Entries Tagged as Library Exhibits
March 18, 2013 · Katharina Hering
Library recognizes 50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright with exhibit, film screening, research guide
Fifty years ago, on Monday, March 18, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overruled its own 1942 decision in Betts v. Brady. The Court mandated that states must provide lawyers for persons who are facing serious criminal charges, and who cannot afford counsel. Gideon v. Wainwright was a reflection of the broad awareness toward poverty at the time (President Johnson declared the War on Poverty in 1964), paving the way for the establishment -and improvement of -- public defender structures and systems in all U.S. states. The case had broad constitutional implications, and represented a victory for the position that the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights were applicable to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment. One of the leading advocates of that position was Justice Hugo Black, who wrote the option of the Court. "Any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him...lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries."
In recognition of this significant anniversary, Georgetown Law Library is featuring an exhibition about the case. In addition, we will screen Gideon's Trumpet tonight, kicking off the Equal Justice Film Festival, and will also launch an indigent defense research guide.
The exhibit in the atrium of the E.B. Williams Law Library tells the story of Gideon v. Wainwright based on materials from the National Equal Justice Library's collections, including the Gideon's Trumpet script and stills collection, and other items. The 1980 TV movie Gideon's Trumpet was based on Anthony Lewis' book with the same title, which was initially published in 1964. The movie followed the book closely, but the director also took some artistic freedoms. Photographs in the exhibit, for example, contrast the 1963 Warren Court with the Hollywood Supreme Court. Sam Jaffe, representing Felix Frankfurter, remained on the Hollywood court, while in fact he had already resigned from the Supreme Court. As one of the supporters of Betts v. Brady, he was left on the Hollywood court to represent the opinion skeptical of overturning the 1942 decision.
The movie ends with Gideon's acquittal after a second trial, where he was represented by an attorney (Fred Turner). But what happened after the happy ending? "It's fair to say that all of the hopes that we had have not been fulfilled," said Abe Krash, a Georgetown Law faculty member who worked on Abe Fortas defense team for Clarence Gideon, in an NEJL oral history interview. Later this spring, the library will continue its Gideon anniversary programs, and will be highlighting the General Charles L. Decker/NLADA collection in another exhibit, which will address some of the challenges of implementing and sustaining Gideon's mandate following the 1963 decision.
In addition to the oral history with Abe Krash, the NEJL collections include oral history interviews with Bruce Jacob, who argued against Gideon on behalf of the State of Florida as a young Assistant Attorney General, and with Anthony Lewis, the author of Gideon's Trumpet (1964), who followed the case as a reporter. Full videos and transcripts of the interviews can be accessed at: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/collections/nejl/gideon/index.cfm.
Please join us for the screening of Gideon's Trumpet tonight: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/about/125/filmfestival.cfm
125th Anniversary · Legal History · Library Exhibits · National Equal Justice Library
February 25, 2013 · Erin Kidwell
Scholars researching the history of the law consider law books and related works from the period covered vital sources of information.The value of these sources increases when they contain contemporaneous annotations that can provide vital clues to the mental world of lawyers of the day. If those annotations were made by a significant historical figure, such clues are priceless. Georgetown Law Library’s Special Collections holds several annotated imprints, including:
Sir Edward Coke's (1552-1634) copy of the 1569 imprint of De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae [On the Laws and Customs of England] (ca. 1230-50) by Henri de Bracton (1210-1268), the first treatise of English law now commonly known simply as Bracton; and,
Sir Matthew Hale's (1609-1676) copy of the 1640 imprint of one of the most significant medieval chronicle histories of England, Monachi Albanensis Angli Historia Major by Matthew Paris (1200-1259), the 13th century scholar, polymath, and member of the court of Henry III.
Annotated Imprints features selected facsimile images from these two unique books. The exhibit is currently on view in the Special Collections exhibit case outside Rm. 210 in the Williams Library.
To view these and other rare books and historical materials, contact Erin Kidwell - firstname.lastname@example.org or Special Collections - email@example.com, or visit us in Williams 210 M-F from 9am to 5pm.
Legal History · Library Exhibits · News for Alumni · News for Faculty · News for Students · Special Collections
December 10, 2012 · Andrew J. Christensen
Forget soda cans, noisy snacks, and aromatic carryout in the library – how about a late-night study buddy lighting up a stogie in the carrel behind you?
In 2012, it would be pretty much unthinkable (not to mention illegal*) to allow smoking anywhere inside the Georgetown Law Library. However, a new exhibit in the Williams Library highlights a time when cigarettes, pipes, and other types of tobacco were actually welcome within the library and Law Center, as elsewhere throughout society.
Stop by the Williams atrium display cases for some photos and facts that just might “blow” your mind. And remember, the only smoking allowed (and encouraged!) around here nowadays is of your exams – best of luck!
*D.C. Code § 7-1703(4) (2001).
125th Anniversary · Georgetown News · Legal History · Library Exhibits · Library News · Library Policies · News for Alumni · News for Faculty · News for Students · Special Collections
August 10, 2012 · Erin Kidwell
In early May 2012 Georgetown Law Library lost one of our longest serving librarians when the Head of Special Collections, Laura Bédard, passed away unexpectedly at age 55. Laura was the quintessential rare book librarian; she loved both old books and history. Her work gave her ample moments to pursue both these passions, and on one occasion this led her into her own family history. In 2005 we discovered an inscription by an Isadore Bedard in one of our 1829 volume of Les Statuts du Bas-Canada [Statutes of Lower-Canada]. As her family is of French-Canadian descent on her father’s side, Laura began researching her genealogy to see if there was any connection. She was delighted to discover that she and Isadore Bedard were indeed distant relations reunited by the ineffable tides of time.
One of the true joys of working with rare books and legal history is being able to, in a sense, time travel and experience still tangible parts of the past. Special Collections has created a small exhibit in our display case outside of Williams 210 celebrating Laura’s life at Georgetown Law that includes images from this volume of early Canadian statutes.
Library Exhibits · Library News · News for Alumni · News for Faculty · News for Students · Special Collections