Located in the heart of the law school, the Gould Reading Room is 180 feet long, 48 feet wide, and 50 feet high. The gothic vaulted ceilings and three-story-high arched windows provide a spacious and inspiring environment for study, research, and collaboration with fellow students. Although there are six additional library floors, both faculty and students perceive the Reading Room as “the library.”
Dedicated as the Gould Reading Room on November 4, 1989, honoring Eleanor and Milton S. Gould (A.B. ’30, LL.B. ’33) in recognition of their extraordinary service and support, its collections and services continuously evolve to address the changing needs of the students and the law school curriculum. Wireless access for laptop computers and networked printers have replaced card catalogs as we provide a modern infrastructure to this eloquent environment. For a great view of the Reading Room, climb the stairs to the Casual Study Room in the northeast corner.
If you look out a window on the north wall of the Gould Reading Room, you can catch a glimpse of the Peace Tower and the stone carvings by the famous sculptor Lee Lowrie. Included are humorous and dramatic carvings of participants in an old English Court: the judge, the scrivener, the pettifogger, and the prisoner. These carvings are part of a larger scheme symbolizing the purpose of the law school as seen by its major benefactor, Myron Taylor:
Peace by law,
National peace by local law, and
World peace by international law.
Around the walls of the Gould Reading Room are many portraits of distinguished jurists of the Law School, and former deans. Starting at the Circulation Desk and going counter-clockwise around the room:
Douglas Boardman (1822-1891) – Dean of the Law School, 1887-1891; practiced law in Ithaca, 1848-1851; served as District Attorney of Tompkins County and as the County Judge, 1852-1856; elected a justice of the Supreme Court for the 6th District in 1866. Artist unknown.
Francis Miles Finch (1827-1907) – Dean of the Law School 1891-1903; Associate Judge of the N.Y. Court of Appeals 1880-91; Law School Faculty 1892-1903. Artist: J. Colin Forbes.
Ernest Wilson Huffcut (1860 -1907 ) – Member of the first graduating class; Professor 1893- 1903; Dean of the Law School 1903-1907. Artist: J. Colin Foihes.
Frank Irvine (1858-1931) – Dean of the Law School 1907-1916; Judge of the highest court of Nebraska for six years before coming to Cornell Artist: William Benson.
Edwin Hamlin Woodruff (1862-1941) – Member of the first graduating class; Dean of the Law School 1916-1921; Professor 1896-1927. Artist unknown.
George Gleason Bogert (1884-1977) – Dean of the Law School 1921-1926. Artist: William Benson.
Charles Kellogg Burdick (1883-1940) – Son of Francis M. Burdick, one of the first faculty of the Law School; Dean of the Law School 1926-37; Professor 1914-1940. Gift of Law School Alumni, Friends, and Students of Dean Burdick, 1968. Artist: Margaret Fitzhugh Browne.
Robert Sproule Stevens (1888-1968) – Dean of the Law School 1937-1954; Professor of Law 1920-54; Edwin H. Woodruff Professor of Law 1957-1959; Emeritus, 1959-1968. Artist: Peter G. Cook.
Gray Thoron (1916- ) – Dean of the Law School 1956-63; Professor of Law 1956-87; Emeritus, 1987- . Artist: Peter G. Cook.
Moak Library Plaque – 12,415 volumes donated by Mrs. Amanda M. Vincent Boardman, Dean Boardman’s widow, and their daughter, Mrs. Ellen D. Williams.
William Ray Forrester (1911-2001) – Dean of the Law School 1963-1973; Robert S. Stevens Professor 1973-78; Emeritus, 1978-2001. Artist: William Benson.
Roger C. Cramton (1929- ) – Dean of the Law School 1973-80; Professor of Law 1973-82; Robert S. Stevens Professor 1982-2000; Emeritus, 2000- . Artist: William Benson.
Peter William Martin (1939- ) – Dean of the Law School 1980-1988; Professor since 1972; Jane M. G. Foster Professor of Law since 1989; and Co-Director Legal Information Institute, 1992-2003. Artist: William Benson.
Russell King Osgood (1947- ) – Dean of the Law School 1988-1998; Professor, 1980-1998; President of Grinnell College since 1998. Artist: William Benson.
Lee E. Teitelbaum (1941-2004) – Dean of the Law School, 1999-2003; Dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, 1990-1998. Artist: William Benson.
Rudolf B. Schlesinger (1909-1996) – William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law 1956-1975; Emeritus, 1975-1996. Artist: Allard Berté.
Charles Evans Hughes (1860-1948) – Youngest full professor on caucus at age 29; Professor of Law 1891-1893; N.Y. Governor 1907-1910; Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1930- 1941. Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Taylor. Artist: Frank O. Salisbury