The Library of St. George Tucker

Swem Library’s Special Collections holds the library of St. George Tucker. The library has been described by Jill M. Coghlan (“The Library of St. George Tucker” (M. A. Thesis College of William and Mary. Department of History. 1973.) In her work,  she revealed that the library holds a bit more than one-half of the books listed in Tucker’s estate. As would be expected from a person who was a professor of law and judge, one-third of the books were legal. But Tucker’s tastes  also encompassed poetry, astronomy, travel, and history. There were only four theological books and, for the most part, Tucker steered away from political works.

Tucker was into binding! He not only rebound books that he owned, but he also compiled pamplets into bound sets – the most important of which were his collection of proceedings and ordinances from the 1775 and 1776 Virginia conventions. Like Jefferson who felt the Declaration of Independence was primal to the American experiment, Tucker recognized the importance of this period in Virginia to  the creation of the United States.

Tucker usually wrote his name on the endpaper of his volumes and he either noted the cost of the book or the name of the person who gave him the book. His legal books were his most annotated and the practice he had of marking passages with a pointing finger led the Library’s staff to put that pointing hand on the call number tags.

Recollections of the life of the late Right Honorable Charles James Fox by B. C. Walpole (1807).

Recollections of the life of the late Right Honorable Charles James Fox by B. C. Walpole (1807). DA 506 F7W2

Les plees del coron : diuisees in plusiours titles & common lieux. Per queux home plus redement et plenairemét t rouera, quelqz chose que il quira, touchant les ditz plees Author Staunford, William, Sir, 1509-1558. Publisher:in aedibus Richardi Tottelli,Pub date:[1560]

Les plees del coron : diuisees in plusiours titles & common lieux. Per queux home plus redement et plenairemét t rouera, quelqz chose que il quira, touchant les ditz plees Author Staunford, William, Sir, 1509-1558. Publisher:in aedibus Richardi Tottelli,Pub date:[1560] KD 7869 S7

The laws of the United States of America : in three volumes Publisher:Printed by Richard Folwell,Pub date:1796-[1797]

The laws of the United States of America : in three volumes Printed by Richard Folwell 1796-[1797] KD 50 1789-1818

Call number tag in a Tucker Signature book showing the pointing hand.

Call number tag in a Tucker Signature book showing the pointing hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *