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Other Special Collections

Questions about our collections? Contact the archives. The Biddle Law Library Department of Special Collections collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to rare and unique legal research materials. In addition to the Archives, the holdings of the Special Collections Department comprise Rare Books Collection and the Raymond F. Trent Collection.

The Rare Books Collection

The rare books collection spans the late 15th-mid 19th centuries and includes approximately 10,000 titles. The bulk of the collection consists of English reports, statutes, and treatises, but it also includes early French law, 16th and 17th century treatises on Roman and Canon law, American colonial and early state materials. Almost all of the rare books have been cataloged, and the records appear in the library’s online catalog, LOLA.

Oral Histories

The Legal Oral History Project is a collaborative effort by a team of faculty, librarians, and students to record and preserve first-person narratives of graduates and members of the Penn Law Community. 

The Raymond F. Trent Collection

The Raymond F. Trent Collection consists of books, periodicals, articles, and audio tapes concerning the history of education and practice of black lawyers in the United States. The collection is located in the Bazelon Study Alcove. Records for all of the titles appear in LOLA.

Electronic Resources

The department maintains a digital library of selected rare materials.


The same policies apply to the use of special collections as to materials in the Archives.