Announcements • Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

Book Talk: American Capitalism: New Histories, Wednesday, March 7th, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion for American Capitalism: New Histories (Columbia Univ. Press, Feb. 13, 2018), edited by Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History, Harvard University Department of History, and by Christine A. Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law.  Professor Beckert and Professor Desan will be joined by commentators: Bethany Moreton, Professor of History, Dartmouth College; Michael Ralph, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University; and Seth E. Rockman, Associate Professor of History, Brown University.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About American Capitalism: New Histories

American Capitalism book cover“The United States has long epitomized capitalism. From its enterprising shopkeepers, wildcat banks, violent slave plantations, huge industrial working class, and raucous commodities trade to its world-spanning multinationals, its massive factories, and the centripetal power of New York in the world of finance, America has come to symbolize capitalism for two centuries and more. But an understanding of the history of American capitalism is as elusive as it is urgent. What does it mean to make capitalism a subject of historical inquiry? What is its potential across multiple disciplines, alongside different methodologies, and in a range of geographic and chronological settings? And how does a focus on capitalism change our understanding of American history?

American Capitalism presents a sampling of cutting-edge research from prominent scholars. These broad-minded and rigorous essays venture new angles on finance, debt, and credit; women’s rights; slavery and political economy; the racialization of capitalism; labor beyond industrial wage workers; and the production of knowledge, including the idea of the economy, among other topics. Together, the essays suggest emerging themes in the field: a fascination with capitalism as it is made by political authority, how it is claimed and contested by participants, how it spreads across the globe, and how it can be reconceptualized without being universalized. A major statement for a wide-open field, this book demonstrates the breadth and scope of the work that the history of capitalism can provoke.” — Columbia University Press

Sven Beckert is Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard University and cofounder of the Program on the Study of Capitalism. He is the author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History (2014).

Christine Desan is Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University and cofounder of the Program on the Study of Capitalism. She is the author of Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism (2014).


Bethany Moreton




Bethany Moreton, Professor of History, Dartmouth College



Michael Ralph




Michael Ralph, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University






Seth E. Rockman, Associate Professor of History, Brown University


More About American Capitalism: New Histories

“Sven Beckert and Christine Desan are leaders in the burgeoning history of capitalism field, and they have put together a volume of outstanding scholars whose essays, in their chronological reach and subject matter, show this new literature at its best. A very fine and promising collection.” — Steven Hahn, New York University

“This stunning volume not only captures the most vibrant, challenging work in the history of capitalism, but also distills the central themes and defining contributions of the field. The essays speak to all historians, not just those working in the history of capitalism. A must read.” — Laura F. Edwards, Duke University

“American Capitalism represents the coming of age of a field of historical research. Rarely, in any field, has one volume featured the work of so many talented and accomplished historians. Each chapter breaks fresh ground and proposes new lines of inquiry. The editors have assembled a landmark and agenda-setting book that no student of economic life in the United States can afford to ignore.” — Jonathan Levy, University of Chicago

“From the creditor constitution to the market for slave clothing to early American mercantilist thinking, this deftly curated book samples some of the best work that the history of capitalism literature has to offer. Readers interested in new and provocative explorations of the politics, law, and culture enmeshed in American economic institutions need look no further.” — Suresh Naidu, Columbia University

“Few historical subfields are more important and timely than the critical history of capitalism. In this volume, Sven Beckert and Christine Desan have assembled cutting-edge work on topics as diverse as slavery, credit, insurance and risk, financial crises, race, gender, agriculture, and law and regulation. These essays combine chronological breadth, analytical depth, and geographic scope, linking the micro and macro, the local and the global. Essential reading.” — Thomas J. Sugrue, New York University

852 Rare: How to Read a Manor Court Roll

This is the second in a series of five blogs about Historical & Special Collections’ English Manor Rolls (1305-1770). HSC was honored to have Eleanor Goerss, Pforzheimer Fellow ’17, with us last summer to perform research on and enhance description of this internationally-important collection, including authoring these posts. Future topics include what you’ll find, sometimes unexpectedly, in them.

Having resolved to attempt to decipher a medieval court roll, where do you begin? Well, at the top.

English Manor Rolls, 1283-1765. Folder 8. Moulton (Multone), Norfolk. Harvard Law School Library. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

The first line tells you where and when the court occurred, what type of court it is, and sometimes the name of the Lord. For instance, the top line of this roll in HSC’s collection reads: Multone Curia ibidem tenta die Sabbati proximam post festum de Corpore XPI Anno regni Regis Edwardi tercii a conquestum XXIX, which is: Moulton, court held on the Saturday after the feast of Corpus Christi, in the 29th year of the reign of Edward III. So this session occurred early in June of 1355. Calculating a date that makes sense to us requires having some reference resources on hand that tell us the years of Edward III’s reign and what the Christian feast dates were for that year. Here’s an online resource for that.

Just below the heading appears the names of those tenants who have “essoined” themselves. This means they have opted out of coming to court by paying a fee and designating proxies in their stead.

Then the proceedings of the session are listed. Here is an example of what an entry looks like:

English Manor Rolls, 1283-1765. Folder 8. Moulton (Multone), Norfolk. Harvard Law School Library. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Item presentat quod Johannes Bateman fecit dampnum in frumento domini cum vi bobus [The jury presents that John Bateman did damage to the Lord’s grain with six oxen]…”

You might have noticed that the court scribes used a radically abbreviated mode of writing: frumento = frō and domini = dm̄. You will also notice that many entries begin with words such as, “The jury presents…” This “jury,” anywhere from ten to twenty-four men selected from the attendees of the court, both presented and decided the cases. Each fine (marked with an M for misericordia) is recorded in the left margin. In this case, the fine amounts to 2 s (pence) and 3 d (shillings).

If this seems a bit challenging, don’t panic! There are plenty of resources with which to tackle court rolls. Here’s one of our favorites:

Stuart, Denis. Manorial Records: An Introduction to Their Transcription and Translation. Chichester, Sussex: Phillimore, 1992.

Digital Wall Street Journal access is here!

Front page of the first issue of the Wall Street Journal, Wikimedia commons

We’re happy to announce that HLSL has, in collaboration with the Harvard Library, secured a subscription to the digital Wall Street Journal. Digital membership is available to all current Harvard faculty, students and staff, and includes unlimited access via or the WSJ app. Use this link to sign up for an account.

If you need technical assistance with the sign-up process, please contact the WSJ directly at 1-800-568-7625 as they will be better able to assist you with the sign up process.

For information about Harvard access to,, Mass Lawyers’ Weekly, historical WSJ, other popular newspapers, and getting started with newspaper research at Harvard, visit our guide to newspapers for the HLS community.

Tenth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

Interested in rare books, legal history or legal archives?

The Legal History and Rare Books (LH&RB) Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), in cooperation with Cengage Learning, announces the Tenth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School.

The competition is designed to encourage scholarship and to acquaint students with the AALL and law librarianship, and is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, and related fields. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses to attend the AALL Annual Meeting.

Winning and runner-up entries will be invited to submit their entries to Unbound, the official journal of LH&RB. Past winning essays have gone on to be accepted by journals such as N.Y.U. Law Review, American Journal of Legal History, University of South Florida Law Review, William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, and French Historical Review.

The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., April 16, 2018 (EDT).

Book Talk: Law and the Wealth of Nations: Finance, Prosperity, and Democracy, Friday, January 26th, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion for Law and the Wealth of Nations: Finance, Prosperity, and Democracy (Columbia Univ. Press, Oct. 2017), in memory of author Tamara Lothian. Commentary will be provided by Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Emeritus, Harvard Law School; Mark Barenberg, Isador and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law; Christine A. Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Robert C. Hockett, Edward Cornell Professor of Law, Cornell Law School; and Sanjay G. Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research.

Lothian poster


Friday, January 26, 2018 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West B (directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Law and the Wealth of Nations: Finance, Prosperity, and Democracy

“Economic stagnation, financial crisis, and increasing inequality have provoked worldwide debate about the reshaping of the market economy. But few are willing to risk a reorientation of dominant ideas and a reform of entrenched structures. Right-wing populism has stepped into the void created by a failure to imagine structural alternatives. Tamara Lothian offers a deeper view showing the path to the reconstruction of the economy in the service of both growth and inclusion. She probes the institutional innovations that would reignite economic growth by democratizing the market. Progressives have traditionally focused only on the demand side of the economy, abandoning the supply side to conservatives. Law and the Wealth of Nations offers a progressive approach to the supply side of the economy and proposes innovation in our fundamental economic arrangements.

Lothian begins by exploring how finance can serve broad-based economic growth rather than serving only itself. She goes on to show how the reform of finance can lead into the democratization of the economy. How, she asks, can we ensure that the most advanced, knowledge-intensive practices of production spread throughout the economy rather than remaining in the hands of the entrepreneurial and technological elite? How can we anchor greater economic equality and empowerment in the way we organize the economy rather than just trying to diminish inequalities after the fact by progressive taxation and entitlements? How can we revise legal thought and economic theory to develop the intellectual equipment that these tasks require? Law and the Wealth of Nations will appeal to all who are searching for ways to think practically about change in our economic and political institutions.” — Columbia University Press

About Tamara Lothian

Tamara Lothian (1958-2016) wrote and taught widely in law and political economy after an early career in international finance. She was a Principal with International Strategies Group, a Boston-based consultancy, Lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, and Research Fellow and Visiting Professor of Law at Fundacao Getulio Vargas, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. She spent the first part of her career in international finance, and the second part in academic work and advisory work for governments and financial firms. The central theme of her recent academic work has been the development of ideas about finance and financial reform, in the US and in the global economy. A companion volume to Law and the Wealth of Nations titled Finance and Democracy in America, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.


Duncan Kennedy



Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Emeritus, Harvard Law School



Mark Barenberg



Mark Barenberg, Isador and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law


Christine Desan



Christine A. Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School



Robert Hockett



Robert C. Hockett, Edward Cornell Professor of Law, Cornell Law School



Sanjay Reddy




Sanjay G. Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research


More About Law and the Wealth of Nations: Finance, Prosperity, and Democracy

“Tamara Lothian’s fascinating, bold, and provocative analysis of finance and economic democracy will inspire a new generation of reformers and scholars. Lothian brilliantly combines the perspectives of a legal scholar, financial expert, experienced financier, social theorist, and progressive visionary to chart a new direction for the twenty-first century economy.” — Jeffrey D. Sachs, Columbia University

Law and the Wealth of Nations presents a way of thinking, a method, for putting finance in the service of economic innovation, and economic innovation in the service of a renewed democracy. For progressives who sense that redistribution is a necessary but insufficient component of sustainable reform and who wonder how to connect small, feasible changes to the thoroughgoing transformation of politics and the economy that is the order of the day, there is no more timely and welcome book.” — Charles Sabel, Columbia University

“The question that motivates the book—how can finance serve production, innovation, and democracy, instead of acting as a constraint on them?—opens into a much larger discussion of the contemporary challenges faced by our economies and societies. This is a significant contribution to the central debates of our time, laying out a bold vision of finance and, more broadly, of an inclusive, democratic market economy.” — Dani Rodrik, Harvard University

“Reviving our productive and political arrangements begins with reimagining our legal and financial arrangements. No one has thought with more care, imagination, or ground-level knowledge about how to make finance more useful and less harmful than Tamara Lothian. And no one has done more to show how reforming finance can initiate a democratizing reconstruction of the market economy. This book brings Tamara Lothian’s visionary yet disciplined writing, long admired by specialists, to the broader audience to which it ultimately speaks.” — Robert C. Hockett, Cornell University

“In this striking and innovative work, Tamara Lothian shows how a revised practice of legal and economic thought can provide us with the ideas we need to think beyond the narrow limits of contemporary politics and policy in dealing with financial crisis and economic stagnation. Her writing exemplifies what so much of contemporary discourse lacks: structural vision, informed by historical understanding, disciplined by technical knowledge, and open to the imagination of new ways to democratize the market and deepen democracy. She offers insight and inspires hope.” — Sanjay G. Reddy, The New School for Social Research

SPECIAL NEW YEAR EVENT: Cass Sunstein discusses “The World According to Star Wars,” Fri., Jan. 5 at 12:45 pm.

Whether you are pro-Republic or pro-Empire, the Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a discussion by Professor Cass Sunstein on his recently published, New York Times and Washington Post best selling book, The World According to Star Wars (Harper Collins, 2016).

Copies of The World According to Star Wars will be available for sale and Professor Sunstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Friday, January 5, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Harvard Law School WCC Room 2036, Milstein East B

1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge  (Directions)

A raffle will be held for ten AMC Yellow movie tickets for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, courtesy of The Harvard Law School Library.

Festive attire and costumes are welcome.  May the Force be with you!

sunstein star wars poster


“There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, the Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’s score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite, and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.

In rich detail, Sunstein tells the story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and explores why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines a bright new light on the most beloved story of our time.” — Harper Collins

About Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. Professor Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations.

More About The World According to Star Wars

“[Sunstein’s] enthusiasm is endearing…[the] Harvard Law professor uses George Lucas’s cinematic phenomenon to tackle such disparate topics as the creative process, the writing of constitutional law, and why people commit terrorist acts.” — New Yorker

“Enlightening…perceptive…Mr. Sunstein comes across as an energetic, friendly dinner-party tablemate.” — New York Times

“Entertaining…the ultimate primer for guiding a Star Wars padawan to the level of Jedi Knight.” — TIME

“Delightful… informative without being boring, funny without being silly.. a marvelous swift read. The force is strong with this one.” — The Economist

“If you love Star Wars or are a nerd and want an engaging introduction to concepts in legal theory or behavioural economics, Sunstein does the trick with levity and clarity’.” — The Times

“An enlightening and surprisingly personal tour of a galaxy…Sunstein offers plenty of fun details and opinions.” — Washington Post

“Sunstein makes a strong case that [Star Wars] contains real insights into the way we think about religion, work, and family…the book’s takeaways are universal.” — Fortune

“In this gem of a book, Cass Sunstein uses the Star Wars series to explore profound questions about being a parent, a child, and a human. It will change the way you think about your own journey, might even make you pick up the phone and call your dad.” — Walter Isaacson

“Irresistibly charming, acclaimed legal scholar Sunstein writes partly as a rigorous academic and partly as a helpless fanboy as he explores our fascination with Star Wars and what the series can teach us about the law, behavioral economics, history, even fatherhood. This book is fun, brilliant, and deeply original.” — Lee Child

“In this remarkable, book Sunstein manages to connect invisible gorillas, hit songs, conspiracy theories, and constitutional law. For anyone who loves the movies, or loves to think about how the world works, or simply loves their father The World According to Star Wars will provoke and inspire.” — Duncan Watts, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and author of Everything is Obvious (Once You Know the Answer)

“Fun and informative without getting bogged down with being too analytic or too fan-ish.” — Jeffrey Brown, author of the bestselling Goodnight Darth Vader

“Smart and interesting.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A light and breezy read filled with beautiful and funny anecdotes…worth the price of admission.” — Allen Voivod, Star Wars 7×7 Podcast

“Cass R. Sunstein has done it: He’s made Star Wars into a valuable legal text. In The World According to Star Wars, he considers the social, political, and moral ramifications of the films’ mythology… Sunstein provides new insights into a series we love.” — Slate

“[a] soon-to-be-required-for-college text” — Geeks of Doom

HLS’s favorite fictional lawyers (a non-scientific survey!)

Post-it with fictional lawyer namesJust for fun, we asked those entering the HLS Library who their favorite fictional lawyers are. Because we asked via a bulletin board display and those who answered did so by adding a post-it note to the display, this was a completely non-scientific poll. But we always enjoy seeing the results. Here’s a summary:

First, the fictional HLS alums. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) how many fictional lawyers are HLS graduates. Favorites in our poll were Annalise Keating from How to Get Away with Murder, Olivia Pope from Scandal, Harvey Specter from Suits, and Elle Woods from Legally Blonde with 3 votes each. Miranda Hobbes of Sex and the City, Louis Litt from Suits, and Ally McBeal each received 2 votes. The West Wing’s Ainsley Hayes, the notorious Professor Kingsfield of The Paper Chase, and Rafael Barba from Law & Order: SVU got one vote each.

Leading the field overall were with four votes each were Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird, Alicia Florrick and Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife, Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and Alan Shore from Boston Legal.

Alan Shore’s life partner, Denny “two combustible words” Crane was among those receiving 3 votes along with Perry Mason, Matt Murdock aka Marvel’s Daredevil, and Jessica Pearson from Suits.

Receiving 2 votes each were Lionel Hutz of The Simpsons, Bob Loblaw of Arrested Development, Jack McCoy of Law & Order, Mike Ross of Suits and Elsbeth Tascioni of The Good Wife.

Rounding out the pool with one vote each were Rafael Barba of Law & Order: SVU, Fletcher Reede of Liar, Liar, Cleaver Greene of the Australian series Rake, Bartholemew Iz from the post-apocalyptic novel Fitzpatrick’s War, Lt Daniel Kafee of A Few Good Men, Romo Lampkin of  Battlestar Galactica, Maggie Lizer of Arrested Development, Benjamin Matlock, Foggy Nelson of  Marvel Comics, Commander Harmon Rabb of JAG, Chuck Rhoades of Billions, Eve Rothlo of How to Get Away with Murder, the doubly fictitious lawyer Dean Sanderson of The Grinder, Jefferson Smith aka Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Tom the lawyer from Cheers, the eponymous My Cousin Vinnie, 
Phoenix Wright of the Ace Attorney video game series, Vivian Kensington (post-dumping Warner) of Legally Blonde, and the entire firm of Wolfram & Hart from Angel.

Finally, honorable mention goes to Jean-Luc Picard–a starship captain, not a lawyer–who was nominated for his defense of his colleague and friend Data in Star Trek: the Next Generation. In case you missed it, Dean Martha Minow discussed the episode in question in her 2011 graduation speech.

If you didn’t get a chance to vote on the display version of this poll, feel free to tell us who your favorite fictional lawyer is in the comments!

Scanning Nuremberg: Beginning analysis of the Einsatzgruppen Case (NMT 9)

Post by Matt Seccombe, July 8, 2017

Editor’s note: we have some new posts to share in our Scanning Nuremberg series, and we’ll be playing a bit of catchup over the next few weeks. Scanning Nuremberg shares the observations and insights of Matt Seccombe, Nuremberg Trials Project Metadata Manager/Document Analyst, as he analyzes documents for digitization as part of the HLS Library’s Nuremberg Trials Project website

In June the trial document analysis work resumed, with NMT 9, the Einsatzgruppen Case, on the agenda. I chose this trial because it presents a subject the other cases have not so far covered: genocide. The Einstazgruppen (groups A, B, C, and D) were created by the SS in the summer of 1941 to proceed into eastern Europe along with the army on the Russian front in order to assist the military, secure territory behind the front, and eliminate “enemy populations” including Jews, Communists, Gypsies (or Romanis), and other groups. In two years, working along a line from the Baltic territories, western Russia, the Ukraine, and on to Crimea, the groups killed approximately one million people, precisely reporting their work in regular reports to Security Police headquarters.

After spending some time organizing and exploring the document files and the trial transcript and gathering background information, I started document analysis in mid-June and worked through 115 documents amounting to over 600 pages of material, including the indictment(s), arraignment, prosecution opening statement, and six document books of prosecution evidence.

1939 and 1941 agendas: When the war began in 1939 Heydrich sent an initial Einsatz operation eastward with instructions on “the Jewish question in the occupied territory.” Somewhat surprisingly, the most urgent factor was safeguarding Germany’s “economic interest,” including the maintenance of Jewish businesses that were necessary for the local economy and the military. “The total measures planned (i.e. the final aim),” he noted obscurely, “are to be kept strictly secret.” Those “measures” were apparently discussed, but not recorded. In 1941, the agenda changed, or at least became much clearer. Ohlendorf, one of the group commanders, was told by Himmler in June 1941 that “an important part of our task consisted of the extermination of Jews—women, men, and children—and of Communist functionaries.” (Among other things, this means that the notorious Wannsee conference (January 1942) did not initiate the Holocaust but rather confirmed it and extended it from the eastern front to the whole German domain.)

Humane executions: None of the group leaders disputed the order to conduct mass executions (though one apparently obtained a transfer to avoid them), and they reported that they followed the order with “unabated severity.” In one area 23,600 Jews were shot in three days. But some who regarded this as part of the war effort insisted that they conducted the executions “in a military and humane way.” Like soldiers, they killed their enemies but did not torture them. One clarified that this was done to avoid a “moral strain” on the executioners (not the victims).

Connections with other trials: While the Case 9 indictment focused on genocide, the documents gradually reveal subjects that we record as “trial issues,” including those that overlap with other trials. Thus we can enrich the analysis of one trial with what we find in another. For example, the mass murder of Gypsies in Case 9 feeds back into Case 7 (which focused on the German army in the Balkans), and the arrest and execution of hostages, the primary charge in Case 7, also emerges as an issue in Case 9. The mass execution of the mentally ill in the USSR, though not mentioned in the indictment, emerged as an issue in the documents, one that is comparable to but not the same as the euthanasia program covered in the Medical Case.

More about the Nuremberg Trials Project:

Matt Seccombe’s work on the NMT 9 of the Nuremberg Trials Project has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

National Endowment for the Humanities logo



The HLS Library holds approximately one million pages of documents relating to the trial of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) and to the twelve trials of other accused war criminals before the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT). We have posted five trials so far (NMT 1 through NMT 4 and NMT 7) and have completed digitization of all the documents and transcripts. 

We are now engaged in the process of analyzing, describing and making machine readable the remaining trials’ materials in preparation for posting them to the Web. We hope to complete this work as soon as possible based upon available funding.  For more information about this project, please contact Jocelyn Kennedy.

Co-work with Historical & Special Collections on Friday, 11/17!

Interested in learning about archiving your student organization’s records with Historical & Special Collections? Want some suggestions about how to manage your org’s documents in the day-to-day, or just need some time and space to settle in to work on a project for your org?

Join us in Areeda 524 (5th floor of the HLS Library above the Reference desk) on Friday, Nov. 17 from 9am to 1pm to co-work with the library’s Historical & Special Collections!

Unidentified students studying, Unknown photographer, no date, Photographs of HLS Students, Folder 18

Unidentified students studying, Unknown photographer, no date, Photographs of HLS Students, Folder 18

We’ll be available to help you archive your organization’s records, consult on how to gain and keep control of your organization’s records, or just give you space to work on your student org projects. We’ll be working on refining processes for our student org archiving initiative. Contact if you have questions!

Book Talk: Intisar A. Rabb, Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts, Tue., Nov. 28, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (November 2017) edited by Intisar A. Rabb & Abigail Krasner Balbale.  This talk is co-sponsored with the International Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Harvard University Department of History, the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University, and the Harvard Muslim Law Students Association.

Intisar A. Rabb

Intisar A. Rabb is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, the Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Professor of History in the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences.


Abigail Krasner Balbale



Abigail Krasner Balbale is Assistant Professor of the Cultural History of the Islamic World at Bard Graduate Center.


Copies of Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts will be available for sale and Professor Rabb and Professor Balbale will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Lewis 214A (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts

Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts“This book presents an in-depth exploration of the administration of justice during Islam’s founding period, 632–1250 CE. Inspired by the scholarship of Roy Parviz Mottahedeh and composed in his honor, this volume brings together ten leading scholars of Islamic law to examine the history of early Islamic courts. This approach draws attention to both how and why the courts and the people associated with them functioned in early Islamic societies: When a dispute occurred, what happened in the courts? How did judges conceive of justice and their role in it? When and how did they give attention to politics and procedure?

Each author draws on diverse sources that illuminate a broader and deeper vision of law and society than traditional legal literature alone can provide, including historical chronicles, biographical dictionaries, legal canons, exegetical works, and mirrors for princes. Altogether, the volume offers both a substantive intervention on early Islamic courts and on methods for studying legal history as social history. It illuminates the varied and dynamic legal landscapes stretching across early Islam, and maps new approaches to interdisciplinary legal history.” — Harvard Series in Islamic Law


William A. Graham


William A. Graham
Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, and Director, Prince Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University


Cemal Kafadar



Cemal Kafadar
Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, Harvard University Department of History



Ahmed El Shamsy



Ahmed El Shamsy, Senior Visiting fellow, Harvard Law School Islamic Legal Studies Program – SHARIASource, and Associate Professor of Islamic Thought, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago

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