Court cases can sum up the events and movements swirling through a given period of history. They can distill important issues, as well as demonstrate the origins of legal rights we take for granted. At times the courtroom proceedings may reach the level of public spectacle. They may be a “hot item” for the news media, and the back story may influence public opinion and foment public demonstrations.
A new exhibition in the Rare Book Department, Controversy in the Courts: Regicide, Rebels, and Regal Indiscretion, examines four such cases – King Charles I, William Penn, Daniel O’Connell, and Queen Caroline – through books and illustrations from the Hampton L. Carson Collection Illustrative of the Growth of the Common Law.
The exhibition runs from April 5th through July 30th, 2010 and may be viewed from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tours of the Department are offered on weekdays at 11:00 a.m. In addition, the Department will host special hours along with a guest lecture on Saturday, May 8th from 1.00. to 5:00 p.m. At 2:00 p.m. , Dr. Julia Rudolph, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, will present a lecture, Executing Justice: The Trial of Charles I. Dr. Rudolph specializes in the intellectual history of early modern Britain with a focus on legal history of the seventeenth century. Seating is limited, so be sure to arrive early!