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Harvard Law School Library Opens Antonin Scalia Collection to the Public

Some of late Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia's papers will be on display in the Harvard Law School Library.
Some of late Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia's papers will be on display in the Harvard Law School Library. By MyeongSeo Kim
By Kelsey J. Griffin, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard Law School Library announced the first public release of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin G. Scalia’s papers, photographs, and various other items Tuesday.

A graduate of the Law School class of 1960, Scalia regularly visited campus during his lifetime, often judging the Ames Moot Court Competition. He worked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1982 to 1986 before serving on the Supreme Court for 30 years. Following his death in 2016, Scalia’s family donated his legal and academic papers to the Law School.

When announcing the donation in 2017, Scalia’s wife, Maureen M. Scalia ’60, said Harvard was significant to their relationship.

“Nino and I met as students in Cambridge, when he was at the Law School and I at Radcliffe,” she said. “Our visits back to Harvard together always felt like a homecoming, particularly in recent years. I am pleased to make this gift, and that his papers will now be at the Law School.”

While most of the collection consists of papers from his time on the Supreme Court and the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, the library will not release any case materials during the lifetime of other justices and judges involved in the cases for which Scalia worked.

The first batch of the collection released this week includes pre-Supreme Court files; correspondence, speaking engagements, and event files through 1989; photographs and audiovisual materials dated from 1975 to 2016; and other miscellaneous documents such as articles about Scalia throughout his time on the Supreme Court.

“We are deeply honored that Harvard Law School has been entrusted with the Justice’s historic papers, and we now have the opportunity to share these papers,” Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning ’82 wrote in a press release. “This archive will allow generations of scholars to come to Harvard Law School to study the record of Justice Scalia’s historic tenure on the Supreme Court.”

Manning served as a law clerk for Justice Scalia from 1988 to 1989.

In the release, Jonathan L. Zittrain, professor of international law and director of the Law School Library, noted the importance of preserving Scalia’s collection for future generations of scholars.

“The Harvard Law School Library’s patrons are not only those using the library today, but those who will follow,” he wrote. “We secure irreplaceable papers such as these as part of the solemn pursuit of citizens and scholars understanding the trajectory of the law not only from its formal outputs, but through the contemporaneous notes as it was forged.”

—Staff writer Kelsey J. Griffin can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @kelseyjgriffin.

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