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An Interview with Robert Brammer, Chief of the Office of External Relations of the Law Library of Congress

Today’s follow-up interview is with Robert Brammer. Robert was first interviewed in 2012 when he started at the Law Library of Congress as a legal reference librarian. He is also a blogger for In Custodia Legis, authoring various posts, including: Constitution Day 2020 – “The Bulwark of Freedom”: African-American Members of Congress and the Constitution During […]

Evidence from Invisible Worlds in Salem

Exactly 328 years ago yesterday, authorities in Salem, Massachusetts executed 5 people, making the nineteenth of August a particularly bloody day in the history of the Salem Witch Trials. Those people were Reverend George Burroughs, Martha Carrier, George Jacobs Sr., John Proctor, and John Willard. Salem’s witch hysteria lasted from early 1692 until the following […]

Happy Fourth of July – What Did the British Think about the Declaration of Independence?

This post is coauthored by Nathan Dorn, rare book curator, and Robert Brammer, chief of the Office of External Relations The Fourth of July is a perfect time to read the Declaration of Independence that not only heralded the American Revolution, but also provided the most powerful and enduring formulation of the American aspirations for freedom and equality. […]

Pic of the Week – A Look inside the Public Vault at the Congressional Cemetery

A shared fascination with Washington D.C.’s history draws people from across the world to visit the United States Capitol, the Library of Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court and the District’s many museums. One site that visitors frequently overlook is the final resting place of many of the authors of Washington’s early history, the […]

Judicial Combat – Barbarous Relic or Timeless Litigation Strategy?

This post is coauthored by Nathan Dorn, rare book curator, and Robert Brammer, senior legal information specialist. You are sure to hear “Objection!” shouted in the context of any legal drama. But what are they objecting to, and more importantly, on what basis? In modern jurisprudence, the rules of evidence are paramount to trying a case. Deciding whether evidence is […]

Communicating with the Dead: Can the Unknown be Regulated?

The following is a guest post by Clare Feikert-Ahalt, a foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress covering the United Kingdom and several other jurisdictions. Clare has written a number of posts for In Custodia Legis, including two other Halloween-related posts titled “The Case of a Ghost Haunted England for Over Two Hundred […]

Preparing Witnesses For Trial: A Beginner’s Guide

This post was co-authored by Barbara Bavis and Robert Brammer, Legal Reference Specialists. When discussing the use of witnesses at trial, attention often focuses on the use of witnesses in criminal actions, such as how eyewitness identifications are made or whether improper behavior, like witness tampering, has affected the outcome of a trial. However, witnesses […]

The Law Behind the Magic of Harry Potter

It would be wonderful if this post were about all kinds of laws drafted by the Ministry of Magic.  It’s not.  I’m sorry.  While England did at one point have laws regarding witchcraft on the books, those days are long gone.  Instead, in what can only be considered to be the highlight of my social calendar […]

In Praise of Improbable Biology

It’s surprising, but true, that the laws of nature sometimes find themselves at the mercy of the courts. I found a great example of this in a book that the Law Library recently acquired for its rare book collection. Tractatus juridicus & practicus, de partu of Alonso Carranza (Cologne, 1629) is a staggeringly comprehensive book about human embryology […]