In early May 2012 Georgetown Law Library lost one of our longest serving librarians when the Head of Special Collections, Laura Bédard, passed away unexpectedly at age 55. Laura was the quintessential rare book librarian; she loved both old books and history. Her work gave her ample moments to pursue both these passions, and on one occasion this led her into her own family history. In 2005 we discovered an inscription by an Isadore Bedard in one of our 1829 volume of Les Statuts du Bas-Canada [Statutes of Lower-Canada]. As her family is of French-Canadian descent on her father’s side, Laura began researching her genealogy to see if there was any connection. She was delighted to discover that she and Isadore Bedard were indeed distant relations reunited by the ineffable tides of time.
One of the true joys of working with rare books and legal history is being able to, in a sense, time travel and experience still tangible parts of the past. Special Collections has created a small exhibit in our display case outside of Williams 210 celebrating Laura’s life at Georgetown Law that includes images from this volume of early Canadian statutes.