History

Spooky Season @ HLS Library!

It’s that time of year: We’re getting ready for our annual celebration of all things spooky, and you’re invited! Tour the Harvard Law School Library’s haunted history of wraiths, witches, and wicked works in an exciting Halloween-themed experience. Learn about creepy legal cases, view ghoulish and ghastly items from Historical & Special Collections, and prepare to be haunted …

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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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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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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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