Nicholas Statham (fl.1472).
Abridgment. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections
Lawyers were accustomed to compile their own commonplace books to keep
track of significant points, pleadings, and decisions, but these were for
generally personal use. One lawyer, Nicholas Statham, made an abridgment of
cases drawn from the manuscripts of English year books, the oldest legal records
of the common law, which was ultimately printed in the last decade of the
fifteenth century. Statham's Abridgment dealt with cases from the reign
of Henry VI (1423-1461). Cases were arranged alphabetically by subject under
such topics as jurisdiction, fines, disclaimer and damages. The copy on display
shows how lawyers continued to add cases to the abridgment by covering the
margins with notes. The abridgment format continued to be a useful tool for
lawyers until the nineteenth century, when abridgements of reports ran to 24 volumes.
Purchased on the Carpentier Fund, 1917
Johannes Andreae (d. 1348).
De arbore consanguinitatis, affinitatis et cognitionis spiritualis. Manuscript on paper,. Germany, November 24, 1483. Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, MS 8
The famous Bolognese authority on canon law, Johannes Andreae, wrote
several treatises in regard to relationships considered too close for marriage.
These were often illustrated with tree diagrams to facilitate understanding of
the concepts of consanguinity, or blood relationships, affinity, or
relationships by marriage, and spiritual relationships, those created through
sacramental duties such as that of godparent. In this manuscript, the Arbor
affinitatis (f. 7v) shows a person in an Italianate hat above the tree who
may represent the author. The Arbor consanguinitatis (f. 3v) shows a pope
above the tree, undoubtedly Innocent III. The work was often found bound after
early printed copies of the great collections of canon law. The Burke Library
has copies so bound, but this one came to New York with the library of Leander
van Ess unbound, as it remains today.
Purchased with the Leander van Ess Collection, 1838
Thomas Littleton (1422-1481).
Tenures. London: Richard Tottell, 1557. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Krulewitch Collection
This treatise on land tenure was the authoritative work on English
landholding in all its complex forms: fee simple, fee tail, tenant at will,
tenant by copy, tenant by the verge, in a vocabulary that preserves such legal
terms as parcener, socage and frankalmoign. It was the book every law
student read and every lawyer had to have from the time of its first edition in
1481 until the mid-nineteenth century. Many editions were printed in order to
meet a great demand for the volume. Sir Thomas Littleton, Justice of the Common
Pleas, wrote it as a book of instruction for his son, which may account for its
refreshingly simple and direct style of writing, even if the terminology is
technical. Littleton wrote in French, the language of the law, although English
translations began to appear in the early sixteenth century. Copies of this book
often contain annotations by lawyers who added references to decisions of cases.
In addition, the book's compact form lent itself to portability.
Gift of General and Mrs. Melvin L. Krulewitch, 1970
William III, King of Great Britain(1650-1702).
Anno regni Gulielmi III Regis Angliae, Scotiae, Franciae &
Hiberniae, Decimo. London: Charles Bill and the Executrix of Thomas Newcomb, 1699. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections
This book of English statutes belonged to Joseph Murray (1694-1757), a
lawyer in colonial New York. A prominent and successful practitioner, Murray
served on the vestry of Trinity Church from 1720 to 1726 and as warden until
1757. He was a member of the King's College Board of Governors since its
foundation in 1754. Although married, he had no children and when he died in
1757, he bequeathed his library to the recently founded College, along with a
considerable remainder of his estate. With enough money to import law books from
England, Murray assembled an excellent library of law reports and treatises.
Unfortunately the College library suffered plundering during the American
Revolution resulting in the loss of many of Murray's gifts.
Gift of Joseph Murray, 1758
Catherine II, Empress of Russia (1729-1796).
Nakaz Eia Imperatorskago Velichestva Ekateriny Vtoriya, Samoderzhitsy
Vserossiiskiia dannyi Kommissii o sochinenii proekta novago ulozheniia. St. Petersburg: Akademii nauk, 1770. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections
After coming to power in 1762, Catherine II traveled across Russia to meet
her subjects. During her journeys, she was struck by the pressing need to create
a uniform body of laws for her country. This book is a publication of her
instructions to the Commission on the Code of Laws which she called into being
and charged with that responsibility. Her instructions were printed in columnar
style in four languages: Russian, Latin, German and French. Montesquieu'sDe
l'esprit des lois and Cesare Beccaria's Dei delitti e della pene,
an essay on crimes and punishments, strongly influenced Catherine's ideas. In
this spirit, she envisioned Russia as a European country; she endorsed lofty
concepts of equality; and she asked for administrative and judicial reforms in
the structure of government. Although members of the Commission on the Code met
for many sessions and debates over several months, they failed to codify any
laws. In the end, privileges of the nobility were not curtailed, nor were there
land reforms, nor freeing of the serfs. Catherine's attentions had been drawn to
expanding the borders of her Empire, fighting wars with the Turks, and
responding to internal unrest.
Acquired in 1937
Ephraim Kirby (1757-1804).
Reports of cases adjudged in the Superior Court of Connecticut; with some
determinations in the Supreme Court of Errors. Litchfield: Collier & Adam, 1789. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections
This was the first publication of decisions of an American court, the
Superior Court of Connecticut. Lawyers and judges faced a dilemma after the
thirteen colonies won independence because there was no publication of American
reports during the colonial period. Would lawyers continue to base their
arguments on English law reports which were not widely available in the new
nation? How could decisions of American courts be cited if they were not
printed? Connecticut was first to address this problem. The legislature passed
and act in 1784 requiring judges to submit written judgments which could be kept
on file with the clerk of the court. Filing decisions, however, is not the same
as publication for sale or distribution. It was the initiative of Ephraim Kirby,
a private citizen who recognized the need and opportunity, who undertook the
task of finding interested purchasers to subscribe to a volume of reports. Names
of 230 subscribers listed in the back of the volume show that lawyers from
Vermont and New York were interested to acquire reports from this court. Nor was
it a simple matter for Kirby to assemble these reports. The court was
ambulatory, meeting in New London, Hartford, Litchfield, Windham, Fairfield, and
New Haven counties. The completed volume covers decisions from 1785 to 1788 and
distinguished Kirby as the first reporter of court decisions in the United States.
William Samuel Johnson (1795-1883).
Litchfield notebook of law lecture courses. Manuscript on paper. Litchfield, Connecticut, 1817. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Johnson Collection
The Litchfield Law School, established by Tapping Reeve in Litchfield,
Connecticut, was the first law school in America. From its opening in 1774, the
school trained more than 1,000 students before it closed in 1833. The course of
instruction included lectures by Reeve, a graduate of Princeton College, and
moot court sessions. Students transcribed Reeve's lectures into notebooks like
this, which would later serve as useful reference works in the law office.
William Samuel Johnson (not the first president of Columbia College, but
related to that family) received his A.B. from Union College (Schenectady, N.Y.)
in 1816 after which he read law at the Litchfield Law School. He began his
practice in New York City and was later elected to the N.Y. State Senate in
1848, representing the sixth district in Manhattan.
Gift of William Samuel Johnson
Enchiridion peri synallagmatikon. Athens: Philolaos, 1841. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections
This manual on bills of exchange and contracts is one of the earliest law
books to be printed in Greece. Greece had won its independence from the Ottomans
only two decades earlier and was beginning to develop its own civil and
commercial codes. Nothing is known about the author, who was a lawyer, except
that he also translated books from French into Greek.
Acquired in 2003
Benjamin N. Cardozo (1870-1938).
Communism. Autograph manuscript on paper, 66 pp., Senior Thesis, prepared for A.B.
degree, Columbia College, 1889. RBML, Benjamin Cardozo Papers
Born in New York, Cardozo attended Columbia College, graduating in 1889,
and Law School but left without taking a law degree. He served as counsel to
other lawyers, and soon gained a reputation as a "lawyer's lawyer." He was
elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 1913, then a year later to the
New York State Court of Appeals, becoming Chief Judge of the court in 1927.
Especially in commercial law, Cardozo's opinions carried great weight in
New York and throughout the country. His decision in the landmark case of
McPherson v. Buick Motor Co. (1916) changed the very nature of
product liability law, making manufacturers directly liable to the consumer.
Cardozo argued that rules of law should be judged not by their antiquity or
logic but by the extent to which they contributed to society's welfare. He was
appointed to the Supreme Court by President Hoover in 1932 to succeed Oliver
Wendell Holmes. Joining the liberal block headed by Justices Louis D. Brandeis
and Harlan Fiske Stone, he voted to uphold much of the early New Deal
legislation. In his six terms he showed promise of becoming one of the Court's
great justices, but died before he could leave a significant corpus of opinions.
His papers held by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library include his senior
thesis, shown here, as well as his lecture notes kept as a student at Columbia,
and his commonplace books.
Gift of the Estate of Benjamin N. Cardozo, 1938
Hirobumi Itō (1841-1909).
Teikoku kenpō, Kōshitsu tenpan gige [Commentaries on the Constitution
of the Empire of Japan and Imperial ordinance]. Tokyo: Kokka Gakkai, 1889. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Toshiba Library for Japanese Legal Research
The Constitution of the Empire of Japan, Japan's first constitution, was
promulgated in 1889, after two decades of careful studies on the constitutions
of the United States and Europe, in particular that of Germany. With this
constitution Japan was to set forth the foundation of a modern state. However,
the articles concerning the emperor and the state were still deeply rooted in
Japan's old Shinto tradition. The Emperor is sacred and inviolable (Article
III). The Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in himself the rights of
sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present
Constitution. (Article IV). Hirobumi Itō, who became the first prime minister of
Japan in 1885, played a leading role towards the adoption of this monarchism. In
this commentary wrote Itō, "The Sacred Throne of Japan is inherited from
Imperial Ancestors, and it is to be bequeathed to posterity; in it resides the
power to reign over and govern the State" (Itō, Miyoji, tr.Commentaries on
the Constitution of the Empire of Japan). After the promulgation of the
constitution, Kotarō Kaneko, a graduate of Harvard Law School and one of the
draftsmen of the constitution, visited with the translated edition prominent
legal scholars in Europe and the United States, including Oliver Wendell Holmes,
then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. The reactions were
generally positive and approving. The Toshiba Library also houses the translated edition.
Gift of the Family of Justice Jiro Tanaka, 1982
Yatsuka Hozumi (1860-1912).
Kenpō Teiyō [Outline of the Constitution]. Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 1911. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Toshiba Library for Japanese Legal Research
"[T]he Emperor is the state." (p. 79, v. 1). This often-cited line
eloquently summarizes Hozumi's view of the state. According to him there are two
forms of state (kokutai), monarchical and democratic, depending on the bearer of
sovereignty, and two forms of government (seitai), absolute and constitutional.
The kokutai is eternal while the seitai is not. "In a society," he claimed,
"there is from the start a heaven-sent leader." Within that framework, Japan's
millenary imperial lineage constituted the "unbroken monarchical state. Hozumi's
conservative views conformed to the intent of the constitution's authors, and
helped him reach an influential position in academia as well as in the
government. As with most prominent scholars of the time, Yatsuka Hozumi studied
law in Germany for several years. Upon his return to Japan, he taught at the
Imperial University of Tokyo from 1889 until his death in 1912. Kenpō
Teiyō is considered his most important work. The book displayed is the
second edition of the original published in 1910.
Gift of the Family of Justice Jiro Tanaka, 1982
Tatsukichi Minobe (1873-1948).
Kenpō satsuyō [Principles of the Constitution]. Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 1932. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Toshiba Library for Japanese Legal Research
Today Tatsukichi Minobe is one of the most respected legal scholars in the
history of Japan. Educated in Germany, he represented the liberal constitutional
views against views of his senior colleague at the Imperial University of Tokyo,
Yatsuka Hozumi and his successor, Shinkinchi Uesugi. Minobe did not espouse the
divinity of the emperor. He argued that the sovereignty resided in the state, of
which the emperor is an organ (kikan). Though Minobe was not the first nor the
only one to challenge Hozumi's theory, his "emperor-organ theory" was severely
attacked when the military power ascended in the 1930's. As a result, his
publications on constitutional law including Kenpō satsuyō were banned
from the public in 1935. After World War II, however, his views gained much
popularity. This is the fifth revised edition of Kenpō satsuyō,
originally published in 1923.
Gift of the Family of Justice Jiro Tanaka, 1982
Dwight's retirement folio. Manuscript folio. New York, Dempsey & Carroll, 1891. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections
This hand-colored memento was presented to Theodore W. Dwight (1822-1892)
upon his retirement as the first Dean of Columbia College School of Law. In
1858, Dwight had been called from the Law Department of Hamilton College in
Clinton, New York by the Law Committee of Columbia's trustees to organize a
department of law and jurisprudence at Columbia. As Professor of Municipal Law,
Dwight directed the instruction and oversaw the expansion of the school for 33
years. At the School's first commencement in 1860, twenty-seven men were
graduated. When Dwight retired in 1891, the graduating class had grown to 230
members. Students of the classes of 1891 and 1892 commissioned this book of
remembrance, richly illustrated with colored vignettes and borders. Members of
these classes, including Benjamin N. Cardozo, signed the folio, which shows the
Law School building, then located at Madison Avenue and 49th Street.
George Welwood Murray Fund, 2001
Harlan Fiske Stone with his law clerks. Photograph (26 x 35 cm.) Washington, D.C., 1938. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Stone Collection
Harlan Fiske Stone was dean of Columbia Law School from 1910 to 1924 before
his appointment, first to be Attorney General of the U.S., then to the U.S.
Supreme Court. Every year on the Court, Justice Stone held a dinner for his
current and former law clerks, many of them graduates of Columbia Law School.
Pictured in row 1: Oliver Merrill, Milton Handler, Robert Cogswell, Justice
Stone, Alfred McCormack, Francis Downey, Adrian Leiby; in row 2: Warner Gardner,
Howard Westwood, Herbert Wechsler, Alexis Coudert, Thomas Harris, Walter
Gellhorn, Louis Lusky, Harold Leventhal, Wilbur Friedman, and Allison Dunham.
Gift of Harlan Fiske Stone
Telford Taylor (1908-1998).
Public Relations Photo Section, Office, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes,
Nuremberg, Germany, APO 696-A, US Army, Photo No. OMT-IX-P-7. Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, Germany: February 13, 1948. Black and white photograph, 20.3 x 25.4 cm. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Telford Taylor Papers
Telford Taylor (1908-1998).
Statement on Nuremberg Trials for the International News Service. Typescript, May 9, 1949. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Telford Taylor Papers
Telford Taylor was an attorney, historian, writer and legal scholar. Taylor
was a Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School (1963-1976) and served
as Nash Professor Emeritus of Law (1976-1998). From 1945 to 1946, Taylor was a
member of the Office of United States Chief of Counsel, Nuremberg War Crimes
Trials, Nuremberg, Germany. In 1946, Taylor was appointed Chief Counsel, and
Prosecutor for the Nuremberg Military Tribunals that ran from 1946 to 1949. In
this photograph, Taylor is shown presenting the closing arguments of the
prosecution in the Einsatzgruppen case. The defendants, as officers of the
Einsatzgruppen extermination units, were charged with furthering Hitler's
program of genocide through the murdering of approximately one million Jews,
Gypsies, Poles, Soviet officials, and others marked in the Nazi race
purification plan for the strengthening of Germanism. "When a plan was so
criminal that Himmler and Hitler were ashamed of it," stated General Taylor, "it
must have been indeed horrible."
In his May 9, 1949 statement to the International News Service, Brig. Gen.
Taylor announced the end of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals. The document
contains Taylor's original corrections and clearance stamps from the Security
Review Section, Public Information Division, Special Staff United States Army.
Taylor declared: "... I venture to predict that as time goes on we will hear
more about Nuremberg rather than less, and that in a very real sense the
conclusion of the trials marks the beginning, and not the end, of Nuremberg as a
force in politics, law and morals." ... "Nuremberg was part of the process of
enforcing law-law that long antedated the trials, and that will endure into the
future; law that binds not only Germans and Japanese, but all men."
Gift of Professor Toby Golick, 1999
R. v. Adams and others. South African Mass Treason Trial. Pretoria: Special Criminal Court in Pretoria, 1959-1960. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections
In the long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, this trial of 156
people accused of conspiring to overthrow the state by violence brought the
world's attention to racial and political discrimination in South Africa. The
accused were a cross section of South African society: Africans, Indians,
Europeans from many professions and occupations: students, doctors, lawyers,
skilled and unskilled laborers, shopkeepers, teachers, and tribal chiefs. Many
were members of the African National Congress (A.N.C.) which had been a
motivating force for the adoption of the Freedom Charter by the Congress of the
People in 1955. Among the accused was Nelson Mandela, who, with his law partner
Oliver Tambo, had opened the first African legal practice in Johannesburg in
1952. Mandela's testimony is preserved in this transcript, containing his views
on non-violence and on the Freedom Charter. After a lengthy trial, the
defendants were all acquitted, but this trial was only the beginning of the
movement to establish equality before the law in South Africa.
Gift of Thomas G. Karis, 1986