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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.

Council and Executive Meeting Minutes

Click here to access the ALI Meeting Minutes Collection on the Penn Law Digital Collections site. Over 300 records can be found in this collection, which documents the operating activities of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the organization's professional activities.

Oral Histories

The ALI oral history interviews were recorded by major figures in the history of the American Law Institute. The interviews were recorded between 1989 and 1993. For more information about this collection, please consult the finding aid or contact the Archives.

Interviews: 

Professor Herbert Wechsler served as Director of The American Law Institute from 1963 to 1984. Previously, he was Chief Reporter for the Model Penal Code from 1952 until 1962.

Professor Homer Kripke, a leading commercial law scholar and practitioner, was a faculty member of ALI-ABA's Advanced Course of Study on The Emerging New Uniform Commercial Code presented in New York City September 7-9, 1989. Founded in 1923, the Institute has been involved with the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in the drafting of the Uniform Commercial Code and its revisions since the 1940s. Homer Kripke was an important figure in the Uniform Commercial Code project almost from its inception. He was also involved in the 1970s as a consultant in the Institute's Federal Securities Code project.

Professor James A. Casner served the American Law Institute in a variety of roles. He was a Special Reporter and Adviser for portions of the original Restatement of Property and the Reporter for the Restatement, Second, of Property (Landlord and Tenant and Donative Transfers) and for the Institute's projects on Federal Estate and Gift Taxation and Subchapter J of the Internal Revenue Code.

At the end of 1992, Paul Wolkin completed more than 45 consecutive years in the administration of The American Law Institute. He first joined the Institute in the summer of 1947 as assistant to the ALI’s new Director, Judge Herbert Goodrich, and he held the title of ALI Assistant Director from 1955 until 1977, when he was named Executive Vice President. In 1963 he had also become Executive Director of the ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Professional Education, and so for nearly 30 years he was responsible for the day-today operations of the two organizations in their shared Philadelphia headquarters. At the beginning of 1993 he became Executive Vice President Emeritus and he joined the Institute’s Council.

Web Archives

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

ALI Photograph Collections

ALI_P_0124

ALI annual meeting crowd, 1987

Click here to view the ALI photograph collection. 

ALI_P_0139

Annual Meeting, 1993

Click here to view the ALI photograph collection. 

ALI_P_0228

ALI annual meeting, Washington, D.C., 1996

Click here to view the ALI photograph collection. 

ALI_P_0415

ALI-ABA Committee Meeting attendees, 1999

Click here to view the ALI photograph collection. 

ALI_P_0301

ALI-ABA reception, 1997

Click here to view the ALI photograph collection.