The formation of the English Law Special Collection dates back to the purchase of a special collection of 1,371 volumes on English legal history from a private collector, Mr. Victor Tunkel, in 1987. Mr. Tunkel, a senior lecturer in law at the Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, has served as the Secretary of Selden Society for several decades. The Society, founded in 1887, aims "to encourage the study and advance the knowledge of the history of English law". Mr. Tunkel, with his passion for and expertise in English law, has devoted his life to collecting materials on English legal history. Using his distinguished library, the Run Run Shaw Library has continued to build and develop the Collection with the aim of promoting academic interest and scholarly study in English legal history, the Commonwealth legal systems, and the Anglo-American legal culture in the Asia-Pacific Rim.
The Collection is now recognised as one of the best of its kind in Asia. Its main strength is pre-1900 English law materials but it also covers a wide range of subject areas in law in general. These include the law of North America as well as other law-related subjects in Philosophy, the Social Sciences, Languages and Literature. The Collection also contains useful Bibliographies. The value of the Collection lies in its antiquarian nature and its rarity. Amongst the valuable holdings are La novvelle natura breuiu, 1553, Henrici de Bracton de legibus & consuetudinibus Angliae libri quinq, 1569, La graunde abridgement, 1573, Commentaries on the laws of England, 1768-1769 and so on.
The Collection is housed in the Shatin Storage's Special Collection Room. The room has its own air-conditioning and humidity-controlled system to ensure optimal environmental conditions for the materials.
Users who would like to read a particular item please contact the Law Collection and Services Section. We may bring it back depending on its conditions. All materials in the Collection are non-circulating, however.
A book entitled A Catalogue of the English Law Special Collection, which is based on the Collection, has been published.
You are invited to take a Virtual Tour of some antiquarian books in the Collection.
For more information, please contact the Law Collection and Services Section at tel: 3442-8395 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.