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Law Library of Congress Rare Book Curator Displays New Acquisitions

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Law Library of Congress Rare Book Curator Nathan Dorn brings us a display of new acquisitions for the Law Library’s Rare Book Collection. In this video, Nathan shares five new acquisitions from the collection.

The first item is a Russian work, the first edition of the Sobornoye Ulozhenie or the Ulozhenie of 1649, a compilation of the laws that were in effect in Russia in the middle of the 17th century.

The second item is a record of a sale of land called Nashowamoiasuk or Neck Point of the Edgartown Great Pond. The seller is Mr. Harrie, Indian of Nantucket and the buyer is John Coffin. The witnesses were Nathaniel and Mary Starbuck. Mary Coffin Starbuck was a significant figure in early colonial Nantucket. Her leadership and influence is thought to have made Quakerism predominant on the island in the 18th century, and locals called her house the Parliament House due to all the public business transacted there.

Nathan also displays a manuscript copy of Article 9 of the Treaty of Ghent, the treaty that concluded the War of 1812, and which was written in the hand of Henry Clay. In Article 9, the British ceded any influence over conflicts between Native Americans and the United States, shifting the balance of power in these conflicts in favor of the United States.

The next item Nathan displays is a medieval manuscript, the Lectura of Johannes de Imola on the Decretales of Gregory IX, made in Italy between the years 1431 and 1447. This manuscript contains Johannes de Imola’s commentary on the second major work of the canon law of the Catholic Church. It also contains a large beautiful illustration of St. James and hundreds of decorated initials.

The final item Nathan displays is a historical work on legal education, Memoriale Institutionum Juris. This item used a strategy that it’s author called “the emblematic teaching method” that associated words with memorable images in an effort to help the student memorize a particular lesson. In this work, the author uses this approach to assist with the memorization of Justinian’s Institutes, an introduction to Roman Law.
You can watch Nathan’s presentation here:

Comments (6)

  1. I used to think that being the law librarian of congress was the best job in the world but now I am not so sure… maybe the rare book librarian in the law section is the best…. wonderful books.

    • Thanks! I am very grateful for my job – Nathan

  2. Treasure wisdom expand knowlege. Thank you for enlightenment and greater understanding everything.

  3. Well done, Nathan. I look forward to hearing of other rare book acquisitions, particularly relating to lesser known legal systems. Thanks.

  4. Fascinating and very clearly explained. I specially enjoyed hearing about the Nantucket document which involved sale of land in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. That is my home.

  5. So nice to see these beautiful works up close. Thank you!

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