May 22, 2022

Digitization Projects: Thomas Jefferson’s Original Law Books Soon Will Be One Click Away

From the University of Virginia Law School:

Soon, an online library of 375 books hand-picked by the founder of both the University of Virginia and its School of Law will be one click away.

Thomas Jefferson’s 1828 collection of law books, representing his vision for a holistic legal education at the Law School, will be digitized and curated on a website that will be free to the public.

The Jefferson Trust, which provides discretionary funding for projects in pursuit of Jeffersonian ideals, earmarked nearly $30,000 for the Arthur J. Morris Library at UVA Law to execute the Digital 1828 Catalogue Collection Project.

The project was one of 19 approved proposals  among the 67 grant applications the trust received during its annual deliberations.

UVA Law Library Director Taylor Fitchett said the library has been collecting what it calls the 1828 Catalogue since the 1980s. The goal has been to fill in the gaps where Jefferson’s originally owned books are unavailable by purchasing corresponding titles and editions.


Under the supervision of Digital Collections Librarian Loren Moulds and James Ambuske, a postdoctoral fellow for digital humanities, student workers will carefully scan and digitize the books using the library’s Hasselblad overhead camera system and ATIZ dual‑camera book-scanning system. The library will use most of its grant funds to pay the workers, including summer intern Melissa Gismondi, a UVA graduate student working through UVA’s Institute for Public History.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.