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 is a wealth of material to find on queer people throughout history.
Each case in the exhibit highlights a different approach to researching queer history: using known figures, embracing uncomfortable terms, being open to the unexpected, and using secondary sources. We explored a number of fascinating stories but our research barely scratched the surface. We encourage researchers to continue the exploration and hope this exhibit will give you some tools to get started.
An introductory poem by an author identified simply as “I.H.” asserts that “when writing in its infancy did creep/methinks men drew their letters half asleep” and Botley’s “learned hand….bravely guided for the public good.”
Delightful features include previous owner’s practice shorthand scribbles on blank spaces in the book, detailed engravings and comprehensive charts to teach the reader. Whether this method actually sped things up is lost to history!
JEREMIAH RICH (LEFT) AND SAMUEL BOTLEY (RIGHT)
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT…AN UNIDENTIFIED HAND TRIES IT OUT
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 in 2020. To date, material that should be open next year includes:
Pre-Supreme Court files (1970-1986)
Correspondence (through 1989 only)
Speaking engagement and event files (through 1989 only)
Photographs (circa 1982-2016)
Miscellaneous files such as subject files and articles about Scalia (1986-2016)
I am currently working to process the more heavily restricted
parts of the collection, which include records from Scalia’s time on the Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1982-1986) and the Supreme
Court (1986-2016). Pending further review, a tentative estimate is that roughly
half of the case files from Scalia’s four terms on the Court of Appeals may be
opened at some point in 2020.
We will continue to post updates here as the project continues and
welcome all inquiries. As is true for all archival collections at the Harvard
Law School Library, the portion of the Scalia papers opening next year will be
open to all. Historical & Special Collections’ Planning Your
Visit page provides details on
how to schedule an appointment and request material.
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 this small sampling of plates!
Langdell Hall commemorative plate (blue), 1927 Wedgwood, Etruria England 22 cm Queensware plate Accession no. 2017.19
This is one of two Wedgwood plates in the collection depicting Langdell Hall, the other copy is red and was issued in 1932. The 1927 set was the first set of college plates that Wedgwood issued. The set included 12 views of Harvard University with a fruit and flower border that according to one collector was based on a design used on Harvard dining hall china c.1840.
Dane Hall commemorative plate (red), 1952 Wedgwood of Etruria & Barlaston, England 26.5 cm Queensware plate Accession no. 2005.02.1
This is one of two Wedgwood plates in the collection depicting Dane Hall ca.1852; the other copy is in blue. According to the stamp on the back, this is a limited edition plate made in England exclusively for the Harvard Cooperative Society. Wedgwood issued this as part of set of 12 dinner plates that featured images of Harvard in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. See our copy of the lithograph this image is based on olvwork364043
Walter Hastings Hall Commemorative plate, early 20th century? Made in Germany 12 cm ceramic plate Accession no. 2017.70
This small white decorative plate with gold edges and a color image of Walter Hastings Hall in the center was a gift of Anne Elizabeth Bishop “in Loving Memory of My Father, Dr. Orvel Calhoun Crowder, S.T.B. 1957 Harvard Divinity School and my Great Grandfather Dr. Hall Laurie Calhoun, M.A. 1903, Ph.D. 1904, Harvard.” Hastings Hall was completed in 1889 as a Harvard University dormitory. Law students have been living there since at least 1924—it is the oldest residence hall at the Harvard Law School and currently houses 97 students.
Learned Handmade Plates, 2008 José Klein ’08 10-inch melamine plates Accession no. 2008.01.1-31
Klein designed 31 melamine plates depicting Supreme Court justices, as well famous law school cases in order to fulfill his Harvard Law School written work requirement. For a period of time, Klein sold copies of the set to collectors via his personal website, which is how Historical & Special Collections came to acquire its set.
“As a collection, the Learned Handmade Plates represent an album of the American Law School Experience. The plates are snapshots from the core of law as it is taught. Most law students have been expected to memorize most of the cases depicted here. They have been evaluated on the basis of how well they can reproduce the information these cases contain. . . . The Supremes on the other hand, remain. They have established permanent settlements in the imagination of the American Law Student. They are fetish objects, things to be held in adulation and contempt, to be stared into but never penetrated. In this sense, the Supremes are oracles. . . . The plates ask the eater/viewer to engage with the law as it is made by judges. They turn the act of eating into an act of civic engagement.”
Black-patterned Chinese plate, 1948 13.75 in. bronze enameled plate Roscoe Pound Visual Materials Collection Engraving: “Roscoe Pound / Given By The / Chinese National Government / 1948.”
Among our collection of Roscoe Pound visual materials is a bronze enameled plate given to him by the Chinese National Government in 1948. Pound served as dean of the Harvard Law School for twenty years (1916-1936) and in the 1940s served as an advisor to the Ministry of Justice in Nanking, China. The visual materials collection also includes photographs of Pound in China, including this photograph of Pound posing with members of the Hebei Court, Beiping, China.
Judge Baker Guidance Center plate, 1971? Lunt Sterling 28 cm sterling silver plate Eleanor T. (Eleanor Touroff) and Sheldon Glueck Visual Materials, Accession no. 1970.01.4 Engraving: “Eleanor Glueck / IN APPRECIATION OF / 40 YRS SERVICE / TO / THE JUDGE BAKER GUIDANCE CENTER”
Eleanor Glueck (1898-1972) and her husband, Sheldon spent their careers studying and writing about issues related to juvenile delinquency. In 1934 they published One Thousand Juvenile Delinquents: Their Treatment by Court and Clinic, a study of delinquents referred by the Boston juvenile court to the Judge Baker Guidance Center (JBGC). The JBGC (formerly known as the Judge Baker Foundation) was founded in 1917 “as a charitable and educational institution for the guidance of emotionally disturbed children.” Its work included community education, research, and training, eventually becoming the home of an organized program of training and research in child development. Eleanor served as trustee at the JBGC from 1932 until her death in 1972.
Golden Plate Award, 1967 American Academy of Achievement Framed ceramic plate and metal plaque Diplomas, honorary degrees, citations and awards of persons affiliated with Harvard Law School. 1834-, HOLLIS 990094615880203941
We have a number
of commemorative plates given to Professor Paul Freund
(1908-1992) over the years. The Golden Plate Award has been presented since
1961 by the American Academy of Achievement, a nonprofit foundation, founded by Brian
Blaine Reynolds to “bring
aspiring young people together with real-life heroes. . .” In 1967, Freund was
honored in connection with his constitutional law scholarship. Printed on the
plate: “American / Academy of Achievement / Prof. Paul A. Freund.” Learned Hand,
another Harvard Law School alumnus, was also a recipient in the 1960s.
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 who appreciates primary materials.
I’ve particularly enjoyed working with copies of the French constitution in its various iterations, published in 1791, 1793, and 1795. Some are elegantly bound; others are still in their original paper wrappers.
A particularly lovely specimen of the former is this 1791 constitution, not even 10 cm (4 inches) tall, bound in green in morocco with marbled pastedowns, gold-tooled spines, and gilt edges. The frontispiece showing the King Louis XVI accepting the constitution, which established a constitutional monarchy. Folded in towards the end of this pocket-size volume is a map of France.
An edition of the same constitution, printed in the provincial city of Le Puy in south central France, is in its original cheap (and wonderfully tactile) paper wrapper with the bookseller’s simple title and date (14 septiembre 1791) in manuscript and pages untrimmed.
Naturally events in France and its constitutions were of great interest beyond France, and a number of titles in the collection–such as these two–reflect that:
Detail of title page of London edition of the constitution published in Year I of the French republication calendar (1793).
Landau edition of the Year III constitution (1795), with manuscript note on title page: “5 Fructidor III” (i.e. 24. August 1795). Text is in French and German on facing pages.
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 now available online and open for use.
The Neil Chayet collection of audio and transcripts from “Looking at the Law”allows users to listen to the shows, as well as read the transcripts. In one or two minute segments Chayet would summarize court cases from around the country. He tended to be more interested in obscure or quirky cases rather than those more widely known. It was likely his ability to make any case accessible to a general listener combined with a good sense of humor that resulted in the shows enduring popularity.
Want to learn more about Cohen v. Minneapolis Star, et al? Take a look at HLS alumnus Elliot C. Rothenberg’s case files from Cohen v. Cowles Media Company collection. Rothenberg represented Cohen from February 1986 until it was heard by the Supreme Court in March 1991.
Digitization of the original cassettes is ongoing. Audio for shows broadcast between 1976 and 1995 are available now, as are digitized transcripts from 1975 to 1989. The entire collection should be available by early summer 2019.
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 the Bauhaus? Or that Gropius commissioned Bauhaus pioneers to create site-specific artwork for the buildings? Come explore HLS’s connection to the Bauhaus and its role in shaping campus life.
Harvard Graduate Schools Alumni Day Luncheon on Jarvis Field, with Graduate Center and World Tree Sculpture in background. Walter R. Fleischer, Harvard University News Office, June 1951, Photographs of Alumni Groups, Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections
During November and December I worked on the prosecution documents concerning four institutions charged as being criminal organization (the party leadership, the cabinet, the SA, and the SS), with the documents on the plundering of artworks added as an illustration. This amounted to 232 documents and 996 pages of material. The totals for the year on the IMT (not including the final work on NMT 9) are 1420 documents and 8439 pages.
IMT and NMT compared: The NMT cases followed the IMT, but I worked on six NMT cases before starting the IMT. The striking difference is the complexity of the IMT. As far as I know there was no precedent for the IMT, and little time for preparation: the trial began just six months after the end of the European war. In addition, four different countries (US, UK, France, and the USSR) worked on the prosecution and appointed judges. Both the transcript and the trial documents reflect the complications and sometimes the confusions that resulted. Following the order in the trial (i.e., the transcript) means skipping from box to box in the collection. The transitions in the prosecution case, from one country to another and one subject to another, were not always neat. The document books were not always clearly identified. (One asset is a copy of the published IMT record, 42 volumes, aka the “Blue Set,” which has helpful document lists and indexes—but also its own share of errors and typos.) In contrast, the NMT cases were run by the US alone, and with the benefit of the IMT experience; those cases were much easier to follow and the documents were much better organized and identified. In the IMT work, I have needed to spend more “overhead” time figuring out the proceedings and tracking down the relevant documents, reducing the time available for document analysis.
Whose document is this, anyway? The most confusing IMT material (so far) is in a document book of rebuttal evidence entered late in the trial. It was prepared and labeled as a US document book, but some of the documents that became exhibits were recorded as UK or Soviet exhibits. Our database assumes that a document comes from one and only one source, so in these cases the documents were identified as being US documents, with the UK or Soviet exhibit numbers being recorded in the Notes field rather than the exhibit number field.
Party and state: The judges had considerable reluctance to consider the German government (the cabinet) as being a criminal organization, in contrast to the Nazi party. However, Hitler himself clarified the role of the government in relation to the party, when he told a party meeting in 1935: “It is not the State which gives orders to us; it is we who give orders to the State.”
The SS soldier: One German reported what he heard about a young Waffen SS man in 1943-44: “he could no longer sleep because he had had to take part in such horrible crimes in the East. He hoped he would be killed so that he would not have to carry these memories around with him.” (The soldier died in the war.)
The typist’s message: The 1945 sessions ended on December 20, 1945, and the mimeograph transcript (but not the published Blue Set transcript), marked the occasion: “MERRY CHRISTMAS.”
The HLS Library holds approximately one million pages of documents relating to the trial of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) and to the twelve trials of other accused war criminals before the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT). We have posted five trials so far (NMT 1 through NMT 4 and NMT 7) and have completed digitization of all the documents and transcripts.
We are now engaged in the process of analyzing, describing and making machine readable the remaining trials’ materials in preparation for posting them to the Web.We hope to complete this work as soon as possible based upon available funding. For more information about this project, please contact Jocelyn Kennedy.
If you have not yet seen our exhibit on HLS student organizations, Spicy Reforms and Crystallizing Clap Trap, now is the time. Due to a January filming project in the Caspersen Room, the exhibit must close on Friday, December 21. A sneak peek is available here, but there’s so much more to see in person. Take a quick study break and visit the Caspersen Room, fourth floor of Langdell Hall, daily between 9 and 5 to see it all!