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Special Collections

The Drake Law Library houses special collections, including the Rare Book Room, National Bar Association Archives, and the Charles Wennerstrum papers.

Patrons may ask at the Information Desk for in-library use of materials weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Rare Book Room

The Drake Law Library Rare Book Room (Room 283) is located on the second floor near the central staircase. It preserves, protects, and organizes those library materials that are housed in a secure, climate-controlled room because of their rarity, value, format, significance, or condition.

Items located in the Rare Book Room are identified as such in the library catalog.

All users must abide by the Law Library Rare Book Room and Special Collections Usage Policy.

National Bar Association Archives

The National Bar Association Archives is located on the Lower Level (Room 16) and was dedicated in 2007.

The archives contain biographical information, newspaper clippings, and articles about five African-American lawyers from Des Moines—S. Joe Brown, Charles P. Howard, James B. Morris, Gertrude Rush, and George Woodson—who co-founded the National Bar Association in 1925.

The archives also contain reports filed by the FBI from 1937-1958 on founder Charles P. Howard, LW'22, annual meeting conference materials dating back to 1978, materials on other prominent members of the National Bar Association, and information on the National Association of Bench and Bar Spouses.

The archive is open to the public. The library is also in the process of digitizing some of the materials in this collection.

Charles Wennerstrum Papers

The Charles Wennerstrum papers are located in the Rare Book Room (Room 283) on the second floor. Charles Wennerstrum, a 1914 Drake Law School alumnus, was the presiding judge in the Hostage Case at the Nuremberg war crime trials in 1947 and 1948 while on leave from the Iowa Supreme Court.

The papers contain personal notes, trial proceedings, memorabilia, and newspaper articles. The archive is open to the public.

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