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Library - Legal History  

The collections of this section contain 46.550 volumes and 210 serials (currently published: 46).

Legal History library supervisor:

Elisabetta Bassan
for reference, loans, assistance in bibliographical searches please write to stordir@unimi.it

The Medieval and Modern Law History Area is home to a general law library with over 10,500 printed works from the 15th-18th centuries, still being implemented, that includes the Senate library of Milan from the Spanish age that in 1925 was entrusted to the care of the newly-formed University in Milan, and other significant minor funds that are indispensable for historical research also in fields beyond that of law, such as economics, social sciences and politics.

These include the Margarita Fund, donated by Prof. Ferruccio Bolchini on 9th December 1930, that includes 500 books in addition to a splendid collection of exhibits; the Crocetti Fund, donated in 1926, that consists mostly of scholarly texts on general civil and canon law; the bequests of the attorneys Samuele Segre and Luigi Majno, both from 1925; the libraries of the Lombard jurists Alessandro Crociolani and Alberto De Simoni; and the 1943 donation from the Montecatini Society. Those funds include areas of printed sources principally from the Middle Ages, in modern editions, Italian and European legal sources (legislation, scholarship and case law) from the 19thcentury, and legal historiography including the library that used to belong to Enrico Besta, the first holder of the chair, from 1925 to 1950. The most recent acquisition, in 1997, was the Milan Bar Fund, thanks to the generous donation from the Milan Bar Association of its antique Library, the largest portion of which comes from a bequest from the Roman Rota attorney Felice De Dominicis.

Overall, the Area’s library holds 48,590 books and over 12,000 extracts. The Area also has a collection of microfilms of Medieval and modern legal manuscripts, which was begun in 1964 and is still growing, unmatched in Europe. It includes approximately 3,000 microfilms of Roman and Medieval canon law manuscripts from libraries across Europe and America; approximately 3,300 microfilms of statutes, orders, Lombard and Italian city and corporative decrees; a microfilm collection of the preparatory work for the modern codes in Italy and France; and a set of over 1,600 microfilms of printed works in general and modern law, which supplement the printed books owned by the Area.

The Area has also created a bibliography (5th-20th centuries), the result of the sorting by author and subject of approximately 110,200 articles on legal history published in magazines and collections of collection of essays. The fields of research pursued, in particular, are the following: ius commune (12th-16th Cent.), Lombard case law precedents and statutory legislation, and the history of modern codifications as regards Lombardy in particular. In recent years, constant attention has been paid to the history of justice in different eras.


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