Commonplace Books of Law: A Selection of Law-Related Notebooks from the Seventeenth Century to the Mid-Twentieth Century

Occasional Publications of the Bounds Law Library, Number Five, University of Alabama School of Law, 2005

U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1071163

145 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2007  

Paul Pruitt

University of Alabama - School of Law

David Durham

University of Alabama - School of Law

Abstract

Commonplace Books of Law: A Selection of Law-Related Notebooks from the Seventeenth Century to the Mid-Twentieth Century is number five in the Bounds Law Library's series of Occasional Publications. Based on works held in the library's Special Collections, this book begins with an introduction by Paul Pruitt that traces the history of legal notebooks and comments on the significance of note taking in legal education and practice. Then Pruitt and coauthor David Durham (with contributions by Tony Allan Freyer and Timothy W. Dixon) provide edited transcripts of handwritten or typed materials from a range of historical periods - including a commonplace book from the Restoration-era Inns of Court, the ledger of a lawyer-merchant from early national New York, a volume of notes from the Litchfield Law School, a Reconstruction-era diary, practice notes by late nineteenth and early twentieth-century lawyers, and finally, a sourcebook compiled for Justice Hugo L. Black, with his marginal notes. Commonplace Books of Law displays the richness and diversity of holdings in the Bounds Law Library's Special Collections. In addition it represents a significant collaboration among Bounds librarians, the University of Alabama School of Law faculty, and scholars from other institutions who generously provided advice and counsel.

Keywords: commonplace books, Hugo L. Black, Inns of Court, legal education, legal history, legal profession, New South, note taking

Suggested Citation

Pruitt, Paul and Durham, David, Commonplace Books of Law: A Selection of Law-Related Notebooks from the Seventeenth Century to the Mid-Twentieth Century. ; U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1071163. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1071163

Paul Pruitt (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Bounds Law Library
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States
205-348-1107 (Phone)
205-348-1112 (Fax)

David Durham

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Bounds Law Library
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States
205-348-2480 (Phone)
205-348-1112 (Fax)

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