About the Collection
The Research Center's collection of rare and archival materials is housed on the third floor in rooms with separate climate control and fire prevention equipment for the protection of fragile items. Many of the items in the Rare Book Collection, such as the 1986 facsimile edition of the 1086 Domesday Book, were purchased with gifts of generous College of Law alumni.
The collection contains a variety of items, 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.
Rules for Use
- Use of books housed in the Research Center's Rare Book Room must be supervised by a staff member. The books will be made available to a patron either in the Rare Book Room or in a staff member's office.
- Patrons may not bring briefcases, handbags, portfolios, or similar personal belongings into the Rare Book Room.
- The Research Center will supply a pencil and notepad for patrons to take notes from rare books. No patron may use a pen while handling rare materials.
- Many books housed in the Rare Book Room are too fragile to be photocopied. If a staff member determines that a book may be safely copied, the copying will be done by a staff member. Patrons will be charged $1.00 per page.
- The Rare Book Room may be used only between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. An appointment is preferable, although the Research Center will make an effort to accommodate patrons who do not have an appointment. If no staff member is available, the patron will need to return at a later time.
- For permission to use the Rare Book Room, contact Research Center Associate Director Robin R. Gault at (850) 644-7487, e-mail email@example.com or Director Faye Jones at (850) 644-7486, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org