Lesley Schoenfeld

852 RARE: The Monthly Special – From the Barber Shop to the Bench

As Black History Month draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to spotlight George Lewis Ruffin (1834-1886), Harvard Law School’s first Black graduate. Ruffin was one of eight children born to free parents George W. (1800-1863) and Nancy Lewis Ruffin (1816-1874) in Richmond, Virginia. Committed to their children’s education, Ruffin’s parents  hired a tutor to …

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852 RARE: The Weekly Special – Bachrach, Inc.: Step Back in Time

Since coming to work in Historical & Special Collections I have had the opportunity to interact with some truly amazing materials. Over and over again I find myself drawn to photograph portraits in our collection. I think it is because of the power these images have to transport us to another time and to imagine life in a …

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852 RARE: The Weekly Special – Ungentlemanly Behavior in the Library

There are a few times a year when the student stress level in the library is palpable. There is not a single open chair and library surfaces are covered with an assortment of laptops, books, papers, and containers  of caffeinated  beverages (covered of course). In the fall of 1950, one can imagine the tense atmosphere that led to …

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852 RARE: The Weekly Special – Team Coco/Cardozo

The Law School has more than thirty sculptures in its collection, many of which are displayed throughout the library. Among the plaster casts, bronze bas-reliefs, and marble sculptures I have my favorites but the one that always brings a smile to my face is Benjamin Cardozo. When I first started at the Law Library, I had heard of …

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852 RARE: The Weekly Special – A Canon and its Cannon

Several months ago  a researcher requested this seventeenth century edition of the Corpus Juris Canonici from Venice. I was surprised and delighted by what I encountered on an initial flyleaf in this volume of Gregory IX’s Decretals. And of course I couldn’t help but wonder why such a funny little drawing with its firing cannon appears in a …

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852 RARE: The Weekly Special – What’s Between Your Pages?

Since last year, a team of individuals from throughout the library has been working on a forthcoming  Gale digital collection, The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources II, 1763-1970. Over 1,500 volumes, totaling more than half a million pages from Historical & Special Collections were digitized as part of this project; the majority of which came from the …

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852 Rare: The Weekly Special-Blast from the Past

Picturing the Harvard Law Library almost 60 years ago… While assisting a researcher, I came upon an interesting find in the papers of former HLS Dean, Erwin N. Griswold. There, nestled in the first folder of box 306 was a typescript “Guide to the Law Library” from September 1953. It got me thinking about what life was like …

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852 Rare: Federal Judges – From Abruzzo to Zouhary

The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) was established by Congress in 1967 (28 U.S.C. §§ 620-629) on the recommendation of the Judicial Conference of the United States.  Among its duties, the FJC is tasked with: [conducting] research and study of the operation of the courts of the United States, and to stimulate and coordinate such research and study on …

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