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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.

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


New acquisitions for the Archives and Special Collections Department

March 15, 2023

Biddle Law Library has acquired two new collections for the Archives and Special Collections Department. 

The first collection consists of materials belonging to Judge Owen J. Roberts, former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Items from this small collection include a limited number of correspondence, photographs, certificates, and awards. Justice Roberts was a graduate of Penn Carey Law in 1898 and served as the Dean of the law school from 1948 to 1951. 

Biddle Archives and Special Collections also recently acquired materials related to the Raymond F. Trent Collection. This new addition of archival material compliments the existing collection and consists of several boxes of audiovisual material curated by the late Raymond F. Trent. Trent was a former Senior Library Clerk of the Biddle Law Library who had dedicated his career to compiling resources and material on the history of education and practice of Black lawyers in the United States. Click here for more information on the Raymond F. Trent Collection. 


New Exhibition - Itty Bitty Biddle Books: Rare books from the Archives and Special Collections

February 7, 2023

New exhibition on display in the Biddle Law Library Gateway until summer 2023.

This exhibition presents a small sample of Biddle Law Library’s tiny books as well as the opportunity to explore the tools used in bookbinding. The books on display are from the Library’s Rare Book Collection and include a wide range of titles from the early 1500s through the mid-1900s. Although tiny, many of these books have had a major impact on modern legal education and the study of legal philosophy throughout the world. 


Collections ready for research - Judge Arlin Adams and Judge Joe Lee

December 9, 2022

Two collections have recently been processed and are now ready for research. Project Archivist, Liz Wittrig, has recently processed and made the finding aid available for the Judge Arlin Adams papers and the Judge Joe Lee papers. Judge Lee was one of the longest serving bankruptcy judges in the nation and Judge Adams was nominated by President Nixon to the Third Circuit Court