The Harvard Law School Library recently debuted our first mobile device charging station, courtesy of Westlaw. The new station is located just inside the door in the microforms room, which is on the second floor across from the computer lab. It offers two chargers each for devices that use micro USBs, mini USBs or either the old or new iOS chargers. Stop by any time the library is open to recharge and please keep in mind that you should never leave your device unattended at the charging station (or elsewhere in the library). Also, don’t forget that you can borrow laptop chargers at the Circulation Desk on the second floor if your computer needs to be recharged as well!
Intriguing as special collections materials are, cataloging may sound like a dull line of work until you discover that not infrequently it involves solving–or attempting to solve—mysteries. This was the case earlier this winter when we acquired a lurid eight-page pamphlet with an unknown publication date:
The life of Elizabeth Brownrigg, who was executed at Tyburn, for starving Mary Clifford to death, one of her apprentices. Upon which is founded the popular peice [sic] of “Mary Clifford,” performing at the City of London Theatre.
Brownrigg’s arrest, trial, and execution occurred in 1767 and the bookseller speculated that the pamphlet may have been printed about that time, as were other accounts of the crime. Typographically, however, this pamphlet looked like a nineteenth century publication. The imprint statement read simply “Printed and published by J.V. Quick, Bowling Green Lane, Clerkenwell” but the name “Quick” rang a bell. More than a dozen broadsides printed in the 1830s by J.V. Quick are part of the Harvard Law School Library’s extensive collection of crime broadsides. John Vandenburg Quick, a London printer of ballads, broadsides, and light poetry was in trade between 1823 and 1853.
The dates of Quick’s printing career helped to narrow the imprint date of the pamphlet, but a thirty year date range was still less than ideal.. The key to establishing an imprint date was the caption on the pamphlet’s hand-colored frontispiece: “An interesting scene from the popular drama of Mary Clifford, as performed at the City of London Theatre.”
A quick search revealed that the City of London Theatre opened in 1837, closed in 1868, and was destroyed by fire in 1871.
This information placed the date of the publication sometime between 1837 and 1853, better than 30 years, but still rather broad. When attempts to find information on when the play turned up nothing, a staff member from The Victoria & Albert Museum’s Theatre & Performance collection found the answer in a website of “early Victorian penny fiction” called Price One Penny (POP) which notes that the production “Mary Clifford, the foundling apprentice girl” premiered on February 11, 1839. (Apparently there were subsequent productions of the play at the Britannia Hoxton theatre in 1848, 1856 and 1871.)
Like Massachusetts’ own Lizzie Borden, whose 1893 trial continues to provide entertainment for audiences many years later, the gruesome story of Elizabeth Brownrigg and Mary Clifford entertained London audiences long after their deaths and it was thanks to this that the cataloging mystery was solved.
Historical & Special Collections is pleased to hold six pencil drawings by the British cartoonist and illustrator Edward Tennyson Reed (1860-1933). In the introduction to Reed’s memoirs, compiler Shane Leslie writes, “He excelled in the painless —gentlemanly caricature – never brutal or bestial….Whomsoever he caricatured…he made loveable.”
A number of Reed’s drawings in our collection deal with legal cases dating from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. One featured case is Armory v. Delamirie, (1722) 1 Strange 505; 93 E.R. 664 (King’s Bench). Armory, a chimney sweeper’s boy found a jewel in the setting of a ring, which he took to Delamirie’s shop for appraisal. When the jewel wasn’t returned to him, Armory brought an action against Delamirie. The court found that both plaintiff and defendant had property rights but as finder, Armory had better title to property and was awarded the maximum value for the jewel.
E.T. Reed was born March 27, 1860, in Greenwich, London to Sir Edward James Reed and Rosetta (Barnaby) Reed. After studying at Calderon’s Art School Reed tried working as a portrait painter but when this failed he focused on illustration and cartoons. As a young man, he would accompany his father to the House of Commons where he would sketch politicians in action. This experience paid off and in June 1889 Reed went on to contribute to Punch magazine, becoming a permanent staff member the following year. From 1894-1912 he served as the magazine’s parliamentary caricaturist. After leaving Punch, Reed contributed to The Bystander, the Passing Show, the Sunday Times, Pall Mall Gazette, Sunday Evening Telegraph, and the Evening Standard. He preferred pencil but also drew in pen, ink, and wash. Reed died July 12, 1933, in London after a long illness.
If you are interested in more of Reed’s work, Punch has a great website with a selection of cartoons from over the years.
1890 Punch cartoon by E.T. Reed titled: Automatic Arbitration
1901 Punch cartoon by E.T. Reed titled: Reviving “a certain splendid memory.”
Mark Bryant, Dictionary of twentieth-century British cartoonists and caricaturists, Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2000.
Mark Bryant and Simon Heneage, Dictionary of British cartoonists and caricaturists, 1730–1980, Aldershot, England: Scolar Press, 1994.
E. V. Knox, ‘Reed, Edward Tennyson (1860–1933)’, rev. Jane Newton, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/35708, accessed 13 Feb 2014]
Edward Reed Tennyson, Edward Tennyson Reed, 1860-1933; a memoir compiled by Shane Leslie from an incomplete autobiography with a choice of his caricatures made by Kenneth Bird, London: Heinemann, .
Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853) was one of the first professors at Harvard Law School, serving his 15-year tenure 1833-1848, for most of those years as one third of the law school faculty, along with Josiah Quincy (1772-1864) and Joseph Story (1779-1845). Outside of the law school, Greenleaf’s two passions were education and religion. Between his professorship and involvement with Christ Church of Cambridge, he held a fair amount of sway in the community and would give public lectures from time to time.
Greenleaf delivered one such public lecture – a lyceum lecture titled “On the Legal Rights of Women,” in 1839. In it he compares the plight of American women to that of women in ancient Greece, Rome, and China, and then explains that women in contemporary America have equal rights to their male counterparts. Whatever rights women do not have – voting, holding political office, or joining the military, Greenleaf explained away by saying that there are tasks more or less suited to either sex, and women are not predisposed to politics or military pursuits, as men are not suited for household chores. The lecture caused a bit of a stir among some local women, one of whom wrote a letter to Greenleaf explaining her position and asking him to see her side of the issue. This letter was later published in a volume edited by Nancy Cott, titled Root of Bitterness: Documents of the Social History of American Women (Hollis 1253724).
He later published the lecture as an article in the Christian Review (Hollis 129107) in June 1840, and his handwritten draft is in the Simon Greenleaf Papers, held by the Harvard Law School Library. The collection was recently digitized and readers can judge for themselves whether or not Greenleaf took a forward-looking view of women’s rights in society.
There are often times when items found in Historical & Special Collections (HSC) have little or no explanation, but the mystifying nature of these discoveries can be part of what makes them so delightful and, sometimes, so bizarre. The image of “The Fainwood” shown below comes from the 1977 Harvard Law School Yearbook and presents us with an eclectic mix of law students, pets, and assorted props.
The Fainwood is listed in the yearbook with other student activities, which in 1977 ranged from the Law Review and Chicano Law Students Association to social groups including the Friday Afternoon Club and Trivia Contest group. The Fainwood is simply described in the yearbook as “A tradition of gracious living since the Mesozoic era” and, gracious or not, is notable for highlighting its non-human residents.
This image is part of the Photographs of HLS Students Collection, which is one small piece of over fifty-thousand prints and photographs held by HSC. Additionally, HSC boasts an impressive collection of legal portraits. Over three hundred paintings and sculptures of significant figures in Anglo-American legal history make up the Legal Portrait Collection, and among these are a number of portraits that also feature dogs.
Animals appeared in Gothic and early Renaissance paintings, and dogs eventually began to appear regularly in European portraiture in the 15th and 16th centuries. Over time, the presence of dogs in portraits became less a symbol of loyalty and fidelity and more a fashion accessory or representation of a specific and cherished pet.
The engravings seen at right, left, and below highlight a few legal figures with their canine companions.
Though the image of the Fainwood raises far more questions than it answers, we can only hope that the students in the photograph have gone on to be not only dedicated lawyers but also devoted pet owners!
 Gibson, Robin. The Face in the Corner: Animals in Portraits from the Collections of the National Portrait Gallery. London: National Portrait Gallery Publications, 1998.
Take a break from studying and visit some new, ongoing, and soon-to-be-history exhibits in the Caspersen Room:
Women at HLS: 60 Years of Transformation closes this Friday, December 13, so see it while you can!
An exhibit celebrating the release of the Papers of James Vorenberg continues on view through Commencement 2014.
And last but not least, the historic copy of the Declaration of Independence, generously lent by the family of Robin and Marc (HLS 84) Wolpow, will be on view through Reunion Weekend, April 2014.
The Caspersen Room is open weekdays from 9 to 5. Enjoy the exhibits, and good luck with exams!
Historical & Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of a new Modern Manuscript collection, The Albert F. Burt Letters, 1911-1913.
The Albert Burt (Harvard Law School, class of 1914) collection is relatively small by Modern Manuscript standards containing a mere 63 letters and 7 postcards. But these 70 documents provide unique and invaluable insight into the life of a Harvard Law School student in the early twentieth century. In these letters written to his mother, father and two brothers , Albert writes about everything from the weather and housing, to life in Cambridge and, perhaps most interesting of all, his social and academic life at the Law School.
In one letter, dated October 29, 1911, Burt provides vignettes of faculty members. He refers to professor Joseph Beale as the “argumentative Prof” and notes a comment by a fellow student that, “doesn’t the old cuss love to get you to make a fool of yourself?” Professor Bruce Wyman is described as the “round, roly-poly, jolly, smiling prof” who will, “… do pretty much nearly all of the work if you’ll let him.”
Dean Ezra Ripley Thayer is mentioned in a letter to Albert’s brother Howard written in November 1911. He writes that, “…now it is etiquette in that class not to ask any questions unless you really want to know, because it takes the Dean so long to give a poor answer if he tries it himself and because you doubt whether the answer is trustworthy if he turns the question on the class.”
According to one letter the recently built Langdell Hall appeared to have been something of a novelty to students. In a letter dated October 22, 1911 Burt mentions that, “The whole plan of the institution seems to be that we should do our studying in these places”. (The other “place” being Austin Hall.) Encouragement to do so includes the existence of “… a whole staff to get us the books and everything we need in using them…” and that students were “…provided with lockers in the basements…” to store books and other necessary items.
This Albert F. Burt Letters will be of interest to anyone interested in the history of the Law School. The HOLLIS number is 13846966. A finding aid is also available. Researchers interested in using the collection should contact Historical & Special Collections and schedule an appointment.
Post contributed by Edwin Moloy, Curator of Modern Manuscripts.
Historical & Special Collections is pleased to open former HLS Dean James Vorenberg’s papers for research. Spanning almost 40 years, the collection encompasses Vorenberg’s career in education and public service, with a focus on his time at Harvard Law School where he served as both Dean and Professor. The James Vorenberg Papers joins an existing collection of Vorenberg’s Records of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, 1965-1979.
To celebrate the release of this important collection, HSC has prepared a commemorative exhibit. Echoing the content of his papers, the exhibit focuses on Vorenberg’s years as Dean, his long and illustrious teaching career, and (for fun) a bit about his cookbook, Dean Cuisine. Throughout the collection, Vorenberg’s sense of humor shines through, particularly in his correspondence and in his work on Dean Cuisine.
Although not part of the James Vorenberg Papers, a special highlight of this exhibit is a recently acquired painting of Dean Vorenberg by noted courtroom artist Melvin Robbins, exhibited for the first time. Rounding out the exhibit are images from the Library’s visual materials collection.
Margaret Peachy processed the Vorenberg Papers. Karen Beck, Margaret Peachy, and Lesley Schoenfeld curated the exhibit, which will remain on view in the Caspersen Room through May 2014. The Caspersen Room is open Monday – Friday 9 to 5.
Did you know that the library offers a number of board games (as well as outdoor games and tools!) for use by our patrons? You can check them out at the circulation desk any time and keep them for one day. And, as a way of celebrating Thanksgiving, we have extended that loan period for all games so that you can check them out for the whole week of Thanksgiving. Check out a game any time before Thanksgiving and it won’t be due back until the Monday after the break.
Whether you are headed home for the holiday or staying in Cambridge, check out a game to play with friends or family. We have a wide range of options from Monopoly to Scrabble; read the full list and pick out something fun for your holiday entertainment!
The librarians at the Harvard Law School Library are always working to create new guides to help you with your research and technology needs and we have recently debuted several new guides:
- International Commercial Arbitration: Guide to Electronic Resources: This guide will help you to get started with the major databases we offer to our patrons for international commercial arbitration research.
- Arbitration Research Instructional Guide: If you are new to arbitration research, this guide will walk you through an example of the research process.
- German Law Databases: This guides provides an overview of some of the top German law databases to which Harvard Law School Library subscribes.
- Alternate Legal Research Tools: If you are interested in learning more about legal research databases beyond LexisNexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg law, check out this guide, which highlights several alternatives, most of which offer free trials.