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Accessing and Donating Student Material in Historical & Special Collections

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Student-Created Material in Historical & Special Collections

Historical & Special Collections contains a wide range of material that documents the history of Harvard Law School, including material created by HLS students. This guide contains a growing list of collections and individual items that were created by students during their time at HLS.

Ready to do some research?

If you're interested in doing research about student organizations and student life, start by searching HOLLIS, the Harvard library catalog, and HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, the centralized access point to search across manuscript collections at Harvard.

Have questions about finding resources? Check out Harvard Law School Graduates: A Biographical Research Guide for additional sources related to the history of HLS or send us an email at specialc@law.harvard.edu.

Ready to look at material in the HSC reading room?

Fill out the Historical & Special Collections appointment request form or email us directly at specialc@law.harvard.edu. Appointments in the Root Room, the Historical & Special Collections reading room, are available Monday-Friday from 10:00-5:00. Closing and special hours can be found on our website.

Subject Guide

Lesley Schoenfeld's picture
Lesley Schoenfeld
Contact:
Langdell Hall
1545 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
617.495.4689

Highlights from the HLS Ephemera Collection

Interested in exploring ephemeral material such as flyers and invitations? Check out the collection finding aid for more information.

HLS Black Law Students Association Black History Month Event Calendar, 1994

Image Credit: BLSA Black History Month Events Calendar; February 1994; Harvard Law School Ephemera Collection. Historical & Special Collections. Harvard Law School Library.

Sweeny Todd Flyer; 1994; Harvard Law School Ephemera Collection

Image credit: Sweeny Todd Flyer; 1994; Harvard Law School Ephemera Collection. Historical & Special Collections. Harvard Law School Library.

Material Created by Individual Students

Student Papers

A comprehensive guide to HLS student papers can be found here. There are several broad categories of papers that you may explore:

Many of these papers are available in the circulating collection or in DASH, Harvard's institutional repository. To see a paper that is listed as a part of the "Red Set," please contact Historical & Special Collections at specialc@law.harvard.edu or fill out the appointment request form to view the paper in the Root Room, the Historical & Special Collections reading room.

Diaries, Letters, and Class Notes

Find something that we missed?

This list is by no means comprehensive and we add to it every chance we get! If you come across an item or collection in Historical & Special Collections that was created by HLS students and that you feel should be added to this LibGuide, please feel free to alert us to it. Send us an email at specialc@law.harvard.edu.

Highlights from Student Letters and Diaries

Image from James W. Boyden diary, HLS student, 1845-1846

This page of James W. Boyden's diary recounts a trip to Beverly, MA to attend a wedding. 
Image Credit: Diary of James W. Boyden, 1845-1846. Manuscript. HLS MS 4486. Historical & Special Collections. Harvard Law School Library.

Reproduction of photograph of R.Y. Jennings and Axel Serup on a road trip, 1936

This photograph of HLS student Robert Yewdall Jennings was taken on a road trip during the 1936-37 academic year. The trip is documented in a series of letters that were transcribed and then donated to Historical & Special Collections. Additional images, including a reproduction of Jennings' passport photo, were also included alongside the transcribed letters.
Image creditLetters from America from R.Y. Jennings : written during the academic year spent at the University of Harvard 1936-37. Rare Biography (Jennings). Historical & Special Collections. Harvard Law School Library.

Student Organization Material

Student Organization Collections

Most of these collections have been formally processed and a description of the material appears in the archival collection guides below. Most collection guides include a high-level overview of the collection as well as a detailed container list that includes the title of the folders in each box.

Harvard Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Records
This small collection of digital material includes flyers for and photos of events in 2014-2016. Contact Historical & Special Collections for details.

HLS Chancery Club Records, 1926-1962
This collection contains financial, administrative and membership documents for the club, the bulk of which are from 1950-1960. Also included are documents pertaining to the purchase of 9 Chauncy St, which became the home of the Chancery Club in 1959. The collection includes ledgers, correspondence, meeting minutes, and a few photographs.

HLS Choate Club Records, 1955-1967
The Choate Club was founded at the Harvard Law School in 1887 as a chapter of the Phi Delta Phi, a law-school fraternity. In its later years, the Club appears to have been a secret society composed of Law School students and professors, with a focus on social and intellectual stimulation outside of study of the law. The Records of the Choate Club document the history, activities, and interests of the Club. The Club should not be confused with the Law School's Choate Law Club, associated with the Ames Competition for moot court cases.​ This collection is held at the Harvard University Archives.

HLS Drama Society Records, 1961-1995
This collection consists of the records of the Harvard Law School Drama Society from 1961-1995, including scripts, scores, and materials relating to production. More detailed information about additional material, including photos and memorabilia, is available upon request. Email specialc@law.harvard.edu for detailed collection finding aids.

HLS Forum Records, 1964-2000
This collection contains correspondence relating to Harvard Law School Forum speakers and reel-to-reel, cassette, PCM and VHS tapes and phonograph recordings of the Forum speakers.

HLS Republicans Records, 1986-1990
The bulk of the collection relates to issues of freedom speech stemming from the disruption, and subsequent cancelation of a Harvard Law School Republicans sponsored speech given by former Nicaraguan Contra leader Adolfo Calero in October, 1987.

HLS Student Law Club Records, 1857-1971
This collection mainly contains handwritten and typed records of moot court cases argued by various law clubs at the Harvard Law School. The collection also includes a small amount of materials related to the various clubs, such as correspondence, minutes, and ephemera.

HLS Student Mental Health Association Records 
This small collection of digital material includes posters for events in 2015-2016. Contact Historical & Special Collections staff for details.

Records of the Emergency Coalition, 1989-1990
Records related to the Emergency Coalition for Public Interest Placement, formed after the elimination of public interest career counseling at Harvard Law School in August 1989.

Records of the Harvard Women's Law Association
This small collection includes several publications that were collected by the WLA. Contact Historical & Special Collections staff for details.

Superior Court of the Pow Wow Briefs, 1871-1969
Legal briefs and administrative records of the Superior Court of the Pow Wow, a Harvard Law School student organization, dating from its inception in 1870 to 1898. There are also a few records from 1934-1969.

Black Law Students Association

Although there is not a single, formally processed collection of material documenting the Harvard Law School Black Law Students Association (BLSA), there are many publications that have been individually cataloged. Consult the list below to review BLSA publications that are in Historical & Special Collections and one collection from the Harvard University Archives.

Harvard Environmental Law Society

Although there is not a single, formally processed collection of material documenting the Harvard Environmental Law Society, there are many publications that have been individually cataloged. Consult the list below to review Environmental Law Society publications that are in Historical & Special Collections as well as the Harvard University Archives.

Harvard Law School Forum

HLS Forum Records, 1964-2000
This collection contains correspondence relating to Harvard Law School Forum speakers and reel-to-reel, cassette, PCM and VHS tapes and phonograph recordings of the Forum speakers.

Records of the Harvard Law School Forum, ca. 1946-1975
Available at the Harvard University Archives.
Unpublished finding aid available at repository.

Available at the Schlesinger Library.
Panel consisting of feminist Betty Friedan, Radcliffe College President Mary Bunting, and African-American lawyer and activist Pauli Murray discusses sex discrimination in education, followed by questions from the audience. Friedan discusses how women and traditional women's work are not taken seriously; Bunting addresses the need for colleges to help married women with children attend school part-time; and Murray recounts her difficulties in being admitted to law school.

Women's Law Association

Although there is not a single, formally processed collection of material documenting the Harvard Law School Women's Law Association (WLA), there are many publications that have been individually cataloged. Consult the list below to review WLA publications that are in Historical & Special Collections.

Highlights from Student Organization Material

The Outlaw, v. 1, n. 4, February 1971 published by the Outlaw Collective at the Harvard Law School

The Outlaw, a student publication printed and distributed by the Harvard Law Guild, gives us a glimpse of student discourse on campus during the early 1970s. 

Find something that we missed?

This list is by no means comprehensive and we add to it every chance we get! If you come across an item or collection in Historical & Special Collections that was created by HLS students and that you feel should be added to this LibGuide, please feel free to alert us to it. Send us an email at specialc@law.harvard.edu.

The Record

Search Full Text:
Digitized issues from 1946-2001 can be accessed through the List View search page. The List View page allows users to employ full-text search across the entire corpus of The Record. Users can also search within an opened issue.

More recent issues (2002-present) can be found by searching HLRecord.org.

HOLLIS Catalog Records:
Harvard Law School Record (1946-1955)
Harvard Law Record (1956-2002)
The Record (2002-present)

Red Set Poster Collection

The Harvard Law School Red Set Poster Collection includes student- and institutionally-produced posters dating from the early 1970s to the present. 

Unpublished inventory available upon request. Email specialc@law.harvard.edu to learn more.

Newsletters and Publications

Overview

Much of the material related to student organizations in Historical & Special Collections has been cataloged individually and is not necessarily brought together into one collection. The links below will bring you to single items related to various official and unofficial student organizations. Organizations that have a large quantity of material have been highlighted in separate sections of this guide.

Student Organization Newsletters and Serial Publications

Much of the material related to student organizations in Historical & Special Collections has been cataloged individually and is not necessarily brought together into one collection. The links below will bring you to single items related to various official and unofficial student organizations. Organizations that have a large quantity of material have been highlighted in separate sections of this guide.

The Record

Access Full Text (July 1946-November 2001)

  • Search the full text of The Record by using the full text search box, which is in the upper-right corner of the ListView page.
  • Users can also select individual issues from the ListView page to view in the Page Delivery Service (PDS). Once in the PDS, users can search the full text within the opened issue.

More recent issues (2002-present) can be found by searching HLRecord.org.

Web Archives

Student Organization Material

Student Organization Collections

Most of these collections have been formally processed and a description of the material appears in the archival collection guides below. Most collection guides include a high-level overview of the collection as well as a detailed container list that includes the title of the folders in each box.

Harvard Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Records
This small collection of digital material includes flyers for and photos of events in 2014-2016. Contact Historical & Special Collections for details.

HLS Chancery Club Records, 1926-1962
This collection contains financial, administrative and membership documents for the club, the bulk of which are from 1950-1960. Also included are documents pertaining to the purchase of 9 Chauncy St, which became the home of the Chancery Club in 1959. The collection includes ledgers, correspondence, meeting minutes, and a few photographs.

HLS Choate Club Records, 1955-1967
The Choate Club was founded at the Harvard Law School in 1887 as a chapter of the Phi Delta Phi, a law-school fraternity. In its later years, the Club appears to have been a secret society composed of Law School students and professors, with a focus on social and intellectual stimulation outside of study of the law. The Records of the Choate Club document the history, activities, and interests of the Club. The Club should not be confused with the Law School's Choate Law Club, associated with the Ames Competition for moot court cases.​ This collection is held at the Harvard University Archives.

HLS Drama Society Records, 1961-1995
This collection consists of the records of the Harvard Law School Drama Society from 1961-1995, including scripts, scores, and materials relating to production. More detailed information about additional material, including photos and memorabilia, is available upon request. Email specialc@law.harvard.edu for detailed collection finding aids.

HLS Forum Records, 1964-2000
This collection contains correspondence relating to Harvard Law School Forum speakers and reel-to-reel, cassette, PCM and VHS tapes and phonograph recordings of the Forum speakers.

HLS Republicans Records, 1986-1990
The bulk of the collection relates to issues of freedom speech stemming from the disruption, and subsequent cancelation of a Harvard Law School Republicans sponsored speech given by former Nicaraguan Contra leader Adolfo Calero in October, 1987.

HLS Student Law Club Records, 1857-1971
This collection mainly contains handwritten and typed records of moot court cases argued by various law clubs at the Harvard Law School. The collection also includes a small amount of materials related to the various clubs, such as correspondence, minutes, and ephemera.

HLS Student Mental Health Association Records 
This small collection of digital material includes posters for events in 2015-2016. Contact Historical & Special Collections staff for details.

Records of the Emergency Coalition, 1989-1990
Records related to the Emergency Coalition for Public Interest Placement, formed after the elimination of public interest career counseling at Harvard Law School in August 1989.

Records of the Harvard Women's Law Association
This small collection includes several publications that were collected by the WLA. Contact Historical & Special Collections staff for details.

Superior Court of the Pow Wow Briefs, 1871-1969
Legal briefs and administrative records of the Superior Court of the Pow Wow, a Harvard Law School student organization, dating from its inception in 1870 to 1898. There are also a few records from 1934-1969.

Black Law Students Association

Although there is not a single, formally processed collection of material documenting the Harvard Law School Black Law Students Association (BLSA), there are many publications that have been individually cataloged. Consult the list below to review BLSA publications that are in Historical & Special Collections and one collection from the Harvard University Archives.

Harvard Environmental Law Society

Although there is not a single, formally processed collection of material documenting the Harvard Environmental Law Society, there are many publications that have been individually cataloged. Consult the list below to review Environmental Law Society publications that are in Historical & Special Collections as well as the Harvard University Archives.

Harvard Law School Forum

HLS Forum Records, 1964-2000
This collection contains correspondence relating to Harvard Law School Forum speakers and reel-to-reel, cassette, PCM and VHS tapes and phonograph recordings of the Forum speakers.

Records of the Harvard Law School Forum, ca. 1946-1975
Available at the Harvard University Archives.
Unpublished finding aid available at repository.

Available at the Schlesinger Library.
Panel consisting of feminist Betty Friedan, Radcliffe College President Mary Bunting, and African-American lawyer and activist Pauli Murray discusses sex discrimination in education, followed by questions from the audience. Friedan discusses how women and traditional women's work are not taken seriously; Bunting addresses the need for colleges to help married women with children attend school part-time; and Murray recounts her difficulties in being admitted to law school.

Women's Law Association

Although there is not a single, formally processed collection of material documenting the Harvard Law School Women's Law Association (WLA), there are many publications that have been individually cataloged. Consult the list below to review WLA publications that are in Historical & Special Collections.

Highlights from Student Organization Material

The Outlaw, v. 1, n. 4, February 1971 published by the Outlaw Collective at the Harvard Law School

The Outlaw, a student publication printed and distributed by the Harvard Law Guild, gives us a glimpse of student discourse on campus during the early 1970s. 

Find something that we missed?

This list is by no means comprehensive and we add to it every chance we get! If you come across an item or collection in Historical & Special Collections that was created by HLS students and that you feel should be added to this LibGuide, please feel free to alert us to it. Send us an email at specialc@law.harvard.edu.

The Record

Search Full Text:
Digitized issues from 1946-2001 can be accessed through the List View search page. The List View page allows users to employ full-text search across the entire corpus of The Record. Users can also search within an opened issue.

More recent issues (2002-present) can be found by searching HLRecord.org.

HOLLIS Catalog Records:
Harvard Law School Record (1946-1955)
Harvard Law Record (1956-2002)
The Record (2002-present)

Red Set Poster Collection

The Harvard Law School Red Set Poster Collection includes student- and institutionally-produced posters dating from the early 1970s to the present. 

Unpublished inventory available upon request. Email specialc@law.harvard.edu to learn more.

Donate Student Material

Accessing Student Material

Ready to schedule a research appointment?

To consult student-created material that is held by Historical & Special Collections, contact us via email at specialc@law.harvard.edu or use our online appointment request form. Appointments are available Tuesday-Friday between 10:00 and 5:00. Special hours and closings can be found on our website.

Hope to see you in the Root Room!

Photograph of researchers in the Historical & Special Collections reading room, the Root Room

Photograph by Brooks Kraft.