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Jewels from the French Collection: Introduction

Jewels of the French Collection

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The George Washington University designated April 23-27, 2018, as “French Week” to honor His Excellency Emmanuel Macron’s visit to GWU, where he hosted a town hall meeting with GW students. The Law Library and other departments across campus staged French-themed events, including exhibitions and lectures. In its display, “Jewels from the French Collection,” the Law Library presented some of its treasures dating from the twelfth through nineteenth centuries.

The French Collection forms the core of the Law Library’s Special Collections, and includes customary law, legal codes, trials, materials documenting the conflict between church and state, French Revolutionary materials, and a significant collection of nonlegal historical materials which provide needed background for researchers.

Eleven of the most important pieces from the French Collection were included in the display, including early manuscripts, an incunabulum and two “post-incunabula,” a French Revolutionary pamphlet, exemplars of customary law and the Code Civil, and mid-nineteenth century trial documents.

Curated by Jennie Meade, Director of Special Collections, | Spring/Fall 2018