Rare Book Collection & College of Law Archives

About the Collection

The Research Center's Rare Book Collection contains a variety of interesting materials, including a legal opinion dating to between 1600 and 1620 handwritten by the great English jurist Sir Edward Coke, a copy of the first printed edition (1553 ) of the Digests or Pandects of the Emperor Justinian, and the 1565 edition of La Graunde Abridgement by Sir Anthony Fitzherbert which arranges and summarizes more than 14,000 cases from the Year Books. Perhaps most unusual is a complete eighteen-volume set, published in the mid-sixteenth century, of the session laws of Henry VIII. Only two other complete sets of this printing are known to exist in libraries in the United States.

Also notable is the United States Supreme Court Autograph Collection, containing documents and pictures signed by almost all past and present Supreme Court Justices. Other autographs in the Library's collection include a letter of marque signed by Thomas Jefferson as President and James Madison as Secretary of State, and a pleading in Lincoln's own hand.

Many of the items in the Rare Book Collection, such as the 1986 facsimile edition of the 1086 Domesday Book, were purchased with gifts from generous College of Law alumni.

About the Archives

The College of Law Archives contains materials of historical value to the College. Included are photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, programs, publications, videotapes of events and lecture series, blueprints, and materials relating to the acquisition and moving of the historical houses to the Village Green.

Rules for Use

  1. Use of rare and archival materials must be supervised by a staff member. The materials will be made available to a patron either in a conference room or a staff member's office.
  2. Patrons may not bring briefcases, handbags, portfolios, or similar personal belongings into the room while working with the rare or archival materials.
  3. Pens may not be used while working with the rare or archival materials. The Research Center will supply pencils and notepads on request.
  4. Most of the rare books and some of the archival materials are too fragile to be photocopied. If a staff member determines that an item may be safely copied, the copying will be done by a staff member, and the patron will be charged $1.00 per page.
  5. Materials will be available between the hours of 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday. An appointment is preferable, as we would like to save you time by making the needed materials ready for your use. The Research Center will make an effort to accommodate patrons who do not have an appointment; however, if no staff member is available the patron will have to return at a later time.
  6. For permission to use the Rare Book Collection or College of Law Archives, please contact Research Center Librarian Pat Bingham-Harper at (850) 644-7709, pbingham@law.fsu.edu or Research Center Associate Director Elizabeth Farrell at (850) 644-1394, efarrell@law.fsu.edu.