Virtual exhibitions

Virtual exhibitions can provide an excellent first impression of a subject in legal history. The institutions creating such exhibitions often display really special objects, in particular books, from their collections. Not only museums and archives but also law libraries create virtual exhibitions. The order in which virtual exhibitions are presented here depends to a large extent on the subjects of the exhibitions, not on a preconceived plan. Sometimes an exhibit could figure under more than one heading, and thus it is worthwhile to scroll down. Instead of an exhaustive overview you will find here at least the sheer variety of exhibitions. Where sensible some thematic digital collections have been added. A number of national libraries and law schools create regularly online exhibitions.

Searching online exhibitions

General subjects



Latin America

Ancient law

Medieval law


Here below a selection for a number of countries:















  • Historical Prints, Frederik Muller, Print Room, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam – The Memory of the Netherlands – nearly 5,000 images from the rich collection brought together by Frederik Muller on the subject of Dutch history
  • Digital HIstorical Atlas, Rijksmuseum  – The Memory of the Netherlands – nearly 800 objects from pivotal years for the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century: 1618/1619, 1648, 1672 and 1695
  • Engravings by Franz and Abraham Hogenberg, Princeton University Library – a graphic view of the Dutch Revolt and the Eighty Years War
  • Censorship!, Persmuseum, Amsterdam
  • 200 jaar Grondwet [200 years of the Dutch constitution], Nationaal Archief, The Hague – Google Arts & Culture – an exhibition about the constitution of 1814 after the fall of the Napoleonic empire
  • Handelaar in slaven [Slave merchant], Zeeuws Archief, Middelburg – Google Arts & Culture – an exhibit about the company founded in Middeluvrg for trading slaves
  • Grotius: A life between freedom and oppression, Leiden University Library – created in 2021

New Zealand





United Kingdom

United States of America

The following institutions do regularly present new online exhibitions:

Mike Widener presents a number of online exhibitions by five American law libraries in a reading list for the history of legal books.

  • Exhibitions, Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA – these exhibitions cover a wide variety of subjects
  • Exhibits, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin – for example on old juridical dictionaries
  • Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room, Boston College Law Library, Boston, MA
  • Exhibitions, Rare Book Room, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Exhibitions, Robbins Collection, School of Law, Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA – for example on the Roman-Dutch law; some of the exhibits contain also videos