Mission Statement

Italian manuscript copy
Top to bottom: Institutes of Justinian (Venice: Jacobus Robeus, 1478); Italian manuscript copy of the Concordat signed by Leo X and Francis I in Bologna, 1516.

Since its foundation, the Robbins Collection has built a tradition of excellence that continues today at an accelerated pace. The mission of the Collection is to promote and sponsor historical and comparative research and study in the fields of civil law and religious law, including the various Christian traditions as well as Jewish and Islamic law. The establishment of fellowships and the development of joint research programs and bibliographical projects with academic institutions in many foreign countries have created the conditions for a fruitful interaction between books and people. Collection holdings support the development of research activities; books, manuscripts, incunables, microfilms and periodicals are acquired on a continuous and systematic basis. The Robbins Collection is not an arcane and inaccessible treasure room. Its primary goal is to provide a working library for scholarly legal research with a range of materials such as might have existed in law libraries of the thirteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Because of this equal focus on access and preservation, the Collection itself serves as a valuable educational tool for its various patrons. Open to the public, the Robbins Collection shares in the University of California's commitment toward equity, access, and excellence in California education and its dedication to serving an increasingly diverse population of students at all academic levels through sponsorship of and collaboration in programs of educational outreach.