February 2017 New Library Resources

We have added approximately 130 new titles in the past month. Have a look at the list of latest additions at: https://www.law.northwestern.edu/library/secure/collections/newacquisitions/.

Posted in Library Resources

Oh the Irony…Booth and Lincoln Halls

Has anyone else caught the irony currently residing in the west end of Levy Mayer? A single floor separates Booth Hall from Lincoln Hall, and while Lincoln Hall unmistakably commemorates our sixteenth president Abraham Lincoln, who besides John Wilkes Booth comes to mind when you think of Booth Hall? If you’ve attended class in this room and failed to notice the namesake memorials in the entryway, you may not be familiar with Judge Henry Booth and his significance to the very existence of this law school.

In 1859, a generous gift by a highly reputable Chicago attorney named Thomas Hoyne enabled the founding of the first law school in Chicago, which became our very own Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Henry Booth (b. Aug. 19, 1818 – d. Apr. 29, 1898) was a Yale College graduate, attorney, Cook County circuit court judge, and professor who moved from New York to serve as the first Dean of Chicago’s first law school until 1891. His deep scholarly nature, impeccable character, and mindfulness of burgeoning social issues made him a formative founder of the pillars on which this formidable law school still stands.  In his eulogy, William Salter described Booth as, “a latter-day Puritan. There was that stern facing of truth…that willingness to do any kind of painful duty; that strict rule of conscience within…Long before the war he met the test question that was presented to every American conscience, and espoused the anti-slavery cause. Since the war, as the extremes of wealth and poverty among free citizens have developed themselves, he felt strongly what are called the ‘social problems’.”1

Today we celebrate Presidents’ Day, a national holiday designated in 1885 to honor George Washington that has evolved into a day of remembrance for all American presidents.2 A contemporary of Booth, Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln accomplished many great feats as president, but perhaps his most well-known achievement is his relentless drive for ending slavery and the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Learn more about this great man today by reading An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays by Michael Burlingame (Available electronically by clicking “View It”) or this concise, and impressive, list of Accomplishments of President Abraham Lincoln.  And for good measure, stop by the PLRC to view  an original Lincoln letter dated 1853 hanging on the east wall of the Hodes Rare Book Room.

1. 1 James A. Rahl & Kurt Schwerin, Northwestern School of Law: A Short History to Commemorate Its Centennial,1859-1959, p. 6-7, (1960). Available electronically through Hein Online.

2. “Presidents’ Day.” The History Channel,  A&E Television Networks, LLC., http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/presidents-day.


The Honorable Judge Henry Booth’s portrait hangs just inside Booth Hall, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.


Honest Abe can be found just outside the doors of Lincoln Hall, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.


Posted in Law School History, On this day, Uncategorized

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Happy Valentine’s Day from the Pritzker Legal Research Center!

To celebrate today, we’re sharing some images from a particularly appropriate volume from our rare book collection, Marriage Ceremonies: Or, the Ceremonies Used in Marriages in all Parts of the World (1697). Although this English translation was taken from the Italian, this book was originally written in French by Louis de Gaya, a nobleman and Captain in the Régiment de Champagne also responsible for penning, among other things, a Treaty of Arms (1678) and his own Art of War (also 1678).

In the preface, the author writes: “Marriage is not solemnized in the same manner every where but the Rules and Laws of Marriage are more or less strict, according to the Diversity of Religions and Nations. […] Yet, among all the different Laws and Customs in the World, there is no Nation so Barbarous, as not to solemnize Marriage with some Rites, Ceremonies, and publick rejoicings.” In 11 chapters, this little book examines the traditions of at least as many religious groups, albeit through Gaya’s very Catholic lens.

Included here are the preface, table of contents, and the Greek marriage rites, as understood by the author. Simply click on the image to read the page. If you’d like to see others, please contact the Special Collections, Digitization, and Archival Services Library at Brittany.Adams@law.northwestern.edu.


Posted in Uncategorized

#ColorOurCollections: Day 3

In our final post for #ColorOurCollections, we’re jumping centuries and continents, taking our entry from Matthew Nathan Pinkerton’s Murder in All Ages. This inscribed volume, which was published in Chicago in 1899, examines the crime of homicide by studying a selection of infamous historical murders, including the one featured in this coloring page.


With the recent popularity of the musical Hamilton, which still in performance here in Chicago theatres, this illustration of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr seemed like the perfect choice to end our week with a bang (pardon the pun).

If you’d like to see the original, or find out more about criminology at Northwestern Law–including Northwestern’s former Scientific Crime Laboratory–please contact the Special Collections, Digitization, and Archival Services Librarian at Brittany.Adams@law.northwestern.edu.


PDF Coloring Page: ColorOurCollections3


Posted in Uncategorized

#ColorOurCollections: Day 2


Along with other special collections libraries across the country, this week we’re sharing pictures from our rare books in coloring page format as part of the #ColorOurCollections campaign. (If you missed our first page, check it out here!)

For the second of three posts, we’re sharing images from Francesco Maria Guazzo’s Compendium Maleficarum (1626). This book, a guide to hunting witches, was part of a larger acquisition to the Law School library in 1930 from Döbling Carmelite Monastery in Vienna, Austria. Most of the books in that collection pertain to Roman and canon law, making this volume on witchcraft a surprising find.


Divided into three books, the Compendium Malificarum sprinkles woodcut illustrations throughout its examples of witchcraft and corresponding Catholic doctrine (which explains its inclusion in a monastery library). Legally, it seems reasonable to assume that, like the Malleus Malificarum, its famous literary predecessor, this text may have been used by prosecutors in witch trials.

One thing is certain: if your house is set on fire by witches, you’re going to need a good attorney. For more information, or if you’d like to see the original, please contact the Special Collections, Digitization, and Archival Services Librarian at Brittany.Adams@law.northwestern.edu.


PDF Coloring Page: ColorOurCollections2






Posted in Uncategorized

#ColorOurCollections: Day 1

This week, special collections libraries across the country are participating in the #ColorOurCollections campaign, pairing the recent popularity of adult coloring books with the fun and fascinating pictures found in their rare book collections. Aside from our comprehensive circulating collection, Pritzker Legal Research Center has more than 2,500 volumes of rare legal texts covering topics such as roman law, canon law, customary law…and, as featured today, maritime law.


This picture is taken from the preliminary matter of Ordenanzas de la ilustre Universidad, y Casa de Contratacion de la M.N. y M.L. Villa de Bilbao, a book of Spanish commercial and maritime law under King Philip V (although our copy, from 1760, was printed after Philip’s death). While the pages are decorated with a pretty scalloped border, the engraved image at the very beginning of the book is its only illustration.



If you find yourself in need of a little work or study break, print out the PDF linked below, grab some colored pencils, and pretend you can hear the waves. If you’d like to see the original, please contact the Special Collections, Digitization, and Archival Services Librarian at Brittany.Adams@law.northwestern.edu.


PDF Coloring Page: ColorOurCollections1



Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

January 2017 New Library Resources

We have added over 130 new titles in the past month. Have a look at the list of latest additions at: https://www.law.northwestern.edu/library/secure/collections/newacquisitions/.

Posted in Library Resources

Stepping Out of the Library: A Visit to UChicago

To end the year on an amiable note, a group of our PLRC law librarians visited the University of Chicago’s Law School in early December.  We met with UChicago’s law librarians to discuss pressing issues facing our resources and special collections, creative solutions for patron needs, and future innovations.  Dialogue between professional peers allows for the informal transfer of ideas, resulting in an enhanced understanding of common challenges and improved user services through knowledge sharing. Several years ago, a group of UChicago law librarians visited Northwestern to begin this collaboration, and at the conclusion of 2016, the conversation continued.

“It was a pleasure to spend time with our law librarian colleagues from Northwestern’s Pritzker Legal Research Center.,” said Sheri Lewis, Director of the D’Angelo Law Library, University of Chicago Law School. “The morning produced great communication and the opportunity to share ideas on collections and services for our patrons.”

Director of Northwestern’s Pritzker Legal Research Center, George H. Pike, agreed: “It was a great visit and a great opportunity to learn from and share with our friends and colleagues.  The break-out groups were a lively and incredibly helpful forum for the exchange of thoughts, challenges, and ideas.  Thanks to Sheri and her team for being great hosts!”

After small and large group discussions, we toured the D’Angelo Law Library, Law School, Regenstein Library, and state-of-the-art Mansueto Library. The facilities were impressive, the company informative, and most importantly, open lines of communication were affirmed as we move into 2017 and the future of law libraries.


University of Chicago’s Special Collections Research Center and Exhibition Gallery

University of Chicago’s Special Collections Research Center and Exhibition Gallery


High-Density Storage

A behind-the-scene’s view of Mansueto Library’s underground automated storage and retrieval system. Books in the foreground will be loaded into bins and moved by this industrial crane to the long-term, high-density storage shelves.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pritzker Legal Research Center Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The Pritzker Legal Research Center will be closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. It will reopen at 7:30am on Tuesday, January 17.

Posted in Access, Holidays

Pritzker Legal Research Center Winter Recess Hours

The following hours are in effect at the Pritzker Legal Research Center:

December 17: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

December 18: CLOSED

December 19-22: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

December 23-January 2: CLOSED

January 3-7: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Regular academic year hours will resume on Sunday, January 8.

Happy Holidays!

Posted in Access, Holidays