Limited Time Engagement: A Selection of Rare Books Famous in Legal Education

At Dean Minow’s request, and to commemorate the beginning of a new academic year, the HLS Library presents a selection of seven rare books famous in legal education. On display through October 8 in the Caspersen Room (the exhibition hall at the north end of the Langdell fourth floor reading room) are:

  • the earliest printed textbook on English land law, Littleton’s Tenures, 1482
  • the first English and American editions of Blackstone’s Commentaries (perhaps the most famous book in Anglo-American law)
  • the author’s own copy of the very first casebook in legal education, Langdell’s Cases on Contracts, 1871
  • the author’s own copy of the first casebook on torts, Ames’s Select Cases on Torts, 1874
  • the first edition, heavily annotated by the author, of the most influential book written by a Harvard Law School graduate, Oliver Wendell Holmes’s The Common Law, 1881
  • the first edition and the author’s manuscript of Scott Turow’s One L, 1978 (unquestionably the most famous account yet written about being a first year law student)

Thanks to HLS Librarian for Special Collections Dave Warrington for curating and providing notes on this exhibit!

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