Friday, August 9, 2013

Rare Finds—The Anthony Taussig Collection

In the Summer of 2013, The Lillian Goldman Law Library and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library acquired the Anthony Taussig Collection of English Legal Manuscripts and Printed Books, an extraordinary collection of materials from the thirteenth through the nineteenth century. Together, the materials form one of the world’s most extensive collections for the study of the cultural and intellectual history of law in England, with particular strengths in the period from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, when English legal thought emerged as a key global influence.

The printed book collection resides at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, and the manuscript collection resides at the Beinecke Library.

The Taussig Collection builds on the Lillian Goldman Law Library’s already extraordinary holdings for William Blackstone, the most comprehensive in the world, with another twenty-three Blackstone titles. They also significantly strengthened holdings in the fields of bankruptcy, commercial law, and law reform. Nineteen of the newly acquired books are the only copies in North American libraries, and nine of those are the only copies in any library worldwide.

The acquisition is the culmination of discussions that the Law Library initiated with collector Anthony Taussig five years ago. The purchase of the printed books was made possible by a generous grant from Yale Law School's Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund.

“These acquisitions will materially enrich our programs of research and teaching in legal history at Yale Law School,” said John H. Langbein, Sterling Professor of Law and Legal History.

“Anthony Taussig is not only a collector, but an accomplished legal historian,” said Mike Widener, the Law Library’s Rare Book Librarian who first met Taussig fifteen years ago. “As a result, he assembled a collection with superb research value.”