Buildings & Notable People

The First Law Library

When the Law School opened in 1887, the school and its library were located on the 4th floor of Morrill Hall, one of the original University buildings, and law was an undergraduate program. The Law Library collection included approximately 4,000 volumes, and professors supplemented the collection by lending students books from their personal collections.   

Boardman Hall

The Cornell Law School and Law Library outgrew Morrill Hall after only five years and moved to Boardman Hall in 1892, a three story structure built for their exclusive use. The Law Library and its 22,000 volumes occupied the third floor. Thanks to generous donations from alumni and friends, particularly those of Mrs. Douglas Boardman and Mrs. George R. Williams who donated the 12,500 volumes of the Moak Library, the Cornell Law Library quickly outgrew Morrill Hall. This collection forms the historical backbone of the Cornell Law Library.

Dedication of Boardman Hall and Presentation of the Moak Law Library (1893)

Myron Taylor Hall

A growing collection and deteriorating physical structure caused another move.  In 1932, the Law School and Law Library relocated to the new Myron Taylor Hall. Myron C. Taylor (LL.B. 1894), Chairman of the Board of Trustees for U.S. Steel Corp, provided the funds for the academic gothic style building.  The new space allowed the library five floors of stacks for over 200,000 volumes. 

Hughes Hall

Myron C. Taylor remembered Charles Hughes as the most exciting and stimulating teacher he had while a student at Cornell Law School. So in 1956, he contributed over one million dollars for a law school residence hall, named in Hughes's honor. Completed in 1963, the Charles Evans Hughes Law Residence Center (commonly known as Hughes Hall) continues to provide housing for first year students, and is now the home of the interdisciplinary Cornell University Institute for the Social Sciences.

Jane Foster Addition to Myron Taylor Hall

The Jane Foster (LL.B. 1918) addition to Myron Taylor Hall, completed in 1988, added two more floors for the growing collection and room for a large computer lab. Myron Taylor's 44 old and cramped cubicles were replaced by more than 200 large, new study carrels, purchased with the help of generous alumni support.  The Law Library today holds more than 700, 000 volumes and volume equivalents.

Dedication to Jane Foster
By Peter W. Martin, 81 Cornell L. Rev. 1 (1995)

Special thanks to HeinOnline for allowing the use of their digital copies.