ARCHIVED: Learn the Secrets of Rare Law Book Collecting from the World's Leading Collector

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May 17, 2001

A highlight of the Jamail Center for Legal Research's conference on Language and the Law will be the pre-conference workshop, "Collecting Law Books & Manuscripts: A Short Course," on December 6, 2001. The workshop will be taught by Anthony Taussig, a London barrister who is probably the world's leading private collector of rare English law books and manuscripts.

The one-day workshop will be worthwhile for experienced collectors as well as those who are in-terested in starting such a collection. It will provide a unique opportunity to share the experience and insights of a practicing lawyer who is also a leading collector in the field. "Mr. Taussig's col-lection is surpassed by those of only a handful of institutions in the U.S. and Great Britain," said Roy Mersky, Director of the Jamail Center for Legal Research.

To ensure the maximum amount of hands-on activity in the pre-conference workshop, enrollment will be extremely limited. As an added incentive for early enrollment, a significant discount is offered for registration prior to June 15, 2001. Please contact Roy M. Mersky at (512) 471-7735 for a registration form and more details.

Mike Widener, the Jamail Center's Archivist/Rare Book Librarian, hopes the workshop will en-courage Law School alumni to enter the field. "Lawyers have been among the world's leading col-lectors of art, books, and antiques," he noted, "but relatively few have dedicated themselves to col-lecting the material artifacts of their own profession, such as law books and manuscripts."

The workshop will focus on the practicalities of collecting. Participants will get an in-depth intro-duction to the market in rare law books and manuscripts, and the impact of the Internet on the market. It will also analyze the reasons for collecting, comparing and contrasting the differences between institutional and private collectors. The diverse approaches to collecting as well as the opportunities and pitfalls in the field will also be addressed. A session on legal manuscripts will highlight their special characteristics, their wide variety, and the reasons why institutional and private collectors have largely neglected them in recent years.

For illustration, Mr. Taussig will use numerous examples from his own collection and from the Tarlton Law Library's Rare Books & Special Collections.

Anthony Taussig, a member of Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn, is a specialist in trust, tax, and real property law. He is a member of the Council of the Selden Society, the learned society and pub-lisher devoted to English legal history. He holds an M.A. degree in Latin and Greek language, his-tory, and philosophy from the University of Oxford (Magdalen College).

The workshop is being sponsored by Bennett Gilbert Rare Books of Los Angeles, California.