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Historical & Special Collections

Open to all, Historical & Special Collections (HSC) connects researchers around the world with legal history, and supports the Harvard Law School’s research, teaching, and learning mission.

Harvard Law School Library
Langdell Hall
1545 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: 617-495-4550

A large vellum-covered volume is being pulled off a bookshelf by a person whose hand supports the spine.
Text of this page (first page of treatise) is inside a border of blue and purple flowers, birds and figures. First initial of text is historiated, showing a surveyor and a lawyer or judge before a river.
Black and white photograph of full length view of five women and fifteen men standing in three rows on the steps in front of the entrance to Langdell Hall.


We are open by appointment only, Tuesday-Friday, 10-5.
To schedule an appointment, please email

WINTER RECESS CLOSURES: Friday, December 23, 2022-Monday, January 2, 2023.

From the Et Seq Blog

  • Library Event – Capital Punishment: Where We Stand, 10/12 @ 4 pm

    Join Professor Carol Steiker and the HLS Library for a conversation about the state of capital punishment today, followed by a reception and a chance to view the Library’s exhibit: Visualizing Capital Punishment: Spectacle, Shame, and Sympathy. Wednesday, October 12, 4:00 pm HLS Library Seminar Room 232 Reception at 5:00 pm in the Caspersen Room

    October 8, 2022

  • Forest Greenery, ca. 1325

    Here in New England we are surrounded by greenery this time of year, which brings to mind these charming illustrations from an early manuscript compilation of English statutes. The Charter of the Forest, enacted in 1217, was considered a companion to Magna Carta and appears directly after it in this volume. The Charter re-established for

    July 12, 2022

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