The Law Rare Books Collection is an important public collection of rare and early legal texts. The collection is of research significance not only to lawyers, but also to researchers of legal, social and cultural history. It has particularly strong holdings of early printed law texts, law reports, seventeenth-century political pamphlets, classic legal texts and material relating to Australian Federation and the early years of the Commonwealth. Its 19th century holdings are a good representative example of a colonial lawyer's library and are significant for what they can tell us about the practice of law in early Victoria. The collection's links to the beginnings of the University of Melbourne – via the collections of individuals such as William Edward Hearn and Sir Redmond Barry – make it of significance to Melbourne Law School and the University community more broadly.
10.1 Collection Management – Research Assistant
The focus of this project will be to conduct research into a selection of texts and materials in the Law Rare Books Collection. New information generated will be used to enrich the catalogue and to enhance research guides that highlight the significant works within the Collection. This new research will expand our understanding of these materials and aid future appreciation, interpretation and management of the Collection.