To celebrate the holiday season this week, we’re highlighting a few of the many wonderful books that the Rubenstein Library has received as gifts over the past year. We are truly grateful for the generosity of our donors. A hearty “Happy holidays” and thanks and to all of those who have contributed to making 2013 a wonderful year for the Rubenstein Library!
Richard Heitzenrater, William Kellon Quick Professor Emeritus of Church History and Wesley Studies in Duke’s Divinity School, donated a number of books in the fields of law, religion, and literature to the Rubenstein Library this year. Among them is an early printing of the Magna Carta and other laws of England, Magna Charta cum Statutis tum Antiquis tum Recentibus, published in 1587 by Richard Tottell, the foremost printer and bookseller of law books in Elizabethan London.
A rare and important book in any condition, the copy donated by Prof. Heitzenrater is particularly notable for its unusual format: the paper is much larger than in typical copies of the book, and the printing confined to one upper corner of each page, as seen on the title page below.
This format allowed for very large margins in which those in the legal professions could record their notes and cite additional or updated statutes. Indeed, this copy contains many early (probably seventeenth-century) handwritten notes and citations throughout the text.