Research Revealed

Six Scholars Explore Historical & Special Collections

  • Researcher explores Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge Records, 1828

    Recently processed material informed dissertation work on the development of the corporation in colonial British North America.

  • Study of 13th century ecumenical decree teases out tensions

    Commentaries on problematic decree offer perspective on late medieval canon law and its intellectual and social underpinnings.

  • Dissertation traces the relationship between Islam and law in colonial India

    Two versions of "A Digest of Mohummudan Law" show how British courts applied religious law in increasingly narrow ways.

  • Exploration of a rich mentor-protégé relationship stretching over six decades

    In this 1931 letter, John Henry Wigmore recalls a meal he shared nearly 40 years earlier with Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.

Between 2008 and 2013, Historical & Special Collections (HSC) staff fielded an average of nearly 600 inquiries per year from around the world. Approximately a third of these yearly inquiries result in a visit to HSC’s reading room, the Root Room.

Researchers come to HSC to consult our vast array of historical legal materials in a variety of formats for any number of reasons. A Harvard student may have a class assignment that requires access to one of our medieval manuscripts or a scholar may be compiling a catalogue raisonné for an artist whose work is in our visual collection. Some scholars use our materials to study early books and manuscripts, not only for their content, but also as physical objects.  

Unlike our reading room researchers, HSC staff rarely have the time to immerse ourselves deeply in any one item or collection. Thankfully we are fortunate to work with and learn from our researchers. “Research Revealed” is a celebration of that relationship. This exhibit features material from the collection used by our researchers over the past several years. This exhibit shared six of their stories.