Dalhousie Law Journal


William Young, chief justice, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie Law School, law library, legal resources, legal history


In 1835, Halifax lawyer William Young, who would later become premier and chief justice of Nova Scotia, as well as a founder of Dalhousie Law School, compiled a catalogue of his personal law library. In the catalogue, Young identifiedthe short title, the price, and if applicable, the number of copies or volumes, for each item in his collection. Through an examination of Young's catalogue, as well as contemporary correspondence, journals, and business records, and, where identifiable, Young's former texts, this study discusses the nature, sources, and to a certain extent, the actual use of Young's law library. This study demonstrates not only that Young's library selections would likely have been recognized and approved by his legal contemporaries, but also that Young had assembled by 1835 a legal collection which compares favourably in size and range of materials to other early and mid- 1 9 th century personal legal libraries located in diverse parts of North America. The acquisition and use of legal resources by 19th century lawyers is a subject which has hitherto received little consideration in studies on the development of legal culture in Nova Scotia.

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