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Law School Special Collections, Archives & Law Library Exhibits

Special Collections

The Judge Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library's Special Collections Reading Room focuses on preserving rare books, valuable and/or unique collections, and law school archival material. The Special Collections Reading Room generally houses works printed prior to 1850. These titles require special care, need preservation work and in some instances may be considered rare. One will find among these:

  • Blackstone's Commentaries on the Law (1803);
  • Bacon's Abridgement of the Law (1798);
  • Coke's Institutes of the Laws of England (1809); and
  • Dalrymple's Essay toward a General History of Feudal Property Law (1758).

The Special Collections Reading Room also includes books of more recent vintage that are of unique interest to the law school community. For example, textbooks published by our early deans, materials on the Inns of Court, the history of the Old Baily, and reminiscences of local Washington area law firms are shelved here. Holding a place of special honor is a collection of mid-nineteenth century legal Americana donated by former Professor Emeritus Maxwell Bloomfield. These and other rare books can be found in the Law Library's online catalog and are identified with a location of "Special Collections."

Terms of Access

Librarians are usually available to assist with retrieving materials from the Special Collections. Visitors should contact the Reference Department (202-319-6284) ahead of time to arrange for assistance with this collection.


The Archives section of the Special Collections Reading Room contains a number of important collections. It is the repository of materials from former faculty members, several judges, and notable alumni. 

The Archives Section also serves as a historical repository for the Columbus School of Law as evidenced through the collection and retention of materials illustrating the day-to-day public life of the institution.

Terms of Access

Librarians are usually available to assist with retrieving materials from the Special Collections during regular business hours, however visitors should email the Law Library ( ahead of time to confirm availability and arrange for assistance with this collection.

Additional Resources

Resources for Researching the History of the Law School


Professor Emeritus Stephen G. Margeton (the Director of the Judge Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library and Professor of Law from 1988 until 2013), in conjunction with current and former members of the Law School's administration and faculty, is currently researching and writing a history of the Catholic University of  America Columbus School of Law.  While the book is forthcoming, the following texts provide useful information related to the history of the Law School and the University.





Annual Reports, Yearbooks & Newspapers

Articles/Documents Arranged In Chronological Order