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Marvin R. Anderson Special Collections Room


Materials in this room have been collected by State Law Librarians since the Minnesota Territorial Legislature established the Library on March 3, 1849. When the Minnesota Judicial Center was constructed in 1990, then State Law Librarian Marvin Anderson dreamed of an adequate and appropriate, as well as pleasing, space to house these special materials. For making this dream a reality, the room was renamed the Marvin R. Anderson Special Collections Room in his honor when he retired in 2002.


One of the largest collections is of trials, mostly American and British, but also from other countries including France, Germany and the former Soviet Union. This collection includes the series British Notable Trials. Also collected are state constitutional conventions, territorial session laws and statutes, and legal materials of the Confederate States of America. Other collection areas are legal history (which includes some ancient legal and religious documents), jurisprudence and philosophy. Biographical materials include U.S. Supreme Court Justices and the Minnesota Justices Series, covering Minnesota Supreme Court Justices. Among other curiosities that don't fit into easy categories are the questions and answers to past Minnesota State Bar Examinations.

Arrangement and Flagging

Materials are arranged by their Library of Congress Classification numbers, starting on the left as you enter the room. Minnesota materials are shelved separately in a case to the right. Since spine labels are not used on rare or delicate materials, call numbers—as well as brief author and title information—can be found on strips of colored paper inserted into the books like a bookmark. The colors of these flags also denote the condition of the book. A RED flag indicates that the book is in particularly delicate condition and must be handled with special care.


Materials in the Special Collections Room do not circulate. If a book needs to be borrowed, permission may be granted by the Special Collections Curator or the State Law Librarian.

Rules of Use

The Special Collections Room is available by appointment to anyone doing historical legal research. To preserve the collections, the following rules apply.

  • Only paper and pencil are permitted in the room.
  • Do not lay notepaper on the books while taking notes.
  • Do not write in the books.
  • Do not remove materials from the room.
  • If any of the materials you are using have unopened or unslit pages, please bring this to the attention of the librarian. Do not try to cut or slit them yourself.
  • No food or drink is permitted in the room.
  • No briefcases, bags, etc., are permitted in the room.
  • Please let the librarian know when you are leaving the room, either temporarily or for the day.
  • Photocopying only by permission of the Special Collections Librarian or the State Law Librarian.

  • Minnesota State Law Library: Marvin R. Anderson Special Collections Room

    Last updated on June 2, 2010.
    Links checked on May 31, 2012.

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