Historical & Special Collections

Two New Exhibits at the Harvard Law School Library!

Two exhibits are now on view in the HLS Library: “Centuries of Japanese Legal Tradition” and “Charles Hamilton Houston and the Harvard Law School.” Both exhibits are on display through January 15, 2021, weekdays 9 to 5 in the Caspersen Room, Langdell Hall.  Centuries of Japanese Legal Tradition features rarely-seen treasures from the Japanese collection. Selected from over …

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852 RARE: Initial Release of the Antonin Scalia Papers

Historical and Special Collections is pleased to announce the initial release of the Antonin Scalia papers. Approximately 48 linear feet of material (10-15% of the total collection) is now open for in-person research at the Harvard Law School Library.  This material includes correspondence, speaking engagement and event files, photographs, pre-judicial career material such as teaching files, ABA files, …

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New Exhibit, now open: Queering the Collection: LGBTQ+ History ca. 1600-1970

Many library collections contain rich stories of individuals across centuries who transgressed sexual and gender norms, as well as documentation of the people and systems against which they transgressed. These historical artifacts can help shape new narratives around queer history and identity, or enrich old ones. Coded language and oblique references may pose challenges to researchers, but there …

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Final Days: HLS and the Bauhaus exhibit

Stop by the Harvard Law School Library to catch Creating Community: Harvard Law School and the Bauhaus before it closes! The exhibit is open weekdays 9 to 5 in Langdell Hall’s Caspersen Room through August 16, 2019. Stay tuned for our next exhibit, Queering the Collection: LGBTQ+ History ca. 1600-1970, opening soon!

852 RARE: 17th Century Shorthand

Samuel Botley’s Maximum in minimo or Mr Jeremiah Richs pens dexterity compleated with the whole terms of the law is a charming little guide to 17th century shorthand. Botley, picking up where his predecessor Jeremiah Rich left off, published a complete guide to shorthand, outlining both legal and general terms, circa 1674. Prior to the publication of this …

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852 RARE: An Update on the Antonin Scalia Collection

Two years ago, the Harvard Law School Library received an extraordinary archival collection when the family of Justice Antonin Scalia decided to donate his papers here. As project archivist for the Scalia papers, I’ve been surveying and processing this remarkable collection, with the goal of identifying, processing, and making accessible those parts of the collection that will be open …

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852 RARE: Serving Up a Sampling of Plates

Inspired by the array of objects in this drawer, I wanted to highlight some of the plates we have in Historical & Special Collections for this installment of 852 RARE. They come in a variety of materials and sizes and are from a number of different collections. Each has an interesting story to tell. I hope you enjoy …

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852 RARE: When the French Revolution was a Current Event

A recent Harvard Law School Library project—undertaken in preparation for the renovation and re-purposing of the Lewis building—resulted in a spreadsheet of hundreds of older titles for me to sift through, verify, and (often) catalog.  While the list is daunting it has led to a trove of fascinating books and pamphlets all of them are intriguing to anyone …

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Listening to the Law – the Neil Chayet collection of audio and transcripts from “Looking at the Law”

“This is Neil Chayet Looking at the Law.” That was how Neil Chayet (HLS 63’) began each of the more than 10,000 recordings he made for his radio program “Looking at the Law,” which he recorded almost daily from 1976 to 2017. The Harvard Law School Library is pleased to announce that nearly all of these episodes are …

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NEW EXHIBIT! Creating Community: Harvard Law School and the Bauhaus

2019 marks the centennial of the Bauhaus, and Harvard is celebrating! The Bauhaus, considered the twentieth century’s most influential school of art and design, has deep connections to Harvard, including the Harvard Law School. Did you know that Harvard’s first example of modern architecture is on the HLS campus and was designed by Walter Gropius, the founder of …

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