Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s private book collection to be auctioned


The enormous personal library of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will go under the hammer later this month.

Bonham has just announced that it will auction more than 1,000 books amassed by the pioneering judge and her husband, Martin Ginsburg, over 60 years in a sold online from January 19 to 27.

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Consisting of approximately 100 lots, the auction will feature a selection of RGB’s heavily annotated legal books, from her time as a student at Harvard and Columbia Law School to her reign on the Supreme Court. the United States.

Personal and annotated copy of Ruth Bader Ginsberg from the Harvard Law Review of 1957-1958.  - Credit: Bonhams


“A person’s library can give us an idea of ​​who the person is and how they came to be,” Catherine Williamson, head of the Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts department, said in a statement. “Judge Ginsburg’s library is no different, as it records her evolution from student (and voracious reader) to lawyer and law professor, to judge, and finally justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

One such book is Ginsburg’s personal copy of the Harvard Law Review, published the year she was on its staff. It will be auctioned alongside inscribed books relating to major cases she tried, including Citizens United, Bush v. Gore and the Lilly Ledbetter fair wage trial.

Al Gore’s “The Assault On Reason,”  signed and inscribed to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  - Credit: Bonhams


The sale also includes a number of landmark first editions and feminist classics. You can expect anything from JD Salinger Catcher in the rye and Kate Millet Sexual policy. And then there are books that were inscribed by RGB’s powerful contemporaries, like a signed copy of Al Gore’s book The assault on reason or an original signed edition by Gloria Steinem My life on the road.

“The books Judge Ginsburg has chosen to keep in her own library showcase the rich inner and intellectual life of one of the most influential women in recent American history,” adds Williamson.

First edition of Gloria Steinem’s “My Life on the Road,”  signed and inscribed to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  - Credit: Bonhams


The lots, which will be sold without reserve, carry rather achievable estimates. by Toni Morrison Beloved, for example, which is signed and inscribed to “Ruth and Marty Ginsburg”, has a relatively modest high estimate of $500. The total sale, meanwhile, is expected to reach at least $60,000, although Williamson predicts it could make many times that amount.

RGB, who once said, “Reading is the key to many good things in life,” would no doubt be happy to know that his collection will continue to inspire and inform.

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