GW Law Library Celebrates 50 Years

Jacob Burns Law Library, circa 1980 The entrance to the Jacob Burns Law Library as it appeared circa 1980. The exterior stairs, now removed, led to a second floor entrance.

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Jacob Burns Law Library, which opened its doors in September, 1967.  A gift from Manhattan lawyer, businessman, and philanthropist Jacob Burns (LL.B. ’24) enabled construction of the new building.  Mr. Burns’s generosity liberated the Law Library from its historical practice of borrowing space within the Law School building.  For the first time, the Law Library functioned in a building that was built as a library.

The history of GW’s Law Library is closely associated with the history of GW Law.  For an illustrated history of the Law Library from its origins in the nineteenth century to the present, please visit A Legal Miscellanea for the article “Life of a Library: A History of The George Washington University Law Library.”  There you will find the story of the Law Library’s pre-Jacob Burns peripatetic lifestyle.


For an excerpt from Dean Emeritus Jerome Barron’s video oral history detailing his recollections of the birth of the Jacob Burns Law Library (and the circumstances of the Law Library when it was squeezed into Stockton Hall), please click here.


Please join us in celebrating the Jacob Burns Law Library’s 50th throughout this academic year!