The Law Collection

last modified Aug 04, 2017 03:47 PM


Legendario e vita et miracoli di santo Maurelio episcopo patron [e] aduocato di Ferrara, Ferrara, appresso Francesco Rossi, 1570.

Our precious Law collection consists of 1668 volumes, dating from the 16th to the 20th  century, which were either acquired by endowment or bought on the antiquarian market by Academic staff  for the Law Department’s library; it also includes two manuscripts and some posters. The most important endowment dates back to the 1950s: a number of books holds in fact the personal stamp of Professor Giovanni Martinelli, who used to be Chancellor of the University of Ferrara and Member of the Italian Senate.

The Law collection also testifies the importance of law studies at Ferrara University ever since its foundation; it includes many works written by scholars who were born or studied in Ferrara, as well as works printed in town. Among the oldest and most precious ones it is worth mentioning Legendario e vita et miracoli di Santo Maurelio (Ferrara, Francesco Rossi, 1570), Tractatus clausularum instrumentalium by Bartolomeo Bertazzoli (Venezia, Fioravante Prati, 1598), the two volumes Commentariorum ad statuta Ferrariae by Ercole Piganti (Ferrara, Francesco Suzzi, 1650-1651) and Editto sopra la guardia del Po in occasione d'escrescenza by Tommaso Ruffo, printed in Ferrara in the «stamparia della reverenda camera apostolica» in 1728.

In the early 2000s all the precious volumes were catalogued, paying special attention to copy-specific data (hand-written notes, book-plates, bindings etc.); bibliographic data are now searchable in our local (BiblioFe) and National Italian (SBN) online catalogues, thus making the collection available to all interested users.

Many volumes in this collection are not only fascinating objects for lovers of rare books, in fact they are often used for research and educational purposes by Academic staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some items can be viewed in the video Valorizziamo i tesori dell'Università di Ferrara - Catalogare un libro antico (2016) and  some of the best images in this collection have been used as decorations for a set of heritage-inspired gifts (bookmarks, cards, notebooks etc.) produced for promotional events.


The collection is available at: Law Library map


Landina SEBASTIANIS, Dipartimento di scienze giuridiche: biblioteca ‘fondo antico’ , in Verso un museo delle scienze: orto botanico, musei e collezioni storico-scientifiche dell’Università di Ferrara, a cura di Carmela Loriga, «Annali dell’Università di Ferrara», volume speciale (2001), pp. 79-85.