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Archives and Special Collections

The Archives of Biddle Law Library preserves, promotes, and provides access to the archives of The American Law Institute (ALI), and the National Bankruptcy Archives (NBA), as well as a collection of rare books, manuscripts, and Penn Law historic records.

Contact Information

The Archives and Special Collections office is located on the second floor of Tanenbaum Hall, room T-251. 

Sarah Oswald
Head of Archives and Special Collections

Liz Wittrig
Project Archivist


From the Collection:

Penn Law Yearbooks

**Starting August 14, 2023, the Archives and Special Collection Department will be closed on Mondays to on-site research visits.

Archives and Special Collections

The Archives of Biddle Law Library preserves, promotes, and provides access to the the papers and records of two major legal organizations: The American Law Institute (ALI), and the National Bankruptcy Archives. The archives also include the Biddle Collections. The Biddle Collections contain Penn Law's historic records, manuscripts, photographs, rare books, local or regional legal history collections, and alumni papers. This includes the personal papers of early Penn Law Dean and ALI co-founder William Draper Lewis, Penn Law graduate and Philadelphia lawyer Bernard G. Segal, and United States Court of Appeals Judge David L. Bazelon.  Paper and electronic finding aids are available online and by request.

For more information on the collections: 

Policies and Procedures

Use of the Archives and Special Collections:

Use of the Biddle Law Library Archives is by appointment only. Some collections are stored off-site and so researchers should schedule their visits no less than two weeks in advance of their intended research dates. 

Statement regarding harmful content or language within collections: 

The collections housed in Biddle Law Library’s Archives and Special Collections may contain language or images that represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive. We do not support or condone these harmful ideas. Our finding aids and metadata records may sometimes re-use language written by the collection’s creator to avoid erasing their actions and to help us learn from the past. We are actively working to place any offensive terminology used in context.   

Many of our finding aids and collection descriptions were created years ago, and we are committed to rewriting any description created by archivist’s that contain harmful language. If you discover harmful or offensive language in our digital collections and collection guides, please email 


For questions concerning the Archives, the Rare Books Collection, or other special collections at Biddle, please contact:

Mailing Address: 

 University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
 Biddle Law Library - Archives Department
 3460 Chestnut Street
 Philadelphia, PA 19104-3406



Note: Email is preferred.

Visitor Information - By appointment

Location Hours**

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Monday                    10:00 - 4:00
Biddle Law Library Tuesday                   10:00 - 4:00
251 Tanenbaum Hall Wednesday              10:00 - 4:00
3501 Sansom Street Thursday                  10:00 - 4:00
Philadelphia, PA 19104 Friday                       10:00 - 4:00
215-898-5011 Saturday                  Closed Sunday                    Closed

**Starting August 14th, 2023 the Archives and Special Collections will be closed on Mondays to onsite researcher appointments.

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