Nuremberg Trials Exhibition Goes Digital

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New digital materials have been added to the Law Library exhibition commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the International Military Tribunal, the most known and the most important of the Nuremberg Trials. The exhibition includes now digital materials presented on an interactive touch-table.

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It features archival footage, photo documents, testimonies of the survivors of concentration camps, reproductions of archival documents, and visual materials illustrating Nazi crimes during the Second World War in Europe and the International Military Tribunal itself. You can browse through scanned documents, watch footage taken at the trials, and search through the collections of documents from the Harvard Law School Nuremberg Trials project, United States Holocaust Museum, and many others.

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The use of touch-table for this Law Library exhibition is a part of the McGill Library Innovation in Service project. The exhibition was curated by Svetlana Kochkina and Sonia Smith.

New Exhibition: “Justice, justice shall you pursue”: Jewish Law from Biblical Times to the Present”

Arthur Szyk PosterJewish Law has a history of more than three thousand years. This extended time, can be divided in two main periods: The first broad period begins with the written Torah and ends with the completion of the Talmud. The second broad period is the post-Talmudic period, from the completion of the Talmud until our own day (Elon, Menachem. Jewish law: history, sources, principles).

The Hebrew word “halakhah” is usually translated as “Jewish Law”, although a more literal translation might be “the path that one walks”. The word is derived from the Hebrew root Heh-Lamed-Kaf, meaning to go, to walk, or to travel (Encyclopaedia Judaica).

The principles and rules of Jewish Law are based on the Bible. While some rules are mentioned quite explicitly, others are only implied. All are elucidated in the teachings of the Tanna’im and Amora’im – the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud – and presented systematically in the codes. Thus, over the generations, a comprehensive legal system has developed.

Jewish tradition compares Jewish law to a living tree. As the Torah, the sacred scroll of the Five Books of Moses, is returned to the ark after being read in synagogue services, the liturgy quotes from the biblical book of Proverbs (4:2, 3: 18, 17): I give you good instruction; never forsake My Torah. It is a tree of life for those who hold fast to it, and those who uphold it are happy. Its ways are pleasant, and all its paths are peace. (A Living Tree. Roots and Growth of Jewish Law)

JEWISH LAW EXHIBITION title2The books for this exhibition come from the holdings of the Rare Books and Special Collections, the Nahum Gelber Law Library Special Collections, and the Humanities and Social Science Library.

Among the books presented we find a volume of the Ḥamishah ḥumshe Torah: ketav yad Temani. This is a facsimile edition of 390 copies of a manuscript of the Pentateuch, in accordance with the Yemenite tradition, with the Targum, Tafsir of Saʼadya Gaon and the Collecteana of R. Yaḥya Siani.

A miniature Shulchan Aruch, printed in Venice, in 1574. The Shulchan Aruch, or “Set Table” is a codification of Jewish law composed by Rabbi Joseph Karo in the 16th century. Together with its commentaries, it is considered the most authoritative compilation of halakha since the Talmud.

The book Sefer ha-hinukh: yavo’u vo ha-613 mitsvot, yesod Torat Moshe u-nevuato, was also printed in Venice in the Jewish year 361 [1600 or 1601]. This is an anonymous work on the 613 precepts in the order of their appearance in Scripture, giving their reasons and their laws in detail. The book is mainly based on the Sefer ha-Mitzvot and the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides.

IMG_4131One of the centerpieces is The Codex Maimuni: Moses Maimonides’ Code of law: the illuminated pages of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah. This book, published in 1984 reprints sixty-eight of the most beautiful pages from the illuminated codex of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah, one of the most outstanding surviving exemplars of mediaeval Hebrew book production.

A surviving example of Das talmudische Recht : auf den verschiedenen Stufen seiner Entwicklung mit dem römischen verglichen und systematisch dargestellt. Sachenrecht by S. Rubin (Wien: Druckerei-und Verlags-A.-G. Ig. Steinmann. 1938). This copy was printed in Viena, in 1938. According to a review written by W. R. Taylor, the author has planned a study of Talmudic law to be embraced in three volumes. The purpose of the project, according to Taylor, was to bring the Talmudic legislation into a scientific arrangement in harmony with modern methods and to institute a comparison of the Talmudic material with the relative parts of Roman law. At the end of each chapter there are extensive notes inclusive of references, citations, and expositions of maxims from the Talmud and the later codes of Maimonides, Asher, and Karo, and from Roman law.

Ioannis Seldeni, De synedriis & praefecturis juridicis veterum Ebraeorum. Londini: Typis Jacobi Flesher: Prostant apud Cornelium Bee …, 1650-1655. John Selden, 1584-1654, was an English jurist and a scholar of England’s ancient laws and constitution and a scholar of Jewish law. In 1650 Selden began to print the trilogy he planned on the Sanhedrin, the assembly of sages that constituted the highest political magistracy of the country.

IMG_4154 IMG_4157This exhibition was planned and organized by Sonia Smith and Svetlana Kochkina, librarians at the Nahum Gelber law Library.

Changes in Access to Electronic Resources

The McGill Library is making important changes in the access to electronic resources.

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the electronic resources (e-books, e-journals, databases, open access resources) will be removed from the Classic Catalogue.

  • The Classic Catalogue will continue to contain all the items in our local collections, including print books and journals, DVDs, microform, etc.
  • E-resources will be removed from the following sub-catalogues: full, audio-visual and journal titles
  • The McGill Theses sub-catalogue will not be affected by this change, and will still contain both print and electronic materials.
  • eExams will not be affected by this change, and will continue to be available as they were before.
  • Course Reserves will still display e-resources on reserve for McGill courses.
  • You can continue to access all our e-resources through WorldCat.

On Monday, June 9, 2014 the eResearch Gateway will be taken off-line.

  • The eResearch Gateway was an alternate way of searching for articles, databases, and other electronic resources. This functionality is now provided for the most part by WorldCat and the Library’s subject guides.
  • The Law Subject guide includes all the legal databases to which the McGill Library is currently subscribing.
  • If you have used saved articles using the My Research feature, you’ll need to export those article references before June 9. You can find more information about how to export the articles here.

In June, our link old resolver (“Find It”) will be migrated to OCLC’s WorldCat Link Resolver service.

  • For the most part, the change in link resolver will happen automatically and will not require any intervention on your part.
  • If you use Google Scholar to search for articles, you will need to configure it to use the new WorldCat Link Resolver to access articles that are available through the Library. You can find the information about configuring the Google Scholar here.

If you have any questions regarding upcoming changes, please do not hesitate to contact any of the liaison librarians for Law.

Archives of the Civil Code Revision Office of Quebec (C.C.R.O.) are online

The archives contain the working papers of one of the principal organs for private law reform in Quebec history. The archives are made up of the C.C.R.O.’s working papers, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, internal memoranda, etc., dating mostly between 1966 and 1979. The President of the C.C.R.O., Professor Paul-André Crépeau, donated his copies of the material to McGill University. There are approximately 4000 documents in the archives, stored in over 300 volumes. The total collection of the papers of the C.C.R.O. in the possession of McGill University amounts to approximately 40,000 pages.

In 1995, an index to the archives was created by Professors John E.C. Brierley and Nicholas Kasirer that has been incorporated into the database. In 2008, with significant support from the Wainwright Trust, a project of digitizing the archives was begun. This led to the creation of this website, with the assistance and support of the Library Technology Services section of McGill University Library.

The archives of the C.C.R.O. is a rich source for those interested in the working methods of the agency charged with a re-codification of private law in the civilian manner in North America.

Our collection is moving around…

During this Summer, Law Library staff was busy shifting our print collection to make more space for our new acquisitions. Some major changes in locations of the print materials include:

  • Canadian Abridgement moved to the 3rd floor
  • Collection Thèses Françaises is now in the basement
  • Air & Space Documents collection moved to the 5th floor
  • KJV call numbers are now on the 3rd floor

To find an exact location of an item in the library, you can click on the “Map” link in the Classic Catalogue

New McGill Library fines and loans policies

As of June 4, McGill Student, Faculty and Staff loan periods will change. The Undergraduate loan period will be extended from two weeks to six weeks, Graduate students will be able to borrow items for four months (up from six weeks) and faculty/staff loan periods will increase from one term to one year.

Begining June 4, McGill Library is eliminating late fees for regular books, journals, and music scores for all McGill students.  Please do not forget, that fines for laptops, AV , reserve, and recalled materials/ books are still in force! 

About RSS feeds

Some of you have probably wondered how you can keep up with what is happening on the Web. If you are a person who prefers information and updates to be “pushed” to you rather than going and finding them yourself, RSS feeds are for you. RSS is the most common format of the feeds, which are the data format used for providing users with frequently updated content, such as blog entries or news headlines, in a standardised format. If you subscribe to the RSS feeds from a site or a blog, e.g. this blog, you will receive a notification in your ‘feed reader’ every time when this web resource is updated. You can see a yellow RSS icon at this bolg’s page under the picture of the Law Library. If you would like to know more about RSS feed and how to use them, take a look at this video, RSS in Plain English.