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Realia from the Jacob Burns Law Library: Why do we collect realia?

Realia from Special Collections



Realia Display case

Realia Display


Physical objects offer an unexpected and memorable dimension to the narrative of GW Law’s history and culture, and to themes and authors represented in the Law Library’s collections. They bring to life aspects of an event, idea, or person with an immediacy that eludes written accounts.

Contemplating realia is a powerful complement to reading text. Imagine if you could see that actual scale that hit poor Mrs. Palsgraf!

The Jacob Burns Law Library is one of only a few U.S. academic law libraries today with a realia collection.