Student Channel • Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

Changes in Library Fines and Loan Rules Policies

We have some changes to report on library loan periods and fines at Harvard–and we think you’ll like them!

Changes that took effect April 1:

  • The loan period has been standardized so that all Harvard-ID-holding faculty, staff, and students will enjoy semester loans on regular loan items from Harvard’s libraries.
  • HL will no longer charge the $0.50 per day standard overdue fines for regular loan items. Fines for long-overdue/lost material and reserve/media/equipment items will remain the same.

Beginning on May 1, in order to further encourage the return of items that are in demand by other library users, Harvard Library is raising its fee for overdue recalled material from $2.00 to $3.00 per day.

For more detail and explanation, please visit the Harvard Library post Changes in Library Fines and Loan Rules Policies.

Bluebook drop-in sessions available in April!

HLS students, do you have bluebook questions? If so, the library is here to help you. We will be holding bluebook drop-in sessions beginning Monday, April 3rd and running through Wednesday, April 26th.

Drop-in sessions will be held in Room 524 of the library (5th floor conference room), from 12-1pm on the following dates:

Monday, April 3rd
Wednesday, April 5th
Friday, April 7th
Monday, April 10th
Wednesday, April 12th
Friday, April 14th
Monday, April 17th
Monday, April 24th
Wednesday, April 26th

If you have bluebook questions, but these times are inconvenient, you can also schedule an appointment by filling out the request to meet with us on our Ask a Librarian page, and noting that it is for a bluebook consultation: .

Please bring your laptop with you to the drop-in sessions or a scheduled session so we can work on your questions, on your paper, in real-time.

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

All about PLI PLUS: treatises, program transcripts, and more!

PLI PLUS logoHave you checked out PLI PLUS lately? If so, you may have noticed its clean and updated user interface. But it has great content too! We recently had a library update with our PLI rep, and I’m here to share my notes again. If you’re a student, faculty member, or practitioner, read on for some highlights to help you get (re-)acquainted.

If you haven’t used PLI PLUS before, here’s some quick background:

The PLI PLUS platform provides a comprehensive library of treatises, course handbooks, and answer books from the Practising Law Institute (PLI), a nonprofit organization known for its accredited continuing legal and professional education programs delivered by volunteer faculty including lawyers, judges, corporate counsel, regulators and other professionals. Transcripts of its webcast programs and seminars are also available on PLI PLUS.

PLI’s seminars are up-to-the minute current. For example, last month it offered two seminars on immigration, Challenging Immigration Detention with Habeas Petitions on February 2 and Immigration Executive Orders: What You and Your Clients Need to Know on February 15.

Major content in PLI PLUS:

  • Over 100 treatises
  • Answer Books: these are Q&A style, useful for students new on clinics, and they also include case studies
  • Course Handbooks: these are often available before program, and also includes case studies
  • Program Transcripts from their seminars and webcasts (available for all programs except those by government speakers)
  • Forms: search, download, and edit over 3000 forms from across the platform

Narrow your search results: there is a narrowing function to focus your search results within only the books you think might be most useful.

PDF format: All titles on the platform (with the exception of some archived program books) are available in PDF by chapter.

More about PLI PLUS forms:

  • Forms open in RTF
  • Forms include full agreements/contracts, and clauses
  • You can click through to the book that is source of a form
  • You can pull up a list of all forms contained in any chapter on the platform

General features

  • Search across platform, book, and individual chapters
  • Book overview contains update information (like e-pocket parts)
  • Permalinks to sections and content areas are available
  • Course Books: related contents lnk will give the history of a title with related transcripts and forms
  • Full archive of material to 2000, some content goes back to 1980 or its origination date
  • Practice areas on immigration and privacy & cybersecurity
  • Login accounts – doesn’t work for basic answers (requires proxy) but for remote access for facstaff this can be set up

Create your own login account within the HLS access to use additional features:

  • Ability to make notes and highlights in content (plus option to include these when sharing content via email)
  • Create your own My Bookshelf and subshelves that you can add chapters and titles to, plus share links to your shelves with others (this could be useful for faculty assigning content, students working together on projects in clinics and other settings)
  • View all your notes and marks on one page
  • Note that creating your own login doesn’t work for getting remote access to PLI PLUS–you’ll still need to authenticate with a Harvard proxy link (or remember that you can always get to it by searching for PLI PLUS in the HOLLIS catalog).

How Leadership Library can help you track people in government

Are you tracking the latest staffing changes in Congress and the White House? Following Senate confirmation hearings?

Last week, a couple of our staff tuned into a webinar by Leadership Directories to learn more about how LDI’s Leadership Library database can be used to keep up with the presidential staff, new members of Congress and their staff (including office locations and contact details!), and a number of other helpful features.

The webinar video is only 17 minutes and well worth the time to watch if you want some tips on following the changes in Washington. Below the video, I’m including some highlights from my own notes.

Notes:

  • Right now, Leadership Library’s front page defaults to its pre-built lists that relate to the outcome of the 2016 elections. New members of Congress, updated rosters of all members of Congress, new presidential staff and transition team members, and state legislators and executive staff. The list of all the new president’s staff contains about 1600 people.
  • The Election 2016 lists are great places to start and you can customize your views, selecting which columns to view and in what order they appear. The lists can be exported to Excel and CSV files and also have a variety of alert options–all changes, appointed, promoted, and departing staff.
  • Use the build a list option to create a list of presidential appointees requiring Senate confirmation: click Build a List>Job Function>expand the Appointed Official option and select Presidential Appointee Requiring Senate Confirmation. Again, you can use options to organize, export, and get alerts on your data.
  • Use the Explore Organizations link to look at federal org charts, including the Executive Office of the President and federal agencies.
  • Data in the Leadership Library is updated daily by a team of 40.
  • If you need help, live chat support and a contact form are available.

There’s a lot more that Leadership Library can help you with, including researching potential employers and getting very detailed info about Congressional offices for interviewing, or just to find the most relevant staff member to share a concern with. To learn more, check out my colleague AJ Blechner’s Guide to Employer Research and Guide to Congressional Information Searching or Ask a Librarian.

852 RARE: Guest Blog – Molding the Legal Mind: The Notebooks of Harvard Law Students

Many of us would shudder to imagine a researcher 100 years from now poring over our college lecture notes, scribbled in spiral-bound notebooks or, more likely, typed up in hundreds of sporadically organized .docx files. Historical & Special Collections at the Harvard Law School Library has been doing just that, cataloging a collection of over 250 students’ class notebooks amounting to hundreds of volumes. Dating from approximately 1860 to 1970, the collection represents an era that encompassed some of the most formative decades of the Law School’s curriculum and reputation. The Class Notes Collection, now fully cataloged for the first time, should be of great interest to anyone working on legal history, legal education, or the history of Harvard Law School itself.

View of spines of volumes of class notes.

Miscellaneous class notes volumes

Page of class notes in black and red ink taken during lectures on trusts

Page from the class notes of Eliot Harlow Robinson taken from lectures on trusts given at the Harvard Law School by James Barr Ames, 1907-1908
HOLLIS 14778115

The bulk of the collection takes the form of neatly homogeneous, crimson-leather-bound notebooks purchased from the Harvard Coop and inscribed on the inner cover with students’ names, local addresses, and desk numbers. “Louis L. Jaffe, 3 Perkins Hall,” one notebook reads. “3L, 1927-28. Property.” Many of the students’ names sound antiquated and (to this author’s ear) aristocratic; with a single exception, all are male. Case law is written on transparent onionskin sheets the size and shape of Post-Its and pasted in on top of lecture notes; red ink is typically used to underline and summarize key arguments in the margins. One gets the impression of a disciplined and uniform method of note-taking, taught from an early age, which gradually fell away after the Second World War and was abandoned as standard practice by the 1960s.

 

 

 

Detail of page of handwritten notes in blue and red ink. At the top of the page is written "Wolf vs the American Trust and Savings Bank

Detail of a page of class notes of Paul Cleveland
taken during the second year course “Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes” taught by Morton Campbell, 1931-1932
HOLLIS 14453392

While the notebooks have the outward appearance of uniformity, within, they attest to rich personal histories. Exam prompts, holiday cards, and even the occasional love letter are tucked between their pages. Current law students may find comfort in the near ubiquity of question marks and crossed-out phrases (as well as large splotches of ink). Some are covered in doodles, caricatures, and exhortations (“To hell with Beale!” writes Chauncey Craven Hackett (LL.B. 1906) in his 1905 notes on Equity, taught by Beale), while others suggest great discipline and organization, such as the tidy script and thorough indexing of future HLS professor Austin Wakeman Scott (1884-1981). Many of the notebooks were donated to the library by graduates’ children and grandchildren, and some have been carefully typed up and bound in display volumes. Notable legal minds represented in this collection include Zechariah Chafee (1885-1957), E. Merrick Dodd (1888-1951), Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965), Paul Freund (1908-1992), and David Charny (1955-2000). Their class notes provide valuable and perhaps otherwise inaccessible windows into their formative years as students and thinkers.

Open volume of handwritten notes in blue and black ink. On the right side is printed advertisement from Burke & Co. Tailors

Detail of a page of class notes of Manley Ottmer Hudson, 1907-1910
HOLLIS 2004707

The collection should also be very useful to the study of legal curriculum and its development across the twentieth century. While the 1L course load of Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law has remained largely unchanged since the nineteenth century, a proliferation of electives can be observed beginning in the 1960s, yielding Soviet Law, Antitrust Law, Psychoanalytic Theory and Legal Assumptions, even a class taught by Henry Kissinger on National Security Policy in 1967. From this collection one can learn how Justice Stephen Breyer taught his class on Antitrust Law, or how Derek Bok taught Economic Regulation, through the eyes of their students. The pressures of US history are also apparent, from the cluster of deaths, withdrawals, and hastily rearranged course schedules during World War II, to notes on segregation, the KKK, and Communism in the 1940s and 1950s.

Detail of handwritten page of notes at top of page is written "Commentaries on the Laws of England Book 2nd"

Detail of a page of class notes of John Willard Bickford, 1864-1865
HOLLIS 2594561
Bickford was from Hillsborough, New Hampshire. He entered Harvard Law School in 1865 but his career was ended when he drowned in the Charles River on June 26, 1866.

It is the otherwise anonymous, little-heard voices of HLS students across the years that form the bulk of the collection—studying for their exams, trying to remember their locker codes, and forging the opinions that have shaped legal discourse across the last two centuries. We encourage students, faculty, and researchers to come see for themselves what has changed—and what has remained the same—about the studying and teaching of law at Harvard since the late nineteenth century.

Georgia Henley is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, finishing a dissertation on the transmission of historical texts and manuscripts between England and Wales in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. She works part-time in Historical & Special Collections at the Harvard Law School Library.

Note: For now, the easiest way to see the entire collection is in HOLLIS Classic. Under search type select “Other call number” and search for “Class Notes Collection”.

Now streaming 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?

NewsBank Special Reports

The Harvard Library is a subscriber to many titles within NewsBank. Did you know NewsBank also contains special reports? The special reports contain news articles, images, maps and other useful content grouped for convenience under specific topics and themes. They can help you to quickly locate information while helping you gain better insight into  global issues and events. Coverage is both current and retrospective with new articles being added daily.

Here are some special reports NewsBank is spotlighting that may be of special interest at the moment.

February Topics and Monthly Themes
U.S. Presidential Election
Black History Month
World Health – National Heart Month
Film and Television – Nominations and Awards
World Economics

Additional featured Reports covering current issues and events
Issues in the News
World Terrorism and Conflict
World Environment
World Politics and Government

Need help finding information on fast-changing topics? Ask a Librarian or request a research consultation.

This week: Research Boot Camp for Activists

work bootsCompelled to get involved in advocating for political and social change? Just want to stay current on the issues that matter to you?

With many people feeling a sense of urgency to participate in activism, the HLS Library is offering a Research Boot Camp for Activists. This workshop will give you research tools and tips to maximize your effectiveness on the ground as an advocate.

In our first session, Thursday, February 2, 5:00-6:00pm, learn to evaluate sources for validity, learn to research from anywhere, and learn how to find current congressional information including how to contact the staff of elected representatives.

In our second session, Friday, February 3, 1:30-2:30pm, you will learn how to find executive orders and presidential documents, regulations and administrative information, and get an introduction to asylum research.

Both sessions will meet in the Library Computer Lab. Feel free to come to either one or both. Computers are available, but feel free to bring your laptop if you prefer. Can’t make it? Stay tuned and we’ll be sharing our accompanying research guide.

Thanks to the Dean of Students Office for co-sponsoring this event with us.

Note: this post was updated to reflect our new time for Friday’s workshop.

Caselaw Access Project Scanning Now Complete

Post by Kim Dulin and Meg Kribble

We at the Harvard Law School Library are thrilled to report a major milestone achieved in our our Caselaw Access Project (CAP), which will make U.S. state and federal court decisions freely accessible online.

Last Friday at 3:29pm, we finished scanning the final volume of material. Since CAP launched in 2013, we have scanned 39,796 volumes and 38.6 million pages of material covering 334 years of American caselaw.

Many teams–totaling dozens of contributors from across the HLS Library and beyond–shaped the project plan and built the technical infrastructure to support the work that our project digitization team carried out. We are deeply grateful to all contributors to the project
from inception to date for their hard work and dedication.

Next steps in the project include continuing quality control, converting the scanned images into machine-readable text files, extracting individual cases into individual files, redacting headnotes and other editorial content, and finally making the redacted images and text files freely accessible online, which we hope to complete by the end of 2017.

We would be remiss if we did not once again thank our partner in this adventure, Ravel Law, without whose funding and support CAP would not have been possible. Thank you!

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