At the Origins of the Law

Capolettera di Statuta Verone

The objects displayed here intend to illustrate the milestones of the history of law, starting from the late Middle Ages all the way through to the early nineteenth century, embracing seven centuries of history. From the rediscovery of the Justinian texts, by the great jurist and glossator Irnerius, to the commentators, then Gratian and the systematization of canon law. A section is dedicated to the statutes of municipalities and the arts and crafts, the so-called Iura Propria, then the exhibition continues with documents of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and, finally, the Napoleonic Code, the first code in the modern sense, which marks the triumph of a legal system inspired by the Enlightenment.

The documents presented are part of the Lawyers' Guild Archives, a collection of over 12,000 volumes, which counts 1500 books from the sixteenth century, incunabula, manuscripts and numerous editions of the centuries XVII and XVIII. The collection was built through donations of private libraries, created as part of the requirements of legal professionals - as prove the numerous handwritten notes - and was donated in 1940 by the Lawyers' Guild to the University where it represented the first nucleus of the Law Library. Preserved originally at the Rector's Office, after several transfers to other locations, it was finally merged in the Social Sciences Library in 2004.

This library, located at the Social Sciences campus in Novoli, serves the areas of economics, law, sociology and politics and has a collection of about 900,000 volumes, mostly accessible through 16 km overall of open shelves. It provides access to several collections and digital resources, described in the Charter of Collections, and it is home to the University Newspaper Library and the European Documentation Center. It offers about 1,000 reading seats and has a number of special purpose rooms and a lecture room purposefully equipped for research training.

The library organizes guided tours and promotes events and training, as well as cultural and social projects in collaboration with other institutions. The reading rooms are decorated with large canvases from La Tinaia atelier.