Happy Holidays from the HLS Library!

You did it: Congratulations on finishing your exams! All of us at the Harvard Law School Library wish you and your loved ones a joyous, relaxing, and healthy holiday season. The Law School and the HLS Library are closed for the holidays from December 18, 2021 through January 2, 2022. We look forward to seeing you in Langdell Hall and online in the new year!

Summa de Legibus Normanniae, ca. 1300.
HLS MS 220, fol. 26r, seq. 59.

This is a page from the Summa de Legibus Normanniae, a manuscript treatise written in Latin that describes customary law in Normandy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It sets forth regulations on such topics as marriage, land ownership, finance, trading, the Crusades, trials by combat, outlaws, and military service. As such, it is an important record of legal practice in feudal Normandy and Norman England. You can view the entire volume online.

Detail, Summa de Legibus Normanniae, ca. 1300.
HLS MS 220, fol. 45r, seq. 96.

In keeping with the winter season, it’s good to be reminded that weather disruptions are not a new problem, nor are they limited to New England. The lawmakers of medieval Normandy had a plan! In the detail of leaf 45 recto, halfway down, you’ll see a section called “De Dilatione per Nivem”:

“Of Delay by Snow: If, at the assigned view of any land, the land should be covered by a superabundance of snow or rain, the view and the complaint are delayed to another term until, with the snow or rain dissipated, the land is uncovered.”

All of us at the HLS Library wish you a happy holiday season, free from a superabundance of snow or rain!

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