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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.

**Beginning 3/12/2020 Biddle Archives is canceling all on-site research visits until further notice and will have limited availability for remote research requests.

About the Biddle Law Library Collections

The Biddle Law Library Collections include the papers from prominent Penn Law alumni and faculty, rare books and manuscripts, and a selection of Law School records. However, some records relating to the operations of Penn Law are maintained by the University Archives. Penn Law is in the process of updating and adopting a records management policy that will follows the University Archives protocols and retention schedules. See Records Management Resources for more information on Penn Law's records management policies and procedures. 

The oral history collection currently consists of oral histories performed of Penn Law alumni and faculty. The Penn Law School Legal Oral History Project Files, 1999-2006, includes interviews and transcripts of interviews of distinguished Penn Law School alumni, associated members of the Penn Law community, and public interest lawyers. 

Major Collections

The Legal Oral History Project was a collaborative effort by a team of faculty, librarians, and students to record and preserve first-person narratives of graduates and members of the Penn Law Community conducted between 1999 and 2006. Streaming media is accompanied by transcripts and video indexes where available.

The project began with a seminar taught by Professor Sarah Barringer Gordon and Associate Director for Public Services of the Biddle Law Library Edwin Greenlee which trained students in the theory and practice of oral history. Each student then selected a distinguished graduate or member of the Penn Law community and conducts a one- to two-hour videotaped interview. Following the interview, the student transcribed the videotape and prepared a biographical article for publication. The videotape, transcript, article, and other biographical information were then archived in Biddle Law Library. The archive, which is posted on the web as well as housed in the library, is a valuable resource for legal scholars around the country, and for members of the law school and university.

Additional Penn Law institutional records are still being edited and processed by the archives, so please stay tuned for additional content. 

This collection is still being edited and processed by the archives, so please stay tuned for the addition of this content.