Spring Bluebook Drop-ins

bluebookGot questions about the Bluebook? We’ve got answers! The Library is holding Bluebook Drop-in Sessions twice weekly now through May 16. Just come in and ask your questions—no appointment required!

Where: Areeda 505 (enter through the library)

When: Mondays 12:00-1:00pm and Fridays 3:00-4:00pm

First come, first served. Prefer a one-on-one appointment? Request a research appointment.

Check Out Our New Charging Station!

ChargingStationThe 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!

Book Talk: Katerina Linos, The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion, Tuesday, April 1 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invites you to attend a book talk and panel discussion in celebration of Visiting Professor Katerina Linos’ recently published book,  The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion: How Health, Family and Employment Laws Spread Across Countries.  Professor Linos’ book received the International Studies’ Association Alger Chadwick Prize as the best book of 2013 on international organization and multilateralism.

During spring 2014, Professor Linos is HLS Visiting Assistant Professor of Law and John Harvey Gregory Lecturer on World Organization.  Prior to joining the UC Berkeley Law faculty, Linos was an International Law Fellow and Lecturer at Harvard Law School, where she had previously received her J.D. She also recently completed a Ph.D. in political science at Harvard, in parallel with a junior fellowship at the Harvard Society of Fellows.

In 2012, Linos won a Hellman Family Fund Grant to investigate empirically whether government rhetoric espousing fundamental rights is accompanied by concrete actions. This project will examine the development and institutional design of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), government agencies established in over 100 countries to improve human rights enforcement. She will also explore whether courts can shape public opinion on the rights of immigrants, the uninsured, and other minority groups.

Book talk panelists include:

HLS Professor Noah Feldman, Bemis Professor of International Law;
Professor Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University;
Beth Simmons, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University Department of Government.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 12:00 noon.

Harvard Law School, Lewis International Law Center, Room 214B.  (Directions).

Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library.

Free and open to the public.  Lunch will be served.


New York Times Online for HLS

the-new-york-times2It’s here. One of the things you’ve asked for most frequently. A group pass to the nytimes.com for HLS students, faculty, and staff. We’re pretty excited about it too!

If you missed the email or need a refresher, here are the details and instructions for signing up:

  • Registration is allowed only on campus from any computer or terminal within the Law School; once you have registered, you will be able to access your subscription from your home or any other computer.
  • The registration process begins here:  https://myaccount.nytimes.com/grouppass/access.
  • You must register using your Law School email address, but you may change your address after registration.
  • If you already have an existing paid subscription for digital access to the NYTimes.com (using your Harvard Law School email address), you must first cancel your subscription before registering for Law School access. 
  • You may cancel your existing digital subscription by calling Customer Care at (800) 591-9233.
  • Paid subscribers will not be reimbursed for cancellation.  You may want to time your registration accordingly.
  • If you are a non-paying user registered with your Harvard Law School email address, you may sign-up using your Law School address.  Be sure to choose the “Log in to Continue” button, not the “Create an Account” button as you already have an account.
  • Our site license covers computers, laptops and SmartPhone devices only.  You may not download an app for your tablet, but you may access your account using your tablet’s browser.
  • Our site license is for the Law School only and it is not available to alumni.
  • Starting next year, all eligible registrants must “Grab a New Pass” on March 1.

For assistance or questions, please contact the Library.


852 RARE: Real-life Murders and Bibliographical Mysteries

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.


Title page

Title page

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 girlpremiered 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.  




SCOTUSblog & Bloomberg Law sponsor Supreme Court competition

The third annual Supreme Court Challenge, hosted jointly by Bloomberg Law and SCOTUSblog, asks you to  predict how the Supreme Court of the United States will decide six merits cases and six cert. petitions in April 2014.

Register by March 22 to compete for pride and money against the experts at SCOTUSblog and other law students around the country.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the three student teams with the most points.  The first prize take-home is $3,500, with an additional $1,500 if the team also beats the experts at SCOTUSblog.

To register and gather more information, visit: http://scotuscompetition.com/

For further research guidance, contact the HLS Library Reference Desk.

Vox Gov: US Government Accountability Made Easier

Harvard now provides access to a new and exciting research tool called Vox Gov (HUID & PIN).

Vox Gov allows you to easily search for any government document and communication from across all three branches of government.

For example, a search for the term Volcker Rule will tell you who in the government is saying what – whether in formal regulatory documents, press releases, CRS reports or in less formal channels like YouTube, Twitter & Facebook!

You can further narrow your results by who is saying what by date, party affiliation, gender – and more!  Looks like, for example, that Democrats discuss the Volcker Rule at twice the rate of Republicans.  And that Republicans seem to think the Rule is anti-competitive.  Look it up!

Vox Gov has just replaced Google for this librarian – when it comes to research on federal rules, legislation and other government activity and communication.

Major Law Firms Recommend Finance Classes

The results of a survey of major law firms published last week by faculty at Harvard Law School suggest that law students take classes on accounting, corporate finance, and financial statement analysis.

“The large law firms that hire Law School students have always generated most of their revenues by assisting businesses in structuring and litigating over complex financial transactions,” [Professor Jesse Fried wrote]. “What’s different today, perhaps, is that law firms are under increasing pressure from clients to be more efficient, and so the bars for hiring and promoting associates have been raised.” See Tyler S. Olkowski, HLS Study:  Major Law Firms Recommend Finance Classes, CRIMSON, Feb. 23, 2014.

One way to gain these skills is by registering for formal courses.  Another is to explore free online resources, like

In addition, the Harvard library provides access to great print and online financial accounting books; examples:

Contact the library anytime with question on resources and services – especially for learning accounting and finance principles.

Celebrate Fair Use Week, February 24-28, 2014

Help celebrate the first-ever Fair Use Week, February 24-28, 2014, sponsored by the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication.

Fair Use Week culminates with a live Fair Use panel on Friday, February 28th, @2:30pm in the Lamont Library Forum Room.  The panelists are:

  • Andy Sellars, Berkman Center
  • Ann Whiteside, Graduate School of Design
  • Laura Quilter, UMass Amherst
  • Ellen Duranceau, MIT


Book Talk: Luise Druke, Innovations in Refugee Protection: A Compendium of UNHCR’s 60 Years, March 6

The Harvard Law School Library staff invites you to attend a book talk and panel discussion in honor of International Women’s Day and in celebration of Luise Druke’s recently published book, Innovations in Refugee Protection:  A Compendium of UNHCR’s 60 Years Including Case Studies on IT Communities, Vietnamese Boatpeople, Chilean Exile, and Namibian Repatriation.

Dr. Luise Druke is a Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School (IGLP). She serves as Co-Chair for UN Studies at Suffolk University (Government Department) and is a Part-time Lecturer at Leibniz University (Political Science Department). Having headed UNHCR international missions for nearly 30 years, she has authored and has co-edited many other refugee, United Nations and European Union related publications.

Book talk panelists Christianne Lemke, Max Weber Chair for German & European Politics, N.Y.U.,  Lily Axelrod, 2L and Clinical Student, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, HLS, Heidi Matthews, SJD Candidate and IGLP Writing Workshop Docent, HLS, and Elizabeth Maroney, HLS Case Studies Editorial Assistant.

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 12:00 noon.

Harvard Law School, Lewis International Law Center, Room 214A.  (Directions).

Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and co-sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University and the Institute for Global Law & Policy, Harvard Law School.

Free and open to the public.  Thai lunch will be served.