The George Wythe Collection is Now Available in Legal Classics!

HeinOnline Updates, Legal Classics, What's New
Lauren Mattiuzzo

In February, we announced that the Legal Classics database had reached more than 11,000 titles. We are now excited to announce a new addition to this database! The George Wythe Collection, composed of 160 titles, is now available in Legal Classics. Although the George Wythe Collection is much larger than 160 titles, the HeinOnline collection contains mainly law-related content. This collection has been added at no additional cost to subscribers.

Who Was George Wythe?

George Wythe was the first American law professor, a noted classics scholar, and a Virginia judge. His was the first of seven Virginia signatures on the Declaration of Independence. Wythe was so highly respected by his fellow Virginians that the other delegates left a space so that his signature would appear first, as he was absent from the meeting the day they signed the document. He served as one of Virginia’s representatives to the Continental Congress and the Philadelphia Convention. Additionally, he taught and mentored famous American leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and Henry Clay.

Wythe was a prominent law professor at the College of William & Mary, where he received the honorary degree of LL.D. For more than 20 years, Wythe taught many legal apprentices and developed several experimental tools, such as moot courts and mock legislative sessions, which are still used today. Upon his death in 1806, he left Jefferson with his large book collection. This collection was later sold to create the Library of Congress.

What is the George Wythe Collection?

The George Wythe Collection was assembled in eighteenth-century Virginia by George Wythe. This collection includes Western classics on history, philosophy, science, mathematics, and law. The books directly impacted the development of Virginia law and the law of the new nation. In 2005, the Wolf Law Library of the College of William & Mary began a project to replicate this collection, focusing mainly on books relating to law. It includes both inventory titles inherited from Wythe and surviving books which belonged to Wythe.

We would like to thank the College of William & Mary, especially Linda Tesar, Head of Technical Services and Special Collections, for their generosity and assistance with developing this unique collection.

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