Monday, October 19, 2009

Grotius's Freedom of the Seas: The Yale Exhibit

The Lillian Goldman Law Library of the Yale Law School announces a new exhibit, Freedom of the Seas, 1609: Grotius and the Emergence of International Law. As a post on the Yale Law Library Rare Books Blog explains:
At the dawn of the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company commissioned a young prodigy named Hugo Grotius to prepare a legal argument rejecting Spanish and Portuguese claims of dominion over the oceans around their overseas empires. His essay, Mare Liberum ("On the Freedom of the Seas") touched off a "Battle of the Books." What eventually emerged was a regime of international law to govern humanity's common interest in shared resources.

At the center of this battle was Grotius and England's leading legal scholar, John Selden. The exhibition documents their contributions and those from other European jurists, with books from the Rare Book Collection of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Harvard Law School Library, and the private collection of Edward Gordon.

The exhibition was curated by Edward Gordon, Yale Law School Class of 1963, and Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian. It will run from October 2009 to January 2010 in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery, which is located in the lower level of the Lillian Goldman Law Library (Level L2), directly in front of the Paskus-Danziger Rare Book Reading Room.

For those unable to visit the exhibit in person, it will appear in installments on the Yale Law Library Rare Books Blog.
Hat tip: Michael Widener

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