HLS Establishes Library Fellowship

The Harvard Law School Library has established the Morris L. Cohen Fellowship in American Legal Bibliography and History, which intends to fund expenses for scholars who must travel to Harvard to access the Library’s Special Collections.

Close to 40 percent of the graduate students who contact the Library hoping to consult the materials in Special Collections are not affiliated with Harvard, according to David R. Warrington, the Special Collections librarian.

The department houses nearly 2,000 feet of linear manuscript, more than 200,000 rare books, and over 70,000 visual images.

“The fellowship will support greater access, especially by young scholars with research budgets, to our unique materials,” said John G. Palfrey ’94, professor of law and vice dean for Library and Information Resources at HLS.

According to Palfrey, the Library chose to honor Cohen, the HLS Librarian from 1971 to 1981, for his “rich legacy in research and bibliography.”

“My biggest satisfaction at Harvard was handling the Rare Manuscript collection,” said Cohen. “The Rare Manuscript collection is my first love.”

Cohen, whose expertise lies mainly in the field of legal research and historical bibliography, has worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization, and law schools and legal organizations worldwide.

Cohen also served as Librarian and Professor of Law at Yale Law School from 1981 to 1991.

He is currently a Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.

“Special Collections was my favorite area at HLS,” said Cohen. “Yale doesn’t have anywhere near as rich a collection as Harvard does.”

The fellowship includes a grant of up to $3000 to cover travel, living and research expenses. While fellows are free to apply to use any of the Library’s Special Collections, applicants interested in American legal history and bibliography will be prioritized.

“Particularly in these times it would be very nice to help people to come use our collections,” said Warrington.

“I am very honored,” Cohen said of the fellowship. “I hope it encourages more people to use the Special Collections.”