C-85. Law Books: History & Connoisseurship - Advance Reading List

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  • Preliminary Advices

    Please read the following before the course:
    Items marked with three asterisks (***) are essential reading. I encourage you to read as many of the other items as your time and/or individual interests dictate. If you have difficulty locating some of the readings, email me at mike.widener@yale.edu and I will see if I can help.

  • Bibliography & book collecting

    *** Belanger, Terry, “Descriptive Bibliography.” In Book Collecting: A Modern Guide, edited by Jean Peters, 97–115. New York & London: R. R. Bowker Company, 1977.

    *** Carter, John, ABC for Book Collectors (London, 1980). Read preferably the latest (8th) edition, but earlier editions are fine. (The most recent edition of Carter’s ABC for Book Collectors is also available online without charge as a PDF file.) See below for specific assignments.

    Cohen, Morris L., “Administration of Rare Materials.” In Law Librarianship, a Handbook, edited by Heinz Peter Mueller and Patrick E. Kehoe, Vol. 2, 603–688. Fred B. Rothman, & Co. 1983.

    Hoeflich, M. H. “Legal History and the History of the Book: Variations on a Theme,” University of Kansas Law Review 46 (1998): 415–431.

    *** Reese, William. “Books in Hard Times.” Talk given at the Grolier Club symposium with the same title, 22 September 2009. http://www.reeseco.com/papers/biht.htm.

    *** Traister, Daniel. “Are There New Paths for Book Collectors?” Talk delivered to the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, Philadelphia, 10 May 1998. http://www.english.upenn.edu/~traister/newpaths.html.

    Trimble, Marsha. “Archives and Manuscripts: New Collecting Areas for Law Libraries,” Law Library Journal 83 (1991): 429–450.

    Widener, Michael, ed. “Public Services Issues with Rare and Archival Law Materials,” Legal Reference Services Quarterly 20 (2001): 1–189. See especially the articles by Gordon, Warrington, Cohen, Silver, & Diamond.

    Wroth, Lawrence. “The Bibliographical Way.” Available online in Rick Ring’s Notes for Bibliophiles blog, at http://pplspcoll.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/the-bibliographical-way/. This essay originated as an address at a joint meeting of the Bibliographical Society of America and the American Historical Association, 30 December 1936, and was later published in The Colophon (Spring 1938) and reprinted in About Books: A Gathering of Essays (1941).

     

  • Anglo-American law

    *** Baker, John. “The Books of the Common Law.” In The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume III, 1400–1557, 411–432. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998 and “English Law Books and Legal Publishing.” In The Cambridge History of the Book, Volume IV, 1557–1696, 474–503. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998; OR Baker, John. “Legal Literature.” In Introduction to English Legal History, 4th ed. London, 2002: 175–194.

    *** Cohen, Morris L. “An Historical Overview of American Law Publishing,” International Journal of Legal Information 168 (2003).

    Friedman, Lawrence M. A History of American Law, 2nd edition. New York, 1985. Read pp. 90–104, 322–333, 621–632.

    Parrish, Jenni. “Law Books and Legal Publishing in America, 1760–1840,” Law Library Journal  72 (1972). Read pp. 355–365; scan rest of article.

    Simpson, A.W.B. “The Rise and Fall of the Legal Treatise: Legal Principles and the Forms of Legal Literature,” University of ChicagoLaw Review 48 (1981): 632–679.

    Topulos, Katherine, “English Legal History Research: A Guide to Core Academic Law Library Materials,” Legal Reference Services Quarterly 24 (1/2) (2005): 73–101.

  • Roman, canon & civil law

    *** Apple, James G., & Robert P. Deyling. “A Primer on the Civil-Law System.” Washington, D.C.: Federal Judicial Center, n.d. http://www.fjc.gov/public/pdf.nsf/lookup/CivilLaw.pdf/$file/CivilLaw.pdf.

    Diamond, Lucia. “Roman and Canon Law Research,” 20 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 99 (2001).

    Hoeflich, Michael H. “Bibliographical Perspectives on Roman and Civil Law,” 89 Law Library Journal 41 (1997). Available in the Roman Law section of Tarlton Law Library’s Legal History Guide, http://tarltonguides.law.utexas.edu/legal-history.

    Pennington, Kenneth. “Comparative European Legal History: Roman Law and the Ius commune,”http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/Law508/Law508.html. This website for Pennington’s course at Catholic University contains several useful readings, especially “Roman and Secular Law in the Middle Ages” and “Feudal Law and the Ius Commune.”

    *** Pennington, Kenneth. “A Short History of Canon Law from Apostolic Times to 1917.” http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/Canon%20Law/ShortHistoryCanonLaw.htm.

    *** “Roman Legal Tradition and the Compilation of Justinian.” Robbins Collection, University of California at Berkeley. http://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/robbins/RomanLegalTradition.html.

    Sass, Stephen L. “Medieval Roman Law: A Guide to the Sources and Literature.” 58 Law Library Journal 130 (1965). Available in the Roman Law section of Tarlton Law Library’s Legal History Guide, http://tarltonguides.law.utexas.edu/legal-history.

    *** Stein, Peter. “Justinian’s Compilation: Classical Legacy and Legal Source.” 8 Tulane European & Civil Law Forum 1 (1993).

    Stein, Peter. Roman Law in European History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. See especially pp. 32–end. Although there’s a lot to read here, it’s still the best compact introduction to the authors and literature of Roman and civil law up to the ninteenth century.

     

  • Legal history - general

    *** Legal History, http://tarltonguides.law.utexas.edu/legal-history. This excellent research guide from the Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas, is a thorough and well-organized guide to both print and online resources. Highly recommended.

    Rechtshistorie, http://www.rechtshistorie.nl/en/. This Dutch site (in English) gives useful overviews of Roman, canon, common, and civil law, with plenty of links to other sites.

     

  • Online exhibits

    Book exhibitions are themselves “mini-collections,” books with a common feature or theme brought together by the curator to tell a story. Take a look at these examples.

     

  • Assignments from ABC for Book Collectors

    The contents of the ABC should be thoroughly mastered, for it is impossible to talk intelligently about rare books without an understanding of what is a very specialized terminology. A good way to approach this task is to study the preliminaries (everything before page 12) and the definitions of the terms printed in boldface in the list below. Then learn the definitions of the remaining terms on this page. Finally, read this irresistible book straight through.
    The course will assume familiarity with the terms listed here. To place things in perspective, you may wish to read Belanger’s article first.

    Leaf Endpapers Disbound
    Recto Paste-down Facsimiles and fakes
    Verso Preliminary leaves Fly-sheet
    Format Fly-leaf Foxed
    Sheet Half-title Half bound
    Gatherings Frontispiece Imprint
    Signatures Title Incunable
    Collation Bibliography Inscribed copy
    Blank leaves Edition and impression Law calf
    Forme Issues and states McKerrow
    Folio First edition Original state/condition
    Quarto Presentation copy
    Octavo Association copy Provenance
    Duodecimo Auctions Publisher’s cloth
    Cover Bindings Rarity
    Spine Boards Re-backed
    Hinges Book-plate Shoulder-note
    Joints Booksellers’ catalogues Side-notes
    Edges Broadside Trade binding
    Margins Calf Variant
    Uncut Catchword Vellum
    Unopened Condition Wrappers