Law Library Rare Books Collection, University of Melbourne
The Law Rare Books Collection in the Law Library at the University of Melbourne comprise over one thousand rare and early legal texts. Many of these date back to the founding of the Law School in 1857.
Donations from the libraries of Sir Redmond Barry (founder and first Chancellor of the University), Sir William Hearn (first Dean of Law), Sir Isaac Isaacs, Sir Owen Dixon and other significant legal figures form the heart of the collection.
Other highlights include a unique collection of material relating to Australian Federation and the early years of the Commonwealth; the notorious trials of Charles I, Andrew Johnson and the Tichborne Claimant; the story of Ikey Solomons, the real-life model for Fagin in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist; the first printed edition of Henry de Bracton's De legibus & consuetudinibus Angliae libri quinque, the first systematic textbook of English law; a series of political pamphlets dating from the English Civil War; several early editions (1768, 1771, 1773 and 1775) of William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England; the George Paton Collection; the Finemore Collection of records relating to the Australian Constitutional Conventions (1973-1985).