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January 26, 2007

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or
Library Contact: Addy Sonder, UT Law, Tarlton Law Library, 512-471-7263

Tarlton Law Library Presents Third Annual Rare Book Lecture

Image of an antique book cover

Title page from The wonderful discoverie of the witchcrafts of Margaret and Phillip Flower, daughters of Joan Flower neere Beuer Castle (London, 1619). Special Collections, Jacob Burns Law Library, George Washington University Law School.

AUSTIN, Texas—The Tarlton Law Library at The University of Texas School of Law presents its third Annual Rare Book Lecture, “The Literature of Witchcraft Trials,” on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 3:30 p.m. in the Law School’s Sheffield Room.

The lecture – which is free and open to the public – features Scott Pagel, a noted scholar in legal bibliography and director of the Jacob Burns Law Library at The George Washington University Law School.

“We are fortunate to have Scott Pagel deliver the third lecture in our Rare Book Lecture series,” said Professor Roy Mersky, director of the Tarlton Law Library. “Professor Pagel is an expert in rare law books, specializing particularly in French customary law,” he said.

In his talk, Professor Pagel will discuss the witchcraft craze that swept through Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. He will use specific examples of manuscripts and rare books to illustrate early writers’ rationale for the witchcraft trials, the procedures used in courts, and the influence of church-state relations.

Pagel is director of the Jacob Burns Law Library and professor of law at The George Washington University Law School. He has worked in academic libraries since 1977. Before becoming director of the Jacob Burns Law Library in 1993, he was director of the law library and an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma. He has also served as the assistant law librarian at Columbia Law School and as the public services librarian at Golden Gate University. In addition to his work on legal bibliography, he has written on law library management, labor law and immigration.

Pagel is the third speaker to present in Tarlton’s Rare Book Lecture series. Professor Michael Hoeflich of the University of Kansas School of Law presented the inaugural lecture in 2004, speaking on subscription law publishing in antebellum America. In 2006, Dr. Stanley Chodorow of the University of California, San Diego, spoke on law libraries and the formation of the legal profession in the late middle ages. Future speakers in the series will include, in late 2007, Dr. Wilfrid Prest, Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow at the Law School and School of History and Politics at the University of Adelaide, and, in 2008, Anthony Taussig, a barrister in London and one of the world's leading private collectors of rare English law books and manuscripts. Scheduled in 2009 is Jonathan Rose, Professor of Law, Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar, and Faculty Fellow, Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology, at Arizona State University.

For more information, contact Adrienne Sonder, Archivist, at (512) 471-7263 or

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