Historical Documents & Rare Books

The Case of Mary Smith

The Florida Supreme Court’s law library has very old and rare law books that predate the library and Court, stretching back to the time of King James I of England and before. Some of them are frankly a little spooky.

One such book in the Court's collection is a volume describing an actual trial in the year 1616 of a woman named Mary Smith. Her crime? -- Witchcraft.

Montgomery v. State, 1908

In 1908, Justice Whitfield, writing for the Florida Supreme Court, declared in Montgomery v. State, that a black defendant “is entitled to have a jury selected and summoned without illegal discrimination of any character.”

Evolution of Justice

In this book are some interesting and significant aspects of the supreme court and the justice system throughout the history of Florida. Drawings, photographs, and documents, some dating as far back as the 1500s, provide insight into the development of Florida’s judicial system. The booklet reflects major components of the judiciary: the law, cases, the court system, juries, and justices.

Supreme Court Library

500 South Duval Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850.488.8919

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In addition to more than 130,000 volumes, the Supreme Court Library houses many historical documents related to the development of the Florida Supreme Court.

On August 13, 1974, the Florida Supreme Court Library became a designated federal depository library.

“This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code)”

Congressionally designated library

Hours and Location

The Supreme Court Library is open to the public Monday - Friday, excluding Court HolidaysPDF Download, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The library is located in downtown Tallahassee, Florida, directly across from the Capitol building. The mailing address is:

The Supreme Court Library
500 S. Duval Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399