852 RARE: A Very Special Exhibit

Normandy Manuscript Coutume
Normandy (France). Summa de Legibus Normanniae, ca. 1300, fol. 26v (detail). HLS MS 220.

You are invited to visit the Library’s Caspersen Room in Langdell Hall to see some of Historical & Special Collections’ most special treasures, on view through September 23. Eight beautiful and historically significant items await you in the glass cases at the front of the room, including:

  • The Library’s oldest manuscript, Gratian’s Decretum. Our copy was written around 1160 AD.
  • A very early and very portable Magna Carta, written around 1300. Our copy was intended to be slipped into a lawyer’s sleeve and carried about on business.
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Junior’s own copy of his first edition of The Common Law, which he annotated to prepare the second edition.
  • A deed, dated 1408, featuring a well-preserved Great Seal of Henry IV in wax.

There’s much more. And while you’re there, don’t miss our exhibit on Joseph Story, on view through December 7.

The Caspersen Room is open seven days a week from 9 to 5. Please leave all food and drinks outside the room when you visit. We hope to see you soon!


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