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Drawn exclusively from the Arthur C. Pulling Rare Books Collection of the University of Minnesota Law Library, "Seven Centuries of Law" traces the development of legal thought and publishing from the late fifteenth century to the present. Unlike previous exhibits which have focused on a particular component of the Rare Books Collection such as American Indian treaties or historic trials, this exhibit includes a wide range of materials: canon law, early English yearbooks and session laws, early case reports and abridgements, English and American commentaries and treatises, and American colonial law. "Seven Centuries of Law" portrays not only the diversity of materials included in the Rare Books Collection, but also the broad sweep of time represented by its books.

The breadth and depth of materials included in this exhibit is a testament to Arthur C. Pulling, Law Librarian from 1912-1942, whose purchases of English and American legal classics are the cornerstone of the Rare Books Collection and are the foundation of the University of Minnesota Law Library's reputation as one of the outstanding legal research collections in the country.

This online version of "Seven Centuries of Law" includes only a small sampling of those books included in the exhibit in the Rare Books Room. We hope that this sampling provides alumni and friends of the Law School with a deeper appreciation of legal history as it is preserved and made accessible at the Law Library. Appreciation is extended to Timothy Fay, Web Administrator, for his leadership in preparing these pages for the web.

-Katherine Hedin, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections


15th-16th Centuries


17th Century


18th Century


19th Century