  • I am cited by courts, even the Supreme Court takes note of me.
  • I am mobile and can fit in your pocket or sit on your desk.
  • Yes, there is an app for me.
  • I have been translated many, many times.

What am I?


  1. Humble Library Employee
    May 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Black’s Law Dictionary?

  2. Stephen
    May 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Hmm, Black’s Law Dictionary?

  3. Greg Lambert
    May 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I’m going to guess “Black’s Law Dictionary”??

  4. Cynthia silva
    May 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Magna carta ?

  5. Julie
    May 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm


  6. Paula
    May 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Black’s law dictionary

  7. David
    May 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Is it Robert’s Rules of Order?

  8. Margaretq
    May 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    John Bouvier
    A Law Dictionary: Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States and the Serveral States of the American Unio…

  9. kiyohisa Tanada
    May 2, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I imagine “a fairy encyclopedia”.

  10. Shameema Rahman
    May 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    This is our Constitution.

  11. Zoya
    May 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    nine editions so far, first in 1890s, pocket eiditons later, an app… Must be Black’s

  12. Clare Feikert-Ahalt
    May 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you all for your responses! The answer to this post is here: //blogs.loc.gov/law/2012/05/legal-curiosities-what-i-am/

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