This new exhibit is up for viewing in the Rare Book Room, and a digital edition is also available for those unable to visit the physical exhibit or for anyone interested in more information on the featured works.
Massachusetts was an extremely important legal publishing center in the 19th century, when American law book publishing was taking off. Prior to and right after the American Revolution, virtually the only law books being published in the colonies were statutory compilations and reprints of English and continental legal texts. However, by the beginning of the 1800s, a “home-grown” canon of American legal literature began to emerge.
“The Golden Age of Legal Publishing in Massachusetts” traces this progression in Massachusetts legal publishing, beginning with a 1648 statutory compilation and ending with Christopher Columbus Langdell’s famous A Selection of Cases on the Law of Contracts, which revolutionized teaching at American law schools. Beautiful first editions of Joseph Story's works and Simon Greenleaf's Treatise on the Law of Evidence are among the featured items.
Educational Technology Specialist Chester Kozikowski helped integrate QR codes into the exhibit. This addition blends old and new and allows those touring the exhibit with a smart phone to easily access additional content about the exhibit—audio clips, links to related websites, and a link to the digital edition of the exhibit, which is also available from the exhibit’s webpage.
The exhibit will be open for viewing into Spring 2012.