Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Middle Temple Library

The Middle Temple Library is the library for one of four Inns of Court. Materials in the original library went missing after some time due to misuse of the library users. After his passing, Robert Ashley donated his private collection to Middle Temple which reestablished the library. The library is not in the original building due to it being destroyed during the bombing of World War II. The new building was built in the 1950s out of reinforced concrete. This was done because the builder was worried about another bombing and wanted to protect the library materials. The reinforced concrete gives advantages to the library. The building can with stand the weight of all the materials and it provides good conditions for the rare materials.

Most of the materials held by the library pertain to law. The audience is usually lawyers, researchers, and others who need access to corporate or international laws. It was interesting to me that this library has a large collection on American law. This collection is one of the largest US law collections in the country. Another interesting fact is that five of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of the Middle Temple. Similar to other libraries, this library does not have a classification system. This library also has no labels on the books and it is suppose to simplify the process of finding materials except when items need to be moved.

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