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History of Harvard Law School & Harvard University: Selected Resources

A selective list of primary and secondary sources related to the history of Harvard Law School and Harvard University.

Harvard Law School Deans

1870-1895    Christopher Columbus Langdell
1895-1910    James Barr Ames
1909-1910    Samuel Williston*
1910-1915    Ezra Ripley Thayer (died September 14, 1915)
1915-1916    Austin Wakeman Scott*
1916-1936    Roscoe Pound
1921-1922    Edward Henry Warren*
1925-1926    Joseph Warren*
1929-1929    Joseph Warren*
1929-1930    Joseph Henry Beale*
1936-1937    Edmund Morris Morgan*
1937-1946    James McCauley Landis
1942-1945    Edmund Morris Morgan*
1946-1967    Erwin Nathaniel Griswold (left to become Solicitor General of the United States)
1948-1948    Robert Amory, Jr.*
1959-1959    Livingston Hall*
1967-1968    Andrew James Casner*
1968-1971    Derek Curtis Bok (left to become President of Harvard University)
1971-1971    Albert Martin Sacks*
1971-1981    Albert Martin Sacks
1981-1989    James Vorenberg
1989-2003    Robert C. Clark
2003-2009    Elena Kagan (left to become Solicitor General of the United States)
2009-2009    Howell Edmunds Jackson*
2009-2017    Martha L. Minow
2017-            John F. Manning

* Acting Dean
Partial Source: Harvard Law School. Endowments and Funds: A Catalogue (Cambridge, 1989)

Dean's Papers at Harvard University Archives

Title: Records of the Office of the Dean, 1910-1982
Author / Creator: Harvard Law School. Office of the Dean.
Location: Harvard University Archives
Description: 368 containers 
Notes: Access may be restricted. Finding aid and details about restrictions available at repository. 
Summary: Includes official correspondence files of Deans Ezra R. Thayer, Roscoe Pound, J. M. Landis, Erwin N. Griswold, Andrew J. Casner, and Derek C. Bok. Thayer correspondence concerns routine matters, such as admissions and examinations. Correspondents include Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Julian Mack and William Howard Taft. Other correspondence concerns faculty appointments, staff, endowment; topics such as post-World War II planning and correspondence of the Vice Dean.

Dean's Papers at Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections

Historical & Special Collections holds many collections of papers created by former deans of the Law School. Not all collections contain material from the individual's time as dean, but span their earlier and later professional years.

Digitized Manuscript Collections from ProQuest History Vault: American Politics and Society