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

Justice Scalia’s papers donated to HLS Library–what’s next?

Blog post by Meg Kribble, Research Librarian & Outreach Coordinator; Ed Moloy, Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Archives; and Jessica Farrell, Curator of Digital Collections.

We are very excited about the news that the family of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (HLS, ’60) will donate his Papers to the HLS Library.

It’s an honor for any library to be selected to preserve and make accessible the papers of a Supreme Court Justice, and we are grateful to the Scalia family for selecting the HLS Library. We look forward to sharing periodic updates on our progress and to making the collection available over the years to come.

Portrait of Justice Antonin Scalia by Nelson Shanks

Because the Supreme Court does not display portraits of sitting justices, Justice Scalia’s official portrait by Nelson Shanks resided in our Reading Room from 2008 until his death, when it was returned to the Court.

What happens next?

Justice Scalia served on the Court for nearly three decades. Prior to that, he practiced law, taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago, and served as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Throughout his career, he gave speeches, wrote articles, and received awards. Materials from all of these activities will likely be included in the collection.

Communication methods evolved over the course of the Justice’s career to include documents created on computers as well as traditional print materials. While his papers aren’t the first papers of a Supreme Court Justice to include electronic records, this will be the first time electronic records will be transferred from the Supreme Court to an archive. As you can see, Justice Scalia’s papers, like those of other Supreme Court Justices, are likely to be a large, complex collection that will take years to process.

Many papers of Supreme Court Justices come with restrictions on when they may be made accessible to researchers; Justice Scalia’s are no different. You can compare the restrictions on his papers (mentioned in the article link above) with the restrictions of some of his predecessors on the Court in Susan David deMaine and Benjamin J. Keele’s visual presentation, Access to Justice? A Study of Access Restrictions on the Papers of U.S. Supreme Court Justices.

What’s involved in processing a collection of this magnitude?

The first step is transferring the collection, both physically and electronically.

The method of physical transfer always depends on what’s in the collection–general movers and sometimes special art movers may be involved. Electronic material is either transferred over a secure connection using software that encrypts, virus checks, and establishes data integrity for the files; or it is sent physically in the form of a hard drive or whole device, such as a computer or tablet. This data is stored in a highly secure environment especially before a survey has been conducted to identify types and quantity of sensitive data that exist.

As for the processing itself, while some details are changing to adapt to the challenges of electronic files, the fundamental process remains unchanged:

  • First, a survey is done that provides an overview of a collection’s content. For electronic files, the survey is conducted using digital forensics techniques borrowed from the law enforcement community. Information about the files is extracted without altering the files in any way. If the content is on physical media, data is extracted using an arsenal of adapters and write-blockers.
  • In the next step, the survey information informs how a collection will be arranged, typically by broad record group (series) such as “correspondence” or “teaching material.” Digital forensics software helps identify topics across the electronic material without the need for opening individual files.
  • Arrangement of folders–electronic and physical–takes place guided by the established arrangement’s organizational structure.
  • During arrangement, some material is restricted or redacted based on the agreement with the donor, university records policies, and/or privacy concerns identified by the archivist. Again, for electronic material, software aids this process.
  • A finding aid is produced describing the scope and content of the collection, biographical information about the creator, information about each series, and an inventory typically broken down to the box and folder level. Researchers use finding aids to guide them to material relevant to their work.
  • A HOLLIS (Harvard Library catalog) record is created, which links to the finding aid. Digital content is deposited into Harvard’s Digital Repository Service (DRS) for long-term digital preservation and access. For files that can be released to the public, access links are included in the finding aid.

While you’re waiting for the year 2020, when Justice Scalia’s papers begin to become available, we encourage you to learn about the other collections of Supreme Court Justices that the HLS Library holds:

  • Louis D. Brandeis (HLS class of 1877), Papers, 1881-1966 Finding Aid
  • Opinions of Benjamin R. Curtis (HLS class of 1831), 1858-1860 HOLLIS (Contains opinions of Curtis on a variety of topics some of which were made outside of his position on the bench. Also contains some correspondence to him requesting his opinion on different issues.)
  • Felix Frankfurter (HLS class of 1906), Papers, 1900-1965 Finding Aid
  • The John G. Palfrey collection of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Papers, 1715-1938 Finding Aid | Digital Suite
  • Joseph Story (HLS Dane Professor of Law, 1829-1845), Papers, 1796-1844 Finding Aid | Digital Suite

Jonathan Zittrain statement for the record on access to legal information

Updated at 11:44am to include a PDF of the statement.

Today at 10am, a statement for the record from our faculty director and Vice Dean, Library And Information Resources, Jonathan Zittrain, will be part of House Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee hearing on Judicial Transparency and Ethics. You can watch the hearing live at the link!

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Darrell Issa released the following joint statement prior to the hearing:

Tomorrow the IP Subcommittee will hold an important oversight hearing to examine the many issues facing our federal courts system. The oversight hearing will look at several transparency issues, including the effectiveness of the PACER service and use of audio and video recordings of courtroom procedures. Additionally, the hearing will examine internal judicial disciplinary rules and procedures.

Zittrain’s statement will discuss the importance of and need for public access to court decisions and related issues.

What’s new on Kanopy?

Kanopy, one of the streaming video services available at Harvard which makes available hundreds of award-winning documentary and feature films from around the world, has just shared the latest films they’re highlighting. Films highlighted include those of general interest as well as some that may be of special interest during Black History Month. We hope you enjoy them!

Out Run: LGBT Politics in the Philippines

As leader of the world’s only LGBT political party, Bemz Benedito dreams of being the first transgender woman in the Philippine Congress. But in a predominantly Catholic nation, rallying for LGBT representation in the halls of Congress is not an easy feat. Bemz and her eclectic team of queer political warriors must rethink traditional campaign strategies to amass support from unlikely places. Taking their equality campaign to small-town hair salons and regional beauty pageants, the activists mobilize working-class trans hairdressers and beauty queens to join the fight against their main political opponent, a homophobic evangelical preacher, and prove to the Filipino electorate that it’s time to take the rights of LGBT people seriously. But as outsiders trying to get inside the system, will they have to compromise their political ideals in order to win? Culminating on election day, Out Run provides a unique look into the challenges LGBT people face as they transition into the mainstream and fight for dignity, legitimacy, and acceptance across the globe.

Tashi’s Turbine: A Small Village in Nepal Harnesses Wind Energy

Set in the grassroots of the Himalayan mountains, TASHI’S TURBINE is an uplifting tale of a small village’s attempt to harness renewable, sustainable energy with the power of the wind. The story begins with the strong friendship between Tashi Bista and Jeevan, who journey from Kathmandu to Namdok with hopes of building a stronger Nepal, one wind turbine at a time.

Their first site, Namdok, is a humble remote village in Upper Mustang, which previously relied on sparse candlelight to power through the windy nights. As Tashi and Jeevan work with the villagers, the elements and gusty landscape bring their own set of unforeseen challenges for installing a strong wind turbine.

Lessons of Basketball and War – An African Girls Basketball Team in Oregon

What could it possibly be like to be a 13- or 14-year-old Somali refugee suddenly relocated to the US? One day you’re in a refugee camp under the blazing Kenyan sun, and the next you’re plunged into a strange country and culture you don’t understand.

How do you teach a 14-year-old algebra or American history when he or she speaks little English or has never held a pencil? To make matters worse, old tribal rivalries brought with them from Somalia could erupt into fights between the girls – the ultimate form of vengeance being the scar of a deep bite to the other girl’s face. Something had to be done, but what?

And then one morning, Principal Kevin Bacon noticed a couple of the Somali girls tossing a basketball at a basket on the school’s playground and the idea for the African Girls Basketball Team was born.

The Black Roots of Salsa: Cuban Dance and Music

In interviews, music- and dance sequences exhibit some of the most important and world famous protagonists of the cultural scene in Cuba, the conversion of Cuban Salsa, Rumba and African tradition until the present era.

The movie impresses with its proximity to protagonists. They discuss different subjects and get into details by live demonstration. They provide an overall understanding of the topic for Cuba specialists as well as interested viewers.

Titles Spotlighted for Black History Month

The Spirituals: American Spirituals, Music and Slavery

A musical art form, the American Spiritual, was born out of the folk songs of slaves. Melodies of backbreaking work were hummed, sung, and passed on throughout the Deep South over fields of cotton, greens, cowpeas, yams, rice, peanuts, and okra. Sorrow songs were used to console and transmit secret information. With defiance, sorrow, and anger, the songs traveled, after being hummed in to the ear of the next arranger.

Few of these spiritual treasure songs have survived. With a great sadness, the American Spiritual Ensemble lament the songs that have been lost forever. Songs with words and passion as vital as: Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Give me Jesus, and Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child. Just a small portion of the original songbook has survived and the ASE has a mission to nurture, teach, sing, and watch over the spirituals that have remained.

A Lot Like You: Exploring Multiracial Identity

Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American with a Tanzanian father and Korean mother. When her parents retire and move back to Tanzania, Kimaro begins a project that examines the intricate fabric of multiracial identity, and grapples with the complex ties that children have to the cultures of their parents. Though Kimaro grew up spending every other summer in Tanzania, it isn’t until she is older and in an interracial relationship of her own that she finally grasps the importance of understanding her family’s cultural heritage.

American Experience: The Abolitionists (Part 1 of a 3-part series)

Shared beliefs about slavery bring together Angelina Grimke, the daughter of a Charleston plantation family, who moves north and becomes a public speaker against slavery; Frederick Douglass, a young slave who becomes hopeful when he hears about the abolitionists; William Lloyd Garrison, who founds the newspaper The Liberator, a powerful voice for the movement; Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose first trip to the South changes her life and her writing; and John Brown, who devotes his life to the cause. The abolitionist movement, however, is in disarray and increasing violence raises doubts about the efficacy of its pacifist tactics.

Teached: Code Oakland – African American Youth Challenge the Face of the Technology Industry

This film examines Oakland’s evolution through the eyes of social entrepreneurs determined that youth of color not be left on the sidelines as Silicon Valley spreads into the home of the second largest black community in California. Kalimah Priforce, whose first activism was a hunger strike at age eight, and Kimberly Bryant, a successful engineer turned founder of Black Girls Code, are organizing large-scale hackathons preparing youth to redesign the future through the power of coding. Joined on the national stage by #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, their work represents the cusp of a movement to change both the face and future of technology in America. But is Silicon Valley ready to be hacked?

Jonathan Zittrain appointed to National Museum and Library Services Board

The staff of the Harvard Law School Library congratulates Jonathan Zittrain, Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources, on his appointment to the U.S. National Museum and Library Services Board. The Board advises the Institute of Museum and Library Services director on general policies and practices and comprises leaders and advocates in museums and library services. Vice Dean Zittrain was appointed to the Board by President Barack Obama as one of the last acts of his presidency, and was sworn in on January 17, 2017.

For more information about the Board, see  Seven Board Members Added to the National Museum and Library Services Board.

Now streaming on Kanopy

Kanopy, a Netflix-like streaming service for academic institutions, has thousands of documentaries and movies available for free streaming. Here are a few titles they’re highlighting this month.

American Political and Social Issues

Starving the Beast: The Battle to Disrupt and Reform America’s Public Universities
Starving the Beast tells the story of a potent one-two punch roiling public higher education right now: 35 years of systematic defunding and a well financed market oriented reform effort. It’s the story of a little known and misunderstood ideological fight, the outcome of which will change the future of public higher education.

All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone
Independent journalists Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald and Michael Moore expose government lies and corporate deception, inspired by the legendary investigative journalist I.F. Stone.

Answering the Call: The American Struggle for the Right to Vote
The bloody attacks of protestors in Selma in 1965 led to the historic protection of all Americans’ right to vote. The film explores a cherished family story of Selma and the current state of voter suppression in America.

The Divide: What Happens When the Rich Get Richer?
The Divide takes a deeply personal look at wealth inequality, telling the story of seven individuals striving for a better life in the modern day U.S. and U.K. — where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. There’s Wall Street psychologist Alden, who wants to make it to the top 1%; KFC worker Leah from Virginia, who just wants to make it through the day; and Jen in Sacramento, California, who doesn’t talk to her neighbors in her upscale gated community because they’ve made it clear she isn’t “their kind.”

Exploring Mental Health

Wizard Mode: An Autistic Teenager’s Quest to Become World Pinball Champion
In the game of pinball, there is no greater reward than Wizard Mode – a hidden level that is only unlocked when a player completes a series of lightning-speed challenges. Robert Gagno has dedicated most of his life to mastering Wizard Mode, and is now one of the top pinball players in the world. He also happens to have autism. . . .In between competitions, Robert attempts to reach milestones of adulthood, include looking for meaningful employment and learning how to drive. He consistently finds himself between two worlds, as he tries to maintain a successful pinball career and live a fulfilling life as a person on the autism spectrum.

Michael & His Dragon: A U.S. Marine’s Battle with PTSD
Michael Ergo looks like a typical guy in his early 20s but one thing sets him apart, only a few years before he was fighting insurgents in the Iraq war. Cleverly told through the story of Michael’s tattoos – tattoos that mark his personal journey as both solider and veteran, this film is a deep and personal account on one man’s experience with PTSD.

Environmental Documentary

Rise of the Eco Warriors: Young Activists Saving the Rain Forest
A group of passionate and adventurous young people leave their known worlds behind to spend 100 days in the jungles of Borneo. Their mission is to confront one of the great global challenges of our time, saving rainforests and giving hope to endangered orangutans. Their task is enormous and the odds are against them.

Brooklyn Farmer: The Worlds Largest Rooftop Farm 
This film explores the unique challenges facing Brooklyn Grange, a group of urban farmers who endeavor to run a commercially viable farm within the landscape of New York City. The film follows Head Farmer Ben Flanner, CEO Gwen Schantz, Communications Director Anastasia Plakias, Farm Manager Michael Meier, and Beekeeper Chase Emmons as their growing operation expands from Long Island City, Queens to a second roof in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. The team confronts the realities inherent in operating the world’s largest rooftop farm in one of the world’s biggest cities.

World Cinema

Viktoria (Bulgaria, 2014)
Maya Vitkova’s stunning debut feature Viktoria follows three generations of women in the final years of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the early years of the new government, focusing on reluctant mother Boryana and her daughter, Viktoria, who in one of the film’s surreal, magical touches is born without an umbilical cord. Though unwanted by her mother, Viktoria is named the country’s Baby of the Decade, and is showered with gifts and attention until the disintegration of the East Bloc. Despite throwing their worlds off balance, the resulting political changes also allow for the possibility of reconciliation.

Boiling Point (Japan, 1990)
Ono Masahiko is an unlucky gas station attendant who belongs to a losing junior baseball team. When the local yakuza threaten and capture his coach, he and a friend get more than they bargained for when they travel to Okinawa seeking revenge. This is the second feature film from renowned action auteur Takeshi “Beat” Kitano.

The President (Iranian-international, 2014)
The latest film by acclaimed Iranian ex-pat director Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Kandahar, The Silence) tells the story of a dictator who is forced to personally confront the many people tortured by his regime after his government is overthrown. The president and his family rule the land with a draconian fist, enjoying a privileged and luxurious existence at the expense of his miserable and oppressed subjects. After a coup d’etat uproots his position of power, the president’s wife and daughters are flown out of the country as he stays behind with his grandson, who is too young to grasp the unfolding events.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (France, 2003)
Talented art student Angelique is madly in love with Loic, a married cardiologist whose wife is expecting their first child. Things take a dangerous turn as Angelique grows less discreet in her affections and her attempts to separate the couple fail. Halfway through, this black comedy takes a dramatic turn and the film reverses perspective, showing the preceding events from Loic’s (wildly different) point-of-view.

Happy National Coffee Day!

happy-coffee-by-karolina-grabowska-cc

Happy coffee by Karolina Grabowska, CC0 license

Happy National Coffee Day!

HLS students, did you know you can get free coffee in the Library? Visit the kitchenette at the north end of the Reading Room–that’s the end with the Caspersen Room–after 9pm on weekdays (except Friday) and all day on weekends to get your fix.

(Filtered cold and hot water is always available there, so tea drinkers, you’re always in luck!)

Local chain Dunkin Donuts is celebrating by selling any medium hot coffee for just 66 cents, while Starbucks is planning to donate a coffee tree for every cup of its México Chiapas brewed coffee sold today.

Enjoy the java!

852 RARE: Of Elks, Magicians, and Stone Cutters

Alexis de Tocqueville famously wrote that “Americans of all ages, all stations of life and all types of disposition are forever forming associations …” and a little known but intriguing collection here in Historical & Special Collections demonstrates just that.  It consists of constitutions and by-laws of a wide variety of American organizations, dating from the early nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.  The majority were part of a gift from the private collection of Roger Stoddard, former Curator of Rare Books at Houghton Library. From The Constitution of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (printed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1803) to the New programme and new constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (Drafts for discussion) (Chicago, 1980) these pamphlets encompass nearly 200 years of American social, religious, trade, and political history.

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They include organizations as diverse as the Charlestown Association for the Reformation of Morals (of Charlestown, Mass.) whose object as stated in its 1813 pamphlet was to “discountenance and suppress vice and wickedness generally, and to promote Christian virtue and morality … especially in the youth,” to the 1886 Constitution and by-laws of the Burlington Coasting Club of Burlington, VT,  whose object was “the encouragement and promotion of out door winter sports, such as Coasting, Toboggan Sliding, Snow-Shoeing, Ice Skating and Curling.”  Many of the pamphlets— such as By-laws of the Joint Association of Stone Cutters and Quarry Men (1888), and Constitution & by-laws of the Lynn & Boston R.R. Mutual Aid Association (1886)—were for associations that were precursors of modern workplace unions.

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This is a somewhat hidden collection as catalog records for these rare and ephemeral pamphlets are often preliminary and brief, but the collection is open for research and we encourage you to explore it. These seemingly dry organizational documents actually provide fascinating snapshots of different times and places in American history. You can search this collection by doing a “Other call number “ search in HOLLIS Classic using the term “Constitutions and By-laws”.

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Learn about Caselaw Access Project on the radio!

Two weeks ago, WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman and crew paid us a visit to record a segment on our Caselaw Access Project (CAP), which will make all U.S. case law freely accessible online. You may have heard the result this morning.

If you missed it or you’d like a replay, you can catch the story on WBUR’s website. Although the transcript appears in print along with some photos, we recommend listening to get the experience of what the process sounds like as well looks like!

Learn more about the Caselaw Access Project from our past CAP posts or our Library Innovation Law website.

 

You’re invited to Love Your Library Fest on September 23

HLS Students: we invite you to join us for the 12th annual Love Your Library Fest on Friday, September 23 from 2 to 5pm to learn more about your new library!

At Library Fest you will:

  • Learn about library services that students love
  • Get the scoop on how our Library Innovation Lab is making the law more accessible
  • Tell us how to improve our website
  • See unique items from our Historical & Special Collections
  • Meet our legal information vendors and staff from other Harvard libraries
Library Fest Heart by Alethea Jones

Art by Alethea Jones

Visit three or more stations to get a free movie ticket (HLS students only; one ticket per student) and for each station you visit, get an entry into our raffle for a Taste of New England gift basket (two each for JD and LLM/SJD students)–with a bonus raffle entry if you visit all stations! 10 additional HLS students will also win HLS Library book lamps for late-night reading.

In addition to the grand prizes, there will be candy, fortunes, treats, and other swag!

Mark your calendars and we’ll see you there!

852 RARE: Games People Play*

Believe it or not, Historical & Special Collections is home to some law-related games, including playing cards and materials created to help students learn the law. This set of educational cards, published in Halle, Germany in 1709, was intended to teach students civil law.

Civil Law Playing Cards

Chartae Iusoriae Juridicae (Halle, 1709), HOLLIS 3706209.

Our set consists of 34 cards, numbered 2 through 35. Each card contains several principles of civil law, written in Latin. The principles are numbered 5 through 194. It’s too bad the first card is missing from our set! Each card has been backed with marbled paper, and the whole set fits into a papier mâché box, also covered with marbled paper.

Case and Playing Cards

Case and Playing Cards, HOLLIS 3706209.

There is an eight-page instruction booklet, written in German, bound into marbled paper wrappers that match the playing cards. Students could use the cards as simple flash cards for self-study, or gather with a group of fellow students for a scintillating round of play. Here are a few excerpts from the instructions, translated by Jennifer Allison, an HLSL Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian:

  1. Those who would like to familiarize themselves with these laws and repeat them at will / must start by learning the first law on a card / tam quoad numerum, quam quoad sensum, and discuss it with their fellow players / who do the same thing.
  2. Once this has happened / they both, or also four, five, and six [people] could … / sit together / shuffle the cards / and deal them out to each player.
  3. At this point, the person who received the first card starts / by asking his neighbor a question about one of the cards in his hand e.g. ex fol 8. An possessor rerum immobilium satisdare teneatur? If this person answers / quod sic; he has answered incorrectly and must take the card / and must read … out loud from it / so that the other players, ex auditu, can be informed of the law. …
Instruction Booklet

Instruction Booklet, HOLLIS 3706209.

Let’s hope they were drinking lots of beer. Nevertheless, it’s a good reminder that legal study aids – and the market for them – have been around for a long time. Good luck in your law school studies, whichever study method you choose!

*with apologies to Eric Berne

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