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This notebook was used by D. Frank Matheson, an alumnus of Dalhousie Law School, Class of 1901, in his first year Real Property class.

The Matheson Notebooks are a collection of seven bound notebooks used by Frank Matheson during his time at Dalhousie School of Law between 1898 and 1901. In 2018, they were found in the basement of a Lunenburg law firm and donated to Schulich School of Law. There are two or three notebooks from each year of Matheson’s studies, ranging slightly in size and style. The notebooks have pages made from linen rags, are bound with paper covers, and marbled with ink along the edges. The books are written in using ink pen or pencil, and contain ink blotches, fingerprints, and smudges that Matheson left behind.

Physical Description

The artifact itself is a black composition notebook with a red spine, a paper label, and new rolled linen pages. The front and back covers are glued over with black paper with a mottled, almost bark like pattern. The spine is covered in red leather or a faux leather material. There are ix slightly raised bands along the spine, though it is unclear whether this is an intentional design choice or just a manufacturing by-product. The book block and foredge marbled with blue ink. There is white and light green spotted staining on top of front cover, possibly from paint.

Transcription and accessibility measures are in progress.

Thanks to Piotr Luczak (Burke, Macdonald & Luczak, Barristers and Solicitors, in Lunenburg, NS) and Ilana Luther (Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia and Schulich School of Law) for their discovery and donation of these notebooks to the Sir James Dunn Law Library and the Schulich School of Law.

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Real Property, Dalhousie School of Law, Matheson Notebooks, historical artifact, law school experience


Law | Legal Education | Legal History | Property Law and Real Estate

Real Property: Dalhousie Law School, First Year



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