852: RARE – Henry J. Friendly Papers Now Open for Research

I am pleased to announce that the Papers of Henry J. Friendly have been processed and are now open to the public.


Henry Friendly (HLS ’27) served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1959-1974, serving as Chief Judge from 1971-1973. He clerked for Louis Brandeis in 1927-1928 and then entered private practice where he worked for the next 31 years before his appointment to the Second Circuit by President Eisenhower.

The majority of the materials found in the Henry J. Friendly Papers reflect his career as a federal judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Friendly’s case files constitute the bulk of the collection. Also of interest are his bench books which contain hand-written notes on the cases he heard from 1959 to 1985. The collection also holds a small amount of Judge Friendly’s professional and personal correspondence, some of which dates back to his time as a student at Harvard University.

Judge Friendly was a respected jurist who, though never nominated, was considered for the Supreme Court by President Nixon. In this, of course, he is not alone. In a recent op-ed piece in the Boston Globe, Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried mentioned Henry Friendly along with Paul Freund and Learned Hand as three highly regarded jurists who were considered for the Supreme Court but never nominated.

The Harvard Law School Library is custodian of the Papers of all three of these notable legal thinkers. The Learned Hand Papers were processed in 1968; the Paul Freund Papers in 2006; and now we can add the Henry Friendly Papers to the Library’s Modern Manuscript collection. All three of these collections are large and comprehensive and hold great value to researchers.

Detail of letter from Felix Frankfurter to Friendly congratulating him on his appointment to the Second Circuit.  Henry Jacob Friendly Papers, box 235, Harvard Law School Library.

I would like to thank Margaret Peachy for her hard work in finishing this project in time for the summer research season. The finding aid for the Friendly Papers can be found on OASIS.

1 thought on “852: RARE – Henry J. Friendly Papers Now Open for Research”

  1. When I search the Friendly Papers at Oasis for “Felix Frankfurter”, the letter above in the photograph is not found; what am I missing?

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