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The Tucker Collections at LSU Law

Renowned Louisiana legal scholar Colonel John H. Tucker donated his extensive personal library to LSU Law in the 1960s. Today, this diverse group of materials continues to be an invaluable resource to the next generation of legal researchers.

About the Tucker Collections

By the early 1960s, Colonel John H. Tucker, Jr., had amassed one of the largest private collections of civil law materials ever assembled by an American lawyer. Comprised of over 12,000 volumes, Colonel Tucker’s library reflected not only his passion for legal scholarship, but his personal love of the written word.  The collection covers a wide range of topics, though its primary focus is world history and the development of civil law. He used his collection almost daily until 1963, when he donated it to the LSU Law Library.

Today, this collection is housed in many different locations throughout the library. The majority of the legal materials were mixed in with the library’s existing collection and can be found on the shelves to this day. Some of the oldest and rarest of law books (many of which are foreign language titles) are kept in the rare books room of the library.

Non-legal materials are shelved in the Tucker Room on the 4th floor of the Law Center. These titles consist primarily of subjects related to French, British, and American history.  Additional Tucker Collection materials on these and other topics are stored in closed stacks areas of the library due to space restrictions (but are still available for patrons to check out).

The library is also home to some of Colonel Tucker’s personal papers, photographs, and items that he collected throughout his life. These materials are housed in the archives and are available by appointment only. Col. Tucker also donated similar personal effects to the libraries at Washington & Lee University  and LSU Shreveport.

Locating Tucker Materials

Many of Col. Tucker's donated books are mixed in with the rest of the library's collection and can be found on the shelves throughout the library much like any other book.These books have a label on the inside front cover that identifies them as part of the Tucker Collection and they may be checked out in accordance with standard library policies.

Some of the books are stored in closed-stacks areas of the library due to space restrictions. This area is known as "Tucker Overflow". You can browse the items in this area online by going to the "advanced search" option when searching our catalog and selecting "Tucker Overflow" from the dropdown menu on the "Locations" tab. To view or checkout any of these materials, please ask a reference librarian for assistance. 

Quite a few of Col. Tucker's books are considered "rare" due to their age and the small number of copies in existence. Most of these items are old foreign law books in various languages. They are stored in a special, secure, and climate-controlled area of the library. These items are available to view, but can not be checked out. Please ask a reference librarian for assistance with these items. To browse these books online, select "Tucker Rare Materials" as the location on an advanced search of our catalog.

Col. Tucker's personal items that are now part of the LSU Law Library's Archival Collections include scrapbooks, his degrees, and a number of files related to the Louisiana Law Institute. These collections can be used in accordance with our standard archives policies. Please contact with questions about these items. 

The "Tucker Room" on the 4th floor of the Law Center is home to a selection of non law-related titles from Col. Tucker's donation. The majority of these books cover topics related to world history. Selecting "Tucker Room" as the location when doing an advanced search of the library's catalog will bring up a list of the items shelved here. To check out items from this location, please speak with a reference librarian and consult the map below.

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