Preserving Our Oldest Book

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The 1505 edition of William Lyndwood’s Provinciale is the oldest book in the Law Library. It was in major need of repair and now has been restored and rebound.

William Lyndwood (c. 1375-1446) was an English bishop and a scholar of canon law. He has been described by Professor Sir John Baker of Cambridge University as “the best known of all medieval English canonists.” His Provinciale was a commentary on the ecclesiastical decrees enacted in English provincial councils under the Archbishops of Canterbury.

The Provinciale was one of the earliest law books printed in England, first appearing (without a title page) circa 1483. The Provinciale was then reprinted in Paris in 1501 and 1505 and in Antwerp in 1525. Ours is the Paris 1505 edition.

For more information, including before and after pictures, please visit this link.