Current Exhibit

Deep Cuts: The B-Side of Historical & Special Collections

Deep Cut: True gems that are found later in an album, a B-side. Rarely if ever played on the radio.
Urban Dictionary

B-Side: (the music recorded on) the supporting or less important side of a single-playing gramophone record.
Oxford English Dictionary Online

  • A researcher recently discovered these cloth flowers pressed in an Italian volume on Roman law.

    Cloth flowers discovered in an 18th century book

    A researcher recently discovered these cloth flowers pressed in an Italian volume on Roman law.

  • Cover of phonograph record titled James Garrett Wallace Sings of the Law and Lawyers (1957)

    Recently digitized 1957 record- James Garrett Wallace Sings of the Law and Lawyers

    To hear the album in full and view historic video, follow the links below this slideshow!

  • French treatise on marriage bound in printed sheets that look like floral wallpaper

    New acquisition first of its kind in the collection

    This French treatise on marriage is bound in printed sheets that look like floral wallpaper and is unlike any book cover in HSC.

  • Benjamin Cardozo Sculptograph

    Three-dimensional photograph of Justice Benjamin Cardozo

    This is a sculptograph, a rare photographic process that turns a 2-D photograph into a 3-D bas-relief. Link to video below!

  • Roscoe Pound's colorful journal from 1898

    This recently digitized journal details future HLS Dean Roscoe Pound's West Virginia camping trip in text and photographs.

  • Cropped image of student publication "The Outlaw," vol. 1, no. 4

    1970s student publication, "The Outlaw," now digitized

    Topics of discussion included the Vietnam War, the prison system, law school courses, and opportunities for activism.

The Harvard Law School Library’s Historical & Special Collections (HSC) is home to one of the largest collections of rare legal materials in the world. You might expect to find rare books, illuminated manuscripts, collections of scholarly papers, portraits, photographs, and material documenting the history of HLS in our collections … and you would be right. This is the “A-side” of HSC – the popular items people expect to find when they visit HSC in person and online.

But this exhibit is about the B-side of HSC: the bizarre, the unusual, the hidden gems. Locks of hair, fabric flowers, books bound in wallpaper, recordings in nearly obsolete formats, long-forgotten student publications, and surprising items in otherwise traditional collections of faculty papers … it’s all here in the B-side of HSC.

The exhibit was curated by HSC staff: Karen Beck, Jessica Farrell, Jane Kelly, Edwin Moloy, Mary Person, and Lesley Schoenfeld. It will be on view in the Library's Caspersen Room 9:00-5:00 daily October 2016 through March 2017.

Check out these videos and audio featuring objects from the exhibit!

Benjamin Cardozo Sculptograph


Enjoy this three-dimensional viewing experience of the Cardozo sculptograph, courtesy of our colleagues at the Weissman Preservation Center of Harvard Library.

Langdell Legends, 1979


This videocasette contains highlights of interviews with Profs. Milton Katz , David R. Herwitz, Paul A. Freund, Andrew L. Kaufman, Livingston Hall, and David F. Cavers; former Asst. Dean David N. Smith, Vice-Dean William L. Bruce; and former Dean Erwin N. Griswold speaking at the dedication of Griswold Hall.

James Garrett Wallace Sings of the Law and Lawyers, 1957


This sound recording is an homage to James “Jim” Garrett Wallace (1883-1956), who sat on the Court of General Sessions of New York County for 18 years. An actor and musician by night, Wallace was known for writing and performing musical parodies of the New York legal scene at after-hour gatherings.

Side 1, Tracks 1-6

Side 2, Tracks 1-7