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U of M Law Library > Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center

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Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center

Room N-30, Walter F. Mondale Hall, University of Minnesota Law Library

The Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center


For out of olde feldes, as men seyth,
Cometh al this newe corn from yer to yere,
And out of olde bokes, in good feyth,
Cometh al this newe science that men lere.

-Geoffrey Chaucer
The Parliament of Fowles

The Stefan A. Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center provides a secure and climate-controlled space for the Arthur C. Pulling Rare Books Collection and assures the preservation of these treasures–these “olde bokes,” in Chaucer’s words–for future generations. In addition to compact shelving, the Center includes a spacious reading room and a stunning reception space and exhibit hall.

The foundation for the Rare Books Collection was laid during the tenure of Arthur C. Pulling, Library Director from 1912 to 1942. Over the past seven decades the collection, which now contains 25,000 volumes, has continued to increase both in size and quality, and is recognized as one of the finest legal rare book collections in the United States. The Riesenfeld Center is designed to provide the finest environment possible for these irreplaceable volumes–including the first edition of Sir Edward Coke’s Reports (1600), wherein appears Coke’s memorable paraphrase of Chaucer:

Out of ould fields must spring and grow the new corne.

We invite students, faculty and alumni–and all interested persons–to visit the Riesenfeld Center.