Emory Law Archives and Manuscripts

The Emory Law Archives acquires, preserves, and makes available to researchers materials of permanent historical and research value. The archives’ holdings span the 14th through the 21st centuries and support research in many areas of law and policy.

Subject areas include:

  • Civil and Human Rights
  • Feminist Jurisprudence
  • History of Emory Law School
  • Law and Religion
  • Transactional Law

The Archives Room is located on the first floor of MacMillan Law Library in room M118. Manuscript and archival collections held include the records of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project and the papers of Martha Albertson Fineman, Harold J. Berman, and Catherine G. Roraback, as well as historical records of Emory Law School.

Conducting Research in Archival Collections

The EmoryFindingAids database provides access to descriptions of Emory's unique primary resources. Search this database to determine if collections contain material of interest to you, and learn where collections are located.

EmoryFindingAids provides:

Getting Started

1. The Emory Law Archives may be used during weekday reference hours only from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Please complete this form to schedule a research appointment.

2. When you arrive at the law library, you will be asked to show a photo id and sign our register so that we have a record of your visit.

3. Next, you can consult with research services staff about your specific research interests so that we can help direct you to the most relevant materials.   

Archives Room Policies

  • Archival materials cannot be checked out. Instead, you may use them at the large table located just outside the Archives Room or in a study room on the first floor of the law library.
  • Only materials directly related to the research project at hand and to note taking are permitted near archival materials. Permitted items include laptops, tablets, paper and pencils (no ink pens). Cases, bags, backpacks, purses, umbrellas, food or beverages (including water) are not permitted - these personal items must be left with the staff behind the Circulation Desk.
  • Archival materials may not be removed from the first floor of the law library for any reason. Research services staff may be able to scan a limited amount of some materials upon request. Also, you may be able to use a personal camera to take pictures of the materials you are using. Please ask the staff member who assists you about using a personal camera and requesting scanning.  

Reprographic Services

Researchers may request reproductions of materials in collections for use in personal research. The library will not scan materials if doing so would violate copyright law or donor restrictions, or if scanning risks damaging the materials.  We will only scan items measuring 11x17 inches or less.  The library also reserves the right to set limits on the amount of scanning it will undertake.  There is a limit of 100 images per request, and 300 images per year, per researcher; our year runs from September 1 – August 31.  The library charges fees for reproductions in order to offset the cost of producing the images.  Due to copyright and intellectual property rights, we are unable to disseminate copies of born-digital materials. 

Requesting Reproductions

  • For digital scans: Files are generally emailed within fifteen business days. 

Digital Files

  • Images of printed pages will be provided as 200 or 300 dpi PDF or JPEG files.
  • Images of photographs will be provided as 400dpi TIFF files.

Fee Schedule for Digital Images

  • No charge for first 10 page images.
  • Per image fee for digital page images: $1.00 
  • Per image fee for digital images of photographs: $5.00

Large Order Additional Labor Charge

  • 51-75 images: $25.00
  • 76-100 images: $50.00

Please complete this form for assistance with requests.

Archival Collections

This collection is currently in process, but is open to researchers. Ben F. Johnson, Jr. served as Dean of Emory Law School from 1961-1972 during which time he helped to bring about the racial integration of Emory University. The collection includes DVD copies of interviews, conducted in 2006-2007, with colleagues and students of Ben Johnson discussing the racial integration of Emory Law School.

This collection is open to researchers. The origins of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion date back to 1982 when Emory founded a program in law and religion as part of its mission to build an interdisciplinary university and to increase understanding of the fundamental role religion has played in shaping law, politics, and society. Founded by Emory President James T. Laney and Emory Law Professor Frank S. Alexander, today the Center for the Study of Law and Religion offers several degree programs, pursues multi-year research projects, has produced hundreds of books, and hosts major international conferences and distinguished lecture series.

The records of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion consist mostly of papers related to research projects, with the topics including cultural transformation and human rights in Africa, Islamic family law, sex, marriage, and family life, and the child in law, religion, and society. Also included are invitations, lectures, and printed materials. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.

This collection is open to researchers. David Bederman was a Professor of Law at Emory from 1991 until his death in 2011. Bederman taught courses and seminars on international law, torts, admiralty, international institutions, law of international common spaces, legislation and regulation, customary law, international environmental law, and foreign relations power. A prolific scholar, author, and legal historian, Bederman's academic and professional career focused on international law and its practical impact on American government. He authored 12 books and 125 articles, and presented at more than 80 lectures across the United States and Europe. Bederman also was counsel of record in 52 cases in the United States Courts of Appeals, and he argued four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

This collection consists of 60 articles written by David Bederman over the course of his career. The complete issue of the journal is included with the articles. Also included is a teaching manual for admiralty cases which Bederman co-authored, offprints, and one book review. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.

This collection is open to researchers. The Emory Law School Records serve as the institutional memory of the Emory University School of Law, continually documenting its rich history. The records document Emory Law's activities, decisions, policies, and programs.
This collection is open to researchers. The World War II era Oral History Project records include pre-interview survey forms which supply basic information about project interviewees such as name, address, education prior to Emory School of Law, experiences while at Emory and military experience.  Additional materials, including DVD copies of the interviews, are included as indicated in the container list.
This collection is open to researchers. The collection consists of the records of the Feminism and Legal Theory (FLT) Project from 1984-2010. The records include workbooks containing papers presented at each of the FLT conferences, newsletters, brochures and flyers, a collection of journal articles on related topics, files related to visiting scholars and other collected information.  The records document scholarship on issues related to the mission of the FLT Project including reproductive rights, children, family relationships, gender, sexuality, economics, discrimination, religion, citizenship, governmental representation, disabilities, sexual abuse and violence.

This collection is open to researchers. The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission is a quasi-judicial, independent agency within the United States Department of Justice that adjudicates claims of U.S. nationals against foreign governments under specific jurisdiction conferred by Congress, pursuant to international claims settlement agreements or at the request of the Secretary of State. It was granted jurisdiction over small claims (less than $250,000) arising from the Iranian Revolution by the Algiers Accord of 1981, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1985, and the “lump sum settlement” decision of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.

The collection consists of 247 orders and 2729 decisions of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission arising from claims by U.S. nationals against the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It also includes miscellaneous related documents. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.

This collection is open to researchers. NNLSO is a nonprofit, professional organization designed for the educational and professional development of all law school officers. NNLSO was founded in 1980 by a group of law school officers attending the annual AACRAO, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Convention in New Orleans. The new organization was formed specifically to meet the needs of law school registrars and admissions officers.

Manuscript Collections

This collection is open to researchers. This artificial collection contains correspondence, photographs, books and printed material, artwork, and other papers from several members of the African American community in Atlanta and the southeast, as well as national organizations. Individuals include Maynard Jackson, Andrew Young, Jewel Woodard Simon, Allan Knight Chalmers (chairman of the NAACP), Rufus Clement (longest serving president of Atlanta University), Thomas W. Cole, Jr. (president of Clark College), Cleveland L. Dennard (president of Atlanta University), Norris Herndon and Jesse Hill, Jr. (presidents of Atlanta Life Insurance Company), along with several others. The collection also includes material from Amiri Baraka, Frederick Douglass Moon (African American educator from Oklahoma), Wallace Muhammad (son of Elijah Muhammad, Leader of the Nation of Islam), and several others. National organizations include the N.A.A.C.P. and the Black Panther Party. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.
This collection is open to researchers. Catherine Roraback was one of the nation's foremost civil rights lawyers. In addition to participating in many controversial cases, she helped found the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union a year after graduating from Yale School of Law, where she was the only woman in her class. Roraback was perhaps best known as one of the lead attorneys in the landmark case of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which established a constitutionally protected right to privacy. The collection includes handwritten keynote addresses and other speeches, letters and other correspondence, photographs, numerous newspaper clippings, court documents, pamphlets, books, posters and audio cassette tapes.  The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.
The Crackpot Collection was acquired "many years ago" by dealer David Weatherley. He described it as a "rare and historically interesting collection in total of 91 documents from the Garth family, dating from 1639." Tina L. Stark bought it from Weatherley in 2015 and donated it to the MacMillan Law Library in 2017. The collection consists primarily of various types of manor court documents from the Swaledale region of Yorkshire and correspondence of members of the Garth family, long-time residents of the village of Crackpot. The documents are a mix of vellum and paper. The earliest dates from 1639/40 and the latest from 1908. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.
This collection is open to researchers. Harold Berman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, taught law for 60 years. He served the Emory community as its first Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law for more than 20 years. He was James Barr Ames Professor of Law Emeritus of Harvard Law School, where he taught from 1948 to 1985. A prolific scholar, Berman wrote 25 books and more than 400 articles on the topics of law and religion, comparative legal history, Russian law and culture, legal philosophy and private international law. Scholars around the world have referred to Berman as the father of the field of law and religion.  The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.
This collection is open to researchers. The Jane E. Larson papers include correspondence, book and article manuscripts, and subject files. The bulk of the collection is made up of material related to Larson’s writings and speaking engagements. Her activities as a scholar, teacher, and public intellectual are well documented. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.

This collection is open to researchers.  The papers of Jonas B. Robitscher J.D., M.D. (1920-1981) consist primarily of Robitscher’s professional papers from 1967-1981. Professor Robitscher was the author of The Powers of Psychiatry (1980), an exhaustive examination of the power that psychiatrists once held within the criminal justice system. With his intelligent, critical, and controversial assessment of his own profession, Jonas Robitscher became a much-needed advocate and crusader for those with little or no voice within the criminal justice system.  

Included in the collection are numerous drafts of writings and lectures, as well as personal and professional correspondence and photographs.  The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.

This collection is open to researchers. The Manuscript Deeds collection is an artificially created collection of manuscript legal documents, primarily from England. The collection consists primarily of various types of land deeds created in England during the years 1399 to 1805. Most documents are on vellum, with a few on paper. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.

This collection is open to researchers. Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1928, Marjorie Clark Thurman enrolled at Emory University in 1945 at the age of 17; after graduating from Emory she attended the Atlanta Law School and earned her Master's degree in 1949. In 1954, Thurman became an associate at the firm of Leachman, King, Thurman & Marshall, the first all-female law firm in Georgia. Thurman also served in several prominent positions in the Georgia Democratic Party including Democratic National Committeewoman appointed by Governor Carl Sanders in 1963, and Chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party in 1974. During her tenure a number of modernizing initiatives took place including the creation of an affirmative action committee and adoption of the first state party charter. The collection consists of campaign files, correspondence, personal material, and papers related to the Georgia Democratic Party in the 1960s-1970s. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE

This collection is open to researchers. Martha Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, is an internationally recognized law and society scholar and a leading authority on family law and feminist jurisprudence. Fineman is also the Director of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, an enterprise she founded in 1984 at the University of Wisconsin. Fineman has authored 3 books and numerous articles examining the legal regulation of family and intimacy and the legal implications of universal dependency and vulnerability. Her papers span the years 1984 through the present, with the bulk of the items concentrated in the period 1989-1995. The collection documents Fineman’s career as a law professor and a leading scholar of feminist legal theory. It is arranged into eight series: Biographical Information, Conferences and Workshops, Correspondence, Course Materials, Grant Projects, Research, Subject Files and Writings.  The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.
Inspired by an interest in the history of contract law, Professor Tina L. Stark began building a personal collection of antique legal documents in 2014. Her primary sources have been eBay and dealers she met via eBay. She began systematically donating materials to the MacMillan Law Library at the time of the Law School’s centennial celebration in spring 2017; donations will continue until her entire collection has been transferred. The documents are a mix of vellum and paper. The Emory Finding Aid for the collection can be found HERE.