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Government and Law Collections
Early on, the Canaday Center collected some significant items documenting the history of the development of our government and laws. In 1976, even before the Center was established, Edward Lamb donated a rare 1576 copy of the Magna Carta, one of the most important documents in establishing democratic rule. The Center also came to house some important rare books that had been in the library’s general collection, including a copy of Common Sense printed in Philadelphia in 1776 that bears the signature of Benjamin Franklin. Once the Canaday Center was established, the UT College of Law’s library transferred one of its rarest volumes, Laws of the Territory of the United States North-West of the Ohio—the first book published in Ohio—to the Center for safe keeping. More recently, a large collection of rare government documents were transferred to the Canaday Center for preservation.
But the most exciting addition to the collections in the area of government and the law is a recent collaboration with the city of Toledo that has led to the transfer to the Center of the some of the most important documents since the city’s founding. In 2015, the city transferred the earliest volumes of minutes of Toledo City Council dating to 1837 to the Center. Since this initial exciting addition to records from the city, the Center has added a large collection of records of the Toledo city manager, annual reports of city departments dating back to the nineteenth century, and most recently, the original charter of Toledo. Together, these materials present researchers with an incredibly rich collection of resources that can shed light on the city’s development.