State Law Library Book Binding Project
From 2004 to 2009, the Friends of Arizona Archives helped raise funds for the Arizona State Law Library to pay for the conservation and binding of damaged books in the library’s collection. Over the five years of the project, donations made through FAzA totaled $4,170.
The project was the brainchild of William Sheldon, a local attorney and FAzA member. He donated funds and collected additional donations from other attorneys and law firms to underwrite the project. It was prompted by inadequate state funding for the preservation of bound materials in the Law Library, which serves attorneys and government officials from around the state. Although an increasing amount of legal research is now done online, books and other bound materials remain a critical source of historical information on the law and courts in Arizona.
The first phase of the binding project involved the library’s Arizona historical/legislative collection. These books were in dire need of rebinding. They included journals of the territorial legislature, volumes of state civil and penal code, unbound pocket parts of statutes, and a variety of session law volumes. The second phase involved Arizona Attorney General opinions. With the creation of the Arizona Memory Project, the library was able to obtain scanned copies of opinions dating from 1982 to 1998. The final phase involved the repair and rebinding of caselaw reporters and statutes from adjacent states.
FAzA’s role in the project was to serve as a facilitator for the donations; because it is a 501(c)(3) organizations, donations were tax-deductible. Thanks to the generosity of William Sheldon and other donor attorneys and law firms, the State Law Library now has a core of legal materials that has been stabilized and/or made digitally accessible and will serve Arizonans for years to come.
Gadsden Treaty Exhibit
In 2004, FAzA contributed $500 to the Arizona Historical Society to help underwrite the temporary display in Tucson of the original Gadsden Purchase treaty document. The treaty was brought from Washington to Arizona to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gadsden Purchase, which gave the United States sovereignty over Arizona territory south of the Gila River. After making a one-day appearance at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show on February 12, 2004, the treaty document was on display for one month at the Historical Society’s Tucson museum as part of its Rio Viejo / Rio Nuevo exhibit. The security requirements imposed by the National Archives, which has permanent custody of the document, were strict. The treaty could only be displayed in a dimly lit, windowless room constructed entirely of concrete, and it had to be guarded twenty-four hours a day. FAzA’s donation helped defray the expense of providing this security.