Rare books are defined as books having value as an object, aside from or in addition to the intellectual value of the text. The law library considers non-American law books prior to 1800 and American law books prior to 1850 to be rare books. The Library houses approximately 1,200 rare books, primarily early English, American, Maine and Massachusetts legal treatises, dating back to the 17th century. Rare books are purchased selectively according to subject interest and cost. The Law Library’s rare books are housed in the Gignoux Rare Book Room and can be accessed by making an appointment with a Reference Librarian.
The Garbrecht Law Library is honored to house the legal papers of Judge Edward Gignoux, U.S. District Court judge who presided over numerous high-profile cases and was twice considered for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Judge Frank M. Coffin, U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the First Circuit named by President Lyndon B. Johnson who served on the bench for 40 years, eleven as chief judge of the court (1972-1983). This material is housed in the Judge Edward T. Gignoux Special Collections and Rare Book Room on the fourth floor of the Law School. Please contact the reference department for access to the collection.