The Rare Book Room houses rare and irreplaceable books, manuscripts, and special collections. The oldest book in the collection is from 1505: Cardinal Otho. Prouinciale, seu, Co[n]stitutiones Anglie : cu[,] summarijs atq[ue] iustis annotationibus : politissimis characteribus : summaq[ue] accuratio[m]e rursum reuise atq[ue] impresse ... [Paris] : Wolfgang Hopyl, 1505.
The Law Library owns two significant anqiquarian collections. The first is the Leist collection, consisting of German, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Canon Law volumes. The Law Library purchased the 3,000 volume Leist collection in 1920. The second rare book collection is from the estate of William Gardiner Hammond, the first Chancellor (Dean) of the University of Iowa College of Law. The Hammond Historical Collection contains about 1,200 volumes of early English and civil law materials. During the College of Law's early years of financial hardship, Dean Hammond personally purchased the Law Library's books, beginning the Law Library's venerable tradition of stewardship.
The Rare Book Room is located on the Law Library's third floor, and provides special climate control and fire protection for its priceless contents. Books housed in this room are designated in InfoHawk by the location "Law Rare Book? and access is limited. Please direct inquiries to a Reference Librarian.