Document Type


Publication Date



Unbound: A Review of Legal History and Rare Books




Unbound Rev. Legal Hist. & Rare Books

First Page



This article advocates adding object-based learning, utilizing rare legal books and manuscripts, to the legal education toolbox. Object-based learning is an educational methodology that explains the many learning benefits resulting from student engagement with tangible objects of material culture. Studies into the use of this methodology with undergraduate and graduate students are rather new, but research indicates that object-based learning produces measurable positive results across the curriculum.

Part I of this article provides an overview of object-based learning, with subsections addressing its relationship to active learning, its incorporation of multiple learning styles, and its ability to encourage affective learning. Part II recounts my experience with object-based learning activities in both Legal History and Advanced Legal Research courses. Finally, Part III considers some of the challenges for implementing object-based learning in the law school classroom. Ultimately, it is my hope that this article launches a larger conversation amongst law librarians and archivists about how we might utilize the rare treasures in our institutions to both enrich student learning and support our law faculty in their educational mission.

Included in

Law Commons