The Law Library collection of rare books and materials consists of approximately 25,000 volumes of books and bound manuscripts, many issued prior to 1801 and others from as early as the 14th Century.

 

Mr. Nathan Dorn, Rare Book Curator for the Law Library of Congress

Mr. Nathan Dorn, Rare Book Curator for the Law Library of Congress


For Rare Book & Manuscripts collections, please contact

Ms. Janice Hyde, Assistant Law Librarian for Collections, jhyde@loc.gov


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what's in the collection?

 

Major foreign legal collections include:

  • Incunabula (books printed before 1501)
  • Roman law
  • Canon law
  • Consilia
  • Coutumes
  • Italian statute
  • Early Hispanic law
  • International and maritime law
  • The Russian Imperial Collection, and other pre-Soviet Russian legal sources and literature

 

Major Anglo-American materials include:

  • English and American trials
  • American records and briefs
  • British appeal papers
  • Early American statutory law
  • English Year Book literature
  • The works of William Blackstone
  • And more
Example of rare book repair: After treatment, the hinge is repaired and the entire volume rests in a clam shell box. (Library of Congress photos; Samuel Chase Manuscripts; by Donna Sokol)

Example of rare book repair: After treatment, the hinge is repaired and the entire volume rests in a clam shell box. (Library of Congress photos; Samuel Chase Manuscripts; by Donna Sokol)

Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera continues his voyage through the Library's collections as part of his La Casa de Colores project. In a visit to the Law Library, curator Nathan Dorn displays the treasures of the Hispanic Law Collection, which include a 1579 edition one of the primary documents of Hispanic law, the Visigothic Code. 

This 14th century Roman legal manuscript is complete with marginal notes known as "glosses" or "doodles" (Library of Congress photos)

This 14th century Roman legal manuscript is complete with marginal notes known as "glosses" or "doodles" (Library of Congress photos)

The collection includes laws and acts related to early American heritage, early colonies, and the founding of the United States (Library of Congress photos)

The collection includes laws and acts related to early American heritage, early colonies, and the founding of the United States (Library of Congress photos)


Preservation of these treasures is of utmost importance; without your help, many of these historic materials may vanish.


We urgently need your financial contributions to protect the Rare Book Collection.

Save: Rare Books