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Library Awarded Grant for Preservation of Old and Rare Legal Books and Documents

July 08, 2009 – 
The Law Library at Rutgers School of Law–Newark has received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) that will help preserve old and rare books in its collections for future generations. IMLS will donate to Rutgers a core set of conservation books and online resources designated the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf. Among the library’s holdings in need of preservation and care are manuscripts and books in the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Bradley (1870–1892) collection, Garden State Bar Association archives, National Bar Association archives, and some rare books such as those on English law dating back to the 16th century. 

The Law Library director, Professor Carol Roehrenbeck, stated: “The Connecting to Collections Bookshelf grant will provide the library with valuable information, concepts, and guidelines for the preservation, conservation, and disaster preparedness of these collections. Without the resources to care for and manage these materials, our users, the citizens of Newark as well as the State of New Jersey, might in the future be deprived of access to many of these important research tools.” 

The law school library is one of only 907 libraries in the country to receive the Bookshelf grant. The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in art or history museums and in libraries’ special collections. The Bookshelf addresses such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues. 

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.