Historical & Special Collections

On This Day in 2001: A Judge Meets an Artist

On July 5, 2001, Judge Deborah Anne Batts (HLS ’72) sat for the artist Simmie Knox, who painted this portrait. It was given to the HLS Library in 2001 by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Alumni(ae) Committee of the Harvard Law School Association, and is on view in Pound Hall. Deborah Anne Batts (1947-2020) was sworn in as a …

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Cohen v. Cowles Media and the Quill Pen Tradition

Thirty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Cohen v. Cowles Media Co., 501 U.S. 663 (1991), a leading freedom of the press case in which the Court decided that freedom of the press does not exempt journalists from following generally applicable laws. Learn more about the background and significance of Cohen v. Cowles in our blog post …

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HLS Forum Video: Innocent on Death Row (March 15, 2000)

On this day twenty-one years ago, the Harvard Law School Forum hosted a panel discussion, “Innocent on Death Row: The Causes of and Remedies for Unjust Convictions.” HLS Professor Charles Nesson moderated the panel, which featured the late journalist Jim Dwyer; lawyers Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, founders of the Innocence Project and authors of the book “Actual …

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Happy Holidays from the HLS Library!

You did it: Congratulations on finishing your exams! All of us at the HLS Library wish you and your loved ones a joyous, relaxing, and healthy holiday season. The Law School will be closed for the holidays from December 19, 2020 through January 3, 2021. Though the Library will be physically closed in the new year due to …

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Making archives more discoverable through SNAC

Post by Mike Muehe, Carolina Quiroa and Irene Gates Since March, several Historical & Special Collections (HSC) staff members have been working on a new, remote project: editing records related to the Harvard Law School Library’s (HLSL) archival collections in SNAC. SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Context) is a free, online resource that compiles reliable biographical and historical …

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Help Uncover History!

The Harvard Library has launched an exciting new crowdsourcing project, Transcribing Harvard Library, which aims to make more than 650,000 manuscript pages in its Colonial North America digital collection fully searchable. Sixteen Harvard libraries, including the Harvard Law School Library’s Historical & Special Collections, contributed their materials to the Colonial North America digital collection, creating a rich interdisciplinary …

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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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