Local • Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

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 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

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


This exhibit was curated by Karen Beck and Lesley Schoenfeld, Historical & Special Collections. It is on view daily 9 to 5 from February 4 – July 31, 2019 in the HLS Library’s Caspersen Room, Langdell Hall. A sampling of the exhibit is available online.

Be sure to visit all of Harvard’s Bauhaus-related exhibits, tours, and events happening in 2019!   #bauhausatHLS; #bauhaus100


Harvard Law School Students at an Orientation Party on Jarvis Field with Caspersen Center in background, 26 August 2016, Martha Stewart, photographer, HLS Communications

Harvard Law School Students at an Orientation Party on Jarvis Field with Caspersen Student Center in background, 26 August 2016, Martha Stewart, photographer, HLS Communications


Need a Study Break? We’ve Got a Guide For That

As the end of the semester approaches and you begin prepping for exams, don’t forget to also take time for the occasional study break! If you can’t decide what to do or you aren’t familiar with the area, we have a helpful guide that includes free activities around Boston, suggestions for fun movies and books, and even tips on health and wellness on campus. Whether you want to go for a bike ride or start meditating, we’ve got you covered! And, check back often because we’ll be adding new ideas all the time.

Halloween and the Law: A Round Up of Links


Photo by Just Us 3

In honor of Halloween, many lawyers, librarians and bloggers have been considering the legal implications of Halloween-related topics. Here are some of our favorites:

For those interested in the actual laws surrounding Halloween and the Paranormal, check out these sources:

Hopefully these sources will give you a fun insight into how law and Halloween intersect. Feel free to post any examples we may have missed in the comments!

Qualtrics Survey Tool

Qualtrics, introduced to campus by our own HLS faculty, is a user-friendly survey tool that allows for a wide variety of question and answer types. Qualtrics provides

  • Professionally designed templates
  • A wide range of question types
  • Skip/branch logic
  • Distribution to select panels of e-mail recipients or via anonymous links
  • Custom reports updated as new responses are received
  • Response data in several formats, including CSV, HTML, XML, and SPSS

Log in to begin your survey or poll at http://surveytools.harvard.edu

For questions, contact the Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Solutions group attlc@lists.law.harvard.edu, or contact the Qualtrics 24/7 support directly at support@qualtrics.com or call 800-340-9194 (9am–8pm EST).


The Fine Art of Being a Lawyer

There’s an art to being a good lawyer, but did you know that lawyering could also be art?

In the late 1980s, choreographer Ann Carlson worked with four young lawyers from New York to create the dance  Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg & Moore.

Still from Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg & Moore

Image courtesy Boston MFA (www.mfa.org)


According to a 1989 New York Times review,

The nine-minute dance places the four men in a small confining square where they bend, tilt and perform typical lawyers’ gestures and other autobiographical gestures, spoken phrases and even screams suggested by the events and emotions in their own lives and in the life of Ms. Carlson. –Read More


Twenty years later, Carlson collaborated with artist Mary Ellen Strom to turn the dance into a video art work.

In a video produced by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mary Ellen Strom describes Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg & Moore as both  a “very serious and deep investigation into these four men and our realtionship to the juridical system” and “hilarious”. – Watch the full video of Mary Ellen Strom.


Take a break from your studies and see Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg & Moore and other seriously hilarious, hilariously serious, and otherwise inspiring art in the new Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art at the MFA ( free with your Harvard ID).


OpenCourt Streams Quincy District Court Proceedings

Starting earlier this week, court proceedings from Quincy District Court have been streaming live over the internet thanks to OpenCourt, a new pilot program being run by WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station with funding from the Knight News Challenge.  The goal of the project is to increase openness and transparency of courts and to serve as a model for other courts that are hoping to modernize.  While not all proceedings will be broadcast (among others, juvenile sessions and restraining order hearings won’t be broadcast), this will provide a window into a number of different kinds of court proceedings.  And, even if you aren’t interested in watching the court proceedings, the OpenCourt Guidelines and FAQ provide some very interesting background on the types of issues they encountered starting this project and the difficult decisions they had to make along the way.

In addition to the streaming video of court proceedings, the OpenCourt website also includes a blog and a resources page.  You can also sign up for their email newsletter or  follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Support the Massachusetts State Library!

When you are doing serious legislative history on Massachusetts law, or need an obscure Massachusetts government document, there is one place to go: the State Library of Massachusetts. Since 1826, the State Library has collected a wide variety of legal and historical documents, and holds the most world’s comprehensive collection of Massachusetts government documents. Yes, even better than Harvard’s! The library is an invaluable resource not just to lawyers, but to historians, scholars, and citizens as well.

This is why it was worrying to read that Governor Patrick last week included the possibility of closing the State Library in his attempt to close the state’s budget gap.

If you agree that closing the State Library is a bad idea, please sign the petition to support keeping it open. For even more impact, take a few minutes to contact Governor Patrick directly to remind him what an important resource the library is.

A Little Local History: Cambridge Site Selected

Cambridge seal Today marks the 378th anniversary of the site selection for the city of Cambridge. At the time, it was named Newtowne, and would be the colony capital for a total of six years. In 1638, the General Court moved permanently to Boston, but, according to state history website Mass Moments, the General Court gave Newtowne a “consolation prize”: the colony’s first college. Not bad, as far as consolation prizes go! Newtowne was renamed for the alma mater of many of its English clergymen in May of 1638.

Here’s a contemporary description of Cambridge written by William Wood in a 1634 report to inform English puritans at home about New England:

This is one of the neatest and best compacted towns in New England, having many fair structures, with many handsome contrived streets. The inhabitants, most of them, are very rich and well stored with cattle of all sorts, having many hundred acres of ground paled in with one general fence which is about a mile and a half long, which secures all their weaker cattle from the wild beasts.

A few things have changed since then. I haven’t seen any cattle–though being fairly new to the area, it’s possible they’re hiding somewhere–and the only creatures I’d qualify as wild beasts are the fat squirrels in Holmes Field!

For more local history, check out Mass Moments, a project of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. Courtesy of Google Books, you can also read William Wood’s complete account of the area, New England’s Prospect, described as “a true, lively, and experimental description of that part of American, commonly called New England; discovering the state of that Countrie, both as it stands to our new-come English Planters; and to the old Native Inhabitants. Laying downe that which may both enrich the knowledge of the mind-travelling Reader, or benefit the future Voyager.”

Winter Fun: Best Hot Chocolate

Here’s something yummy. If you’re stuck in town over the holidays and bored, you could do worse than attempt to verify the claims in the Boston Globe’s round-up of the ten best places for hot chocolate in the area. Four of them are conveniently located within a half mile of the law school.

Photo by ciao-chow.

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