Uncovered Treasure: Digital Archives

April 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Posted in Legal History | Leave a comment
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The library is proud to announce an ongoing digitization project on the history of Albany Law School, in association with the Capital District Library Council (CDLC). Our first historical images have been published and are available on the history page of the Law School website at http://www.albanylaw.edu/sub.php?navigation_id=292  (click on “Historical Images”) or the library’s homepage at http://www.albanylaw.edu/sub.php?navigation_id=675 (click on “Historical Images Collection”). Please check back every few weeks to see what new images have been added to the collection.


Did you know?

August 31, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Legal History | 1 Comment
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Did you know during the American Civil War a Confederate ship (The Alabama) was sunk off the coast of France by a Union ship (The USS Kearseage)?  It happened on June 19, 1864, just shy of one year from the war’s end.  The significance of this event lies in the fact that the U.S. sued Great Britain “for reparations for the damage caused by the Alabama and other raiders built in England”, leading to the first ever international arbitrage for England in 1872 (Alabama Arbitrage).


Traveling Exhibit on Lincoln and the Constitution

November 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm | Posted in General Interest, Legal History | Leave a comment
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In conjunction with The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and National Constitution Center (NCC), there will be a new traveling exhibit featured in Philadelphia titled: “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.”  The exhibit will run (no pun intended!) from mid 2009-2011 through public, academic and special libraries.  Read more from ALA online .

Cases that changed Britain

June 23, 2008 at 9:32 am | Posted in General Interest, Legal History | Leave a comment
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From the Times, “It is a question to excite the repressed student in every lawyer: which cases have most shaped British law over the past 200 years?  To celebrate the launch of The Times Archive, we asked Gary Slapper, Professor of Law, and director of the Centre for Law, at the Open University and long-time Times Law columnist, to trawl through more than two centuries of Times Law Reports (which, thanks to the Archive, you can now read as they originally appeared) and to pull out the 100 most important, influential and colourful cases since the newspaper began publishing in 1785.”


Great moment in NY Legal History

April 15, 2008 at 9:43 am | Posted in Legal History | Leave a comment
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Colonial New York had a court system based on the English model, with a Supreme Court exercising common-law jurisdiction and a Court of Chancery exercising equitable jurisdiction. Unfortunately, New York did not have a Chancellor to preside in the Court of Chancery. Rather, the royal governors of the colony were commissioned by the King to act also as Chancellor. In 1770, this combination of executive and judicial responsibilities led to an unfortunate incident. Lord Dunmore as governor ordered the colony’s attorney general to bring an action in Chancery against Lieutenant-Governor Colden to recover certain fees that the Governor claimed as a prerogative of his office. Lord Dunmore as chancellor of course presided over the trial. James Duane, Colden’s lawyer, made a strong case for his client and presented Governor/Chancellor Dunmore with a dilemma: if he ruled against himself, he lost his case; if he ruled for himself he would be changed with scandalous partiality. Perhaps fortunately, before Dunmore could make up his mind, the royal government transferred him to the governorship of Virginia. His successor as governor of New York, Colonel William Tryon, never got around to deciding the case.

A little about Kate Stoneman

April 8, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Legal History | Leave a comment
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We remember Kate Stoneman for two things: (1) as the first woman admitted to the New York State Bar, in 1883; and (2) as the first woman graduate of Albany Law School, in 1898. Stoneman, of course, accomplished much more than this, both as a leader in the women’s suffragist movement, and as a temperance and peace activist. We tend to forget, however, that she studied law only as an avocation, that she did not earn her living by it.1 She had a day job.

Stoneman graduated from the New York State Normal School2 (now the University at Albany) in 1866, at the age of 25. After she taught school for several months, the Normal School hired her back as “Teacher of Drawing and Penmanship,” a position she held for forty years.3 The Normal School in those days offered a two-year program leading to a certificate that licensed holders to teach in the state’s public schools. What part did the Teacher of Drawing and Penmanship play in this program? Continue Reading A little about Kate Stoneman…

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