Rare Book Room and Collections

Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room is located on the second floor, entrance level of MacMillan Law Library in room M202. For access to the Rare Book Room, please contact Jason LeMay.

Rare Book Collection

The Rare Book collection contains predominately 15th – 20th century editions of institutes, commentaries, reports and treatises on English, American, and Canon law, with Georgia law being the main state focus within the American portion of the collection. The earliest Georgia law title is the 1819 edition of The Office and Duty of a Justice of the Peace.

We are actively adding to the Rare Book collection on an ongoing basis. Our current focus for growth is in the area of Canon and Ecclesiastical law, where we’ve recently acquired several new titles published in the 16th – 18th centuries. Our earliest volume is Saint Antoninus’s Summa Theologica, Pars Secunda, Second Edition, printed in 1477. Also of note is Saint Antoninus’s De excommunicationibus et censuris and De sponsalibus et matrimonio, printed in 1480.

In addition to works on Canon and Ecclesiastical law, we also actively collect materials related to Women and the Law. Works on these topics range from early English and Canon law materials related to dowry, marriage, and women's rights and duties to 19th and early 20th century works, several by early women legal scholars.

Early Modern European Dissertation and Pamphlet Collection

The Early Modern European Dissertation collection contains dissertations on primarily legal topics by students and faculty of legal programs in Europe. Most of this collection is from Sweden and the Holy Roman Empire (primarily Germany, France, and Poland) and were presented during the 17th - 18th century.

In addition to dissertations, there are also a selection of legal pamphlets and discussion papers from the same geographic regions and time periods.

Conducting Research in Rare Book Collection

discoverE is the Emory Libraries Catalog. It contains records for the majority of materials held in all libraries at Emory, including rare books and dissertations.

Getting Started

1. The Rare Book Room may be used from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Times outside of these hours may be possible depending on staff availability. Please contact Jason LeMay to schedule a research appointment.

2. When you arrive at the law library, you will be asked to show a photo id and sign our register so that we have a record of your visit.

3. Next, you can consult with research services staff about your specific research interests so that we can help direct you to the most relevant materials.   

Rare Book Room Policies

  • Rare books may not be checked out. Instead, you may use them only inside the Rare Book Room.  
  • Only materials directly related to the research project at hand and to note taking are permitted near rare books. Permitted items include laptops, tablets, paper and pencils (no ink pens). Cases, bags, backpacks, purses, umbrellas, food or beverages (including water) are not permitted - these personal items must be left with the staff behind the Circulation Desk.
  • Rare books may not be removed from the Rare Book Room for any reason. Research services staff may be able to scan a limited amount of some materials upon request. Also, you may be able to use a personal camera to take pictures of the materials you are using. Please ask the staff member who assists you about using a personal camera and requesting scanning.