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may be of interest to make some note of the origin of the Harvard Law Library. It was necessitated by the establishment of the Law School of Harvard University in 1817. It was immediately seen that a library was essential to the success of the School, and an appropriation of $500 was made by the Corporation of Harvard College on the 5th of September, 1817, for the purchase of law books. The Corporation, at the same time, authorized the transfer of various law works from the College Library to the Law Library. In 1846 the number of books in the Library was about 12,000. Some of these volumes belonged to the College Library, and some had been deposited by the State of Massachusetts; these books were later returned. From 1846 to 1870, the growth of the Library was very slow, and, excluding a large number of text-books (duplicates) bought for the use of the students, the actual number of volumes during this period did not much exceed 10,000. In the latter year, the practice of buying text-books for the use of the students was abandoned. At the beginning of 1870, important changes went into effect, and from that time to the present, a constant and systematic attempt has been made to improve the Library in every way possible. In 1880, the collection numbered about 20,000 volumes ; in 1890, a little over 25,000 ; in 1900, over 60,000, and at the end of the year 1908, over 111,000. Books added to the Library after Dec. 31, 1908, with the exception of a few volumes of statutes, are not included in the present catalogue.
The Library has been enriched at various times by donations. In the early years, the gifts, though infrequent, were of great importance. The first appears to have been a gift of money, namely, $100, by Mr. John Howe in 1818. Between the years 1818 and 1829 many books were given by the Hon. Christopher Gore. The catalogue of 1826 contains the titles of 119 volumes marked as having been presented by him. Quincy's “ History of Harvard University” states that during Mr. Gore's lifetime he gave many important and valuable works to the Law Library. In 1829 the Hon. Nathan Dane gave ten copies (90 volumes) of his “Abridgment.” The next gift of importance was the bequest of the Hon. Samuel Livermore in 1833 of his whole library of foreign law, of more than 300 costly volumes, and appraised at the inventory of his estate at $6000. It is described in Quincy's History
as a collection of