Book Restoration Sponsored by the International Association of Law Libraries

book restoration

Restored book by IALL

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library) still holds the majority of the books that have been collected since 1661. As the books have been read and used throughout the centuries very intensely, some of them have suffered abrasions and damages to such a degree that they are in urgent need of repair. The Book Sponsorship Program of Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin was started to help preserve these books for future generations. The program is organized by the Verein der Freunde der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin e.V. (Friends of the Berlin State Library). Members of the library as well as the general public or others can sponsor the restoration of a rare book or manuscript.

In acknowledgment of the organization of its 2015 Annual Course on Law and Legal Information in Berlin, the International Association of Law Libraries took over a sponsorship to restore one of Berlin State Library’s rare law books. It is the Corpus Juris Civilis. Novellae etc.: by Guglielmus de Cereto, printed in Venice 1487. The so-called “Volumen parvum” was the last part of the “Corpus Juris Civilis”, the Roman law source collection of the emperor Justinian. It contains a selection of the “Novellen” (imperial law, which was adopted after the compilation of the “Corpus Juris Civilis”) and a part of the “Codex Justinianus” (a collection of the imperial law of the 2nd-6th century), as well as some medieval law texts. This edition also includes the crucial medieval commentary of Accursius Florentinus, which was – because of its length – set as a clip gloss around the text. It is important to know that the volume comes from the library of the famous jurist and philosopher Friedrich Carl von Savigny (1779-1861), who bequeathed part of his private library to the Royal Library in Berlin, the predecessor library of the Berlin State Library.

The attached ex libris on the inside of the book cover reads: ‘Restored with a donation from the International Association of Law Libraries on the occasion of the Annual Conference in Berlin 2015.’ The Berlin State Library’s rare law books collection is grateful for the donation from the IALL.


Ivo Vogel