Named after Arthur C. Pulling, Law Librarian from 1912 to 1942, the collection of rare law books held at the Law Library's Riesenfeld Rare Book Research Center is one of the strongest in the country. During his tenure, Pulling built an outstanding collection almost from scratch, as part of a larger mandate to build one of the nation's premier law libraries. Based on an intimate knowledge of dealers, bibliographies and prices, and a determination to collect comprehensively, Pulling created a collection with particular strengths in printed English law from the late 15th through 19th centuries, and American law from the early colonial period onward. These include a wide range of acts and statutes, law reports, treatises, trial accounts, and more, and feature works by Littleton, Coke, Blackstone, Jefferson and Paine.
Additional strengths have also been developed within the collection. These include a rich collection of American Indian law, early international law, Russian law and colonial Indian law. Of note are also smaller collections, from early Minnesota law, to law in literature, to abolitionism and women's rights in the 19th century. Finally and significantly, the Law Library's Clarence Darrow Collection is a leading resource for the study of Darrow's life and career, and features at its heart an extraordinary collection of letters to and from Darrow, and published and manuscript works by and relating to Darrow and his career.
The rare book collection continues to grow today, and remains a strong part of the historical and intellectual landscape of the Library and Law School. For more information, please see the pages for the Riesenfeld Center.