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Harvard Law Library

  • Ben Ferencz Videos

    Documenting the Nuremberg Trials

    January 18, 2018

    The Harvard Law School Library uniquely owns and manages approximately one million pages of documents relating to the Nuremberg Trials: thirteen trials conducted just after World War II to prosecute leaders of the Nazi regime. To preserve the contents of these documents—which include trial transcripts and full trial exhibits—the library has undertaken a multi-stage digitization project to make the collection freely accessible online.

  • A photograph of the reading room established in honor of Elihu Root

    The Root Room

    November 29, 2017

    A room that was meant to offer a respite from the rigors of the Harvard Law School curriculum became a portal to exploring some of the most important issues in American law.

  • Connecting beyond the classroom

    April 21, 2017

    More than 60 Harvard Law students and 27 HLS faculty members took over the typically quiet tables of the library reading room for the first “Notes and Comment” event.

  • Gish Jen

    ‘Baggage’ claims Gish Jen

    April 5, 2017

    During a Library Book Talk at Harvard Law School, writer Gish Jen discussed her latest book, “The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap,” making the case for the sociological and cultural patterns that influence many aspects of identity.

  • Harvard Project Will Use Behavioral Insights to Improve Health Care Decisions and Delivery 

    Danger in the internet echo chamber

    March 24, 2017

    In a new book, “#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media,” Harvard Law School’s Cass R. Sunstein argues that social media curation dramatically limits exposure to views and information that don’t align with already-established beliefs, which makes it harder and harder to find an essential component of democracy — common ground.

  • Jonathan Zittrain

    Zittrain appointed to National Museum and Library Services Board

    January 18, 2017

    On Jan. 5 President Barack Obama ’91 announced several key administration posts, including Jonathan Zittrain ’95 as appointee for member of the National Museum and Library Services Board (NMLSB).

  • Devils in the details

    October 28, 2016

    In 1949, four years after the Nuremberg war crime trials began, the Harvard Law Library received the most complete set of documents from the Nazi prosecutions outside that of the National Archives; now, a small team is working on analyzing and digitizing the documents--often, a difficult and haunting task--for the HLS Nuremberg Trials Project.

  • Caselaw Access Project Launches API and Bulk Data Service

    Library Innovation Lab leader talks ‘unbinding the law’ with the Caselaw Access Project

    September 2, 2016

    Historically, libraries have been collections — books, multimedia materials and artwork. But increasingly they're about connections, linking digital data in new and different ways, but Harvard Law's Caselaw Access Project is a state-of-the-art example of that shift.

  • Harvard Law Library, fashion forward

    August 8, 2016

    The latest exhibit from the Harvard Law School Library, "What Not to Wear: Fashion and the Law," looks at some of the intersections of fashion and the law, from historic laws setting strict class distinctions for fashion, to modern intellectual property law’s approach to protecting those who design and create fashion.

  • HLS faculty maintain top position in SSRN citation rankings

    Brown-Nagin, Zittrain elected members of American Law Institute

    July 28, 2016

    HLS Professors Tomiko Brown-Nagin and Jonathan Zittrain ’95 have been elected members of the American Law Institute--the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law.

  • Paul Beran joins SHARIAsource as executive director

    July 27, 2016

    Dr. Paul Beran will join the Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program as executive director of SHARIAsource—the online platform designed to provide content and context on Islamic law.

  • Matt Seccombe at work

    Notes of a Nuremberg Documentarian

    July 19, 2016

    In his role at the HLS Library, Matt Seccombe spends much of his day sorting through roughly a million pages of horror, analyzing documents in the HLS Library’s Nuremberg Trials Collection—one of the most extensive collections in the world of documents from the trials of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany and other accused war criminals.

  • MacArthur Foundation awards $425,000 to SHARIAsource project led by Intisar Rabb

    October 22, 2015

    The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded $425,000 over two years for the development of SHARIAsource—an online Islamic law resource founded and directed by Harvard Law School Professor Intisar Rabb.

  • Historical Treasures: A look at HLS’s Special Collections

    September 14, 2015

    Over 300,000 rare books, 3,500 linear feet of manuscripts, and 70,000 visual resources—photographs, prints, paintings, and objects—make up Harvard Law School’s Historical and Special Collections. Here's a look inside one of the world’s most comprehensive archives of research materials for study of the history of law.

  • What precedes precedent? Hint: The answer goes back to the 13th century

    September 9, 2015

    According to Professor Charles Donahue, the best-known innovation in legal academia— the case method of legal teaching—may have had an early precursor dating all the way back to the 13th century.

  • Luce Foundation Awards $400k to Harvard Law for the development of SHARIAsource

    June 30, 2015

    The Henry Luce Foundation recently awarded $400,000 over two years for the development of SHARIAsource, a project designed to be an online portal of resources and analysis on Islamic law and directed by Harvard Law School Professor Intisar A. Rabb.

  • HLS scholar explores the complicated legacy of the Magna Carta

    June 12, 2015

    Many scholars argue that the Magna Carta’s importance through the centuries has been greatly exaggerated. Yet for others, its status as a symbol of freedom and a check on absolute power is undeniable. Elizabeth Papp Kamali ’07, sees merit in both arguments.

  • Magna, Cum Laude

    May 1, 2015

    800 years later, the ‘great charter’ still fascinates

  • Harvard Law School’s faculty portraits: A backdrop for daily life at HLS

    April 24, 2015

    Located on the first and second floors of Wasserstein Hall—the heart of social and academic activity on the HLS campus—Harvard Law School's historic collection of faculty portraits provide a backdrop for the daily routines and informal interactions of students and faculty members.

  • Professor Laurence Tribe

    Tribe discusses his book on the Roberts Court and the Constitution (video)

    December 2, 2014

    On Nov. 21, Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe '66 participated in a panel discussion of his latest book, “Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution,” with Dean Martha Minow and Professor Richard Lazarus.

  • Men passing through a gate in a prison camp

    Home Rule within Enemy Lines: Capturing life in a WWI internment camp

    November 24, 2014

    During World War I, about 400,000 “enemy aliens” were imprisoned by all sides in camps on nearly every continent. During that time, Germany’s only exclusively civilian prison camp, Ruhleben Gefangenenlager, became a model of civil functionality.

  • Tim Kiefer ’98 standing next to portrait of Nathan Dane

    Origin Story

    November 24, 2014

    On the second floor of the City-County Building in Madison, Wisconsin, there now hangs the portrait of a man named Nathan Dane. The same steady gaze examines visitors 1,100 miles away as they step off the elevator on the fourth floor in Langdell Hall at Harvard Law School.

  • French arbitration treatise from 1668 that can be translated as “Charitable arbitration to avoid trial and quarrels, or at least to end them quickly, without penalty and fees.”

    Harvard Gazette: Old Harvard, old France, old crime

    June 19, 2014

    Credit: HLS Historical & Special Collections Many attorneys work hard to make sure cases don’t go to trial—but not always successfully. That practical reality was…

  • Illustration of a human silhouette on a flight of stairs with caution signs on the steps

    Cautious about the Precautionary Principle

    May 15, 2014

    When writing laws, trying to prevent official abuse can actually create or exacerbate the very risks they are intended to avoid, argues Professor Adrian Vermeule ’93 in his new book, “The Constitution of Risk.”

  • The account of Elizabeth Brownrigg, executed after she was found guilty of causing the death of a servant she had been torturing

    Of Sammelbands, Coutumes and Broadsides

    May 6, 2014

    A current exhibit in HLS Library’s Historical & Special Collections department highlights some new and unusual acquisitions, many of which were meant to be accessible to people untrained in the law.

  • Adrian Vermeule

    In his latest book on constitutional decision-making, Vermeule exposes the risks of risk-aversion (video)

    April 15, 2014

    When writing laws, trying to prevent official abuse can actually create or exacerbate the very risks they are intended to avoid, argues Professor Adrian Vermeule ’93 in his new book, “The Constitution of Risk.”

  • Harvard Law Library programs recognized for innovation

    March 21, 2014

    The Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries (SPIRL) has recognized two Harvard Law School Library Programs, Stacklife and Library Cloud, for their innovation and functionality on campus and in the community.

  • Illustration

    The Paper Chase Post-Paper

    January 1, 2014

    At Harvard Law School and its library, digital experts are busy inventing the future of textbooks, the classroom and information access.

  • Carp

    Food for Thought

    January 1, 2014

    The HLS Library collection includes books and documents that highlight some of the historical rules and regulations surrounding everything comestible.

  • Navigating the path of a life

    July 1, 2013

    When you next have a free moment online, visit the Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Digital Suite, launched by the Harvard Law School Library early…

  • “Extra! Extra! Read All About It: A Tale of True Crime.”

    HLS Library tells ‘A Tale of True Crime’

    January 23, 2013

    On Jan. 11, the Harvard Law School Library announced the opening of a new exhibit titled “Extra! Extra! Read All About It: A Tale of True Crime.” Featuring materials from the library’s Historical & Special Collections, the exhibit examines a short chapter in the United States’ history of true crime narratives, covering topics such as serialized true crime literature, crime photography in newspapers, and new angles on the media coverage of the Sacco and Vanzetti case.

  • The Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Digital Suite

    Holmes’ suite home: Law library launches massive database on famed American jurist

    December 14, 2012

    In a first for the Harvard Law School Library, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Digital Suite, which went live on the web Dec. 11, aggregates multiple archival holdings into a single, hyperaccessible digital suite that anyone with a computer can search, browse, and tag.

  • Ames Moot Court Competition 1959: Remembering a signature accomplishment

    November 20, 2012

    On a sunny day in June, seven members of the Sacks club, the team that won the Ames moot court competition in 1959, met on the steps of Langdell library to reminisce over what they called their “unlikely” victory, and to talk about where their lives had taken them in the fifty years since.

  • Evidence of Greatness: HLS showcases life and work of Joseph Story

    November 19, 2012

    This fall, visitors to Langdell Hall have an opportunity to take a deeper look at the professor who saved a School. “A Storied Legacy: Correspondence and Early Writings of Joseph Story” is an exhibit of letters and manuscripts on display through Dec. 7 in the Harvard Law School Library’s Caspersen Room.

  • Joseph Story

    A Man of Letters: Joseph Story (1779-1845)

    October 1, 2012

    Digitized materials give new perspective on a storied figure Credit: HLS Historical & Special Collections The Story-Pitman letters offer a rare glimpse of the relationship…

  • HLS Library unveils new Joseph Story Exhibit and Digital Suite

    September 6, 2012

    The Harvard Law School Library has curated a collection of original documents and images from the life, legacy and world of Joseph Story, a lawyer, beloved teacher, prolific author and Supreme Court justice. The new exhibit, “A Storied Legacy: Correspondence and Early Writings of Joseph Story,” is on view in the Caspersen Room, Harvard Law School Library, through December 7, 2012. Complementing and expanding upon the exhibit is a new Joseph Story Digital Suite.

  • Zittrain, Wones to step into leadership roles for Harvard Law School Library

    March 7, 2012

    Dean Martha Minow has announced that HLS Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95 and HLS Library’s Assistant Director of Research, Curriculum and Publication Services, Suzanne Wones, will take over leadership of the Harvard Law School Library this summer, following the departure of Professor John G. Palfrey ’01 in July.

  • An Old Manuscript, A New Page

    January 1, 2012

    The HLS Library’s recent acquisition and digitization of “Summa de Legibus Normanniae” (Summary of the [Customary] Laws of Normandy) has the attention of legal history scholars, particularly HLS Professor Charles Donahue, author of “Law, Marriage, and Society in the Later Middle Ages: Arguments about Marriage in Five Courts.”

  • Nuremberg Trials Project

    Harvard Law School library announces expansion of Nuremberg Trials Project

    July 12, 2011

    The Harvard Law School Library has announced the expansion of the Nuremberg Trials Project, a digital collection of documents relating to the trials of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany by the International Military Tribunal and also the trials of other accused war criminals by the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals.

  • Cohen fellowship in legal bibliography and history awarded

    July 15, 2009

    The Harvard Law School Library announced that its inaugural Morris Cohen Fellowship in American Legal Bibliography and History will go to Sara Mayeux, who is pursuing a joint J.D. and Ph.D. in history from Stanford University.

  • Morris L. Cohen

    HLS establishes the Morris L. Cohen Fellowship in American Legal Bibliography and History

    March 25, 2009

    The Harvard Law School Library has announced the creation of the Morris L. Cohen Fellowship in American Legal Bibliography and History.

  • Langdell’s Guardian Angel

    September 1, 2008

    Having Harry “Terry” Martin at the helm of the Harvard Law Library was a comfort and an inspiration not only for me, when I was director of the Boston College Law Library, but also for the other law library directors in New England and in the profession generally.