New Special Collections Exhibit: Annotated Imprints – Illuminating the Life of the Law

Scholars researching the history of the law consider law books and related works from the period covered vital sources of information.The value of these sources increases when they contain contemporaneous annotations that can provide vital clues to the mental world of lawyers of the day. If those annotations were made by a significant historical figure, such clues are priceless. Georgetown Law Library’s Special Collections holds several annotated imprints, including:

Sir Edward Coke

Sir Edward Coke’s (1552-1634) copy of the 1569 imprint of De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae [On the Laws and Customs of England] (ca. 1230-50) by Henri de Bracton (1210-1268), the first treatise of English law now commonly known simply as Bracton; and,

Sir Matthew Hale







Sir Matthew Hale’s (1609-1676) copy of the 1640 imprint of one of the most significant medieval chronicle histories of England, Monachi Albanensis Angli Historia Major by Matthew Paris (1200-1259), the 13th century scholar, polymath, and member of the court of Henry III.

Annotated Imprints features selected facsimile images from these two unique books. The exhibit is currently on view in the Special Collections exhibit case outside Rm. 210 in the Williams Library.

To view these and other rare books and historical materials, contact Erin Kidwell – or Special Collections –, or visit us in Williams 210 M-F from 9am to 5pm.

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