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David C. Crago Rare Book and Special Collections Room

David C. Crago Rare Book and Special Collections Room

In May 2012 the Taggart Law Library renovated its Rare Book and Special Collections Room.  The project transformed a closed off room into an updated and secure space to house the law library’s rare books and special collections.  It offers a comfortable, attractive space for students, faculty, and visiting scholars to use the collections, comparable to the rare book rooms at some of the top law schools in the country.  The room was named in honor of the law college’s former dean, now University Provost, David C. Crago, for his long-standing support of the library, and specifically its rare book collection.

The entrance to the Rare Book Room is located on the north side of the library, near the Brabson Student Lounge.  A door in the corner of the room opens to a small reading and exhibition room, with two walls lined with cherry and glass Amish-made cabinets to display books and other items in the collection.  Small tables with chairs and task lighting allow individual study.

Behind the reading room a closed storage area houses rare books and special collection items not on display.  The reading room and storage area are fitted with a climate control system, which will regulate temperature and humidity to ensure the preservation and long-term sustainability of the Taggart Law Library’s small but growing rare books collection.

 About the Collection

 A core collection of British and American early legal treatises has been in the Law Library for many years.  This collection is largely composed of “classic” legal works recognized as important treatises in the history of Anglo-American law, including early editions of Edward Coke’s Institutes of the Laws of England, or a Commentary on Littleton, William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, Matthew Hale’s History of the Common Law, William Hawkins’ Pleas of the Crown, and James Kent’s Commentaries on American Law.

In 2008, the Law Library purchased part of an extensive collection of Canon law and Roman law materials assembled by Prof. Richard Kay, Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History, University of Kansas, and a scholar in medieval church history.  Among the rare books acquired are a complete 1548-1549 set of the Corpus Juris Canonici, a 1612 5-volume edition of the Corpus Juris Civilis, and Cardinal Hostiensis’ Summa Aurea published in 1573.  In addition, this collection includes many supporting historical treatises on Roman and Canon law.  These books are used by Ohio Northern University faculty for research and are also available to visiting scholars from other institutions.

(Above material taken from the ONU College of Law Website)



David C. Crago


David C. Crago Rare Book and Special Collections Room