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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.

Current Exhibitions

Penn Law Firsts: Asians, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders - 1900 to the PresentPhoto of Wu Ting-Fang

The Penn Law Firsts series of exhibits celebrates the accomplishments of students, faculty and staff. This exhibit honors the Asians, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders who have helped contribute to Penn Carey Law School's ethnic and cultural diversity.

Click here to view more about this exhibition online.

Digital Exhibitions

Featured Digital Exhibitions

Benchmark: Penn Law Women and the Federal Courts

"Benchmark: Penn Law Women and the Federal Courts" highlights the careers of Penn Law alumnae who have served or are currently serving on the federal judicial court system. The women featured in this digital exhibition provide a wide lens of exemplary accomplishments, and by highlighting their carrers it also provides greater insight into the evolving historical context of women entering into federal judicial service.


Penn Law Firsts: Black History Month

Penn Law has been celebrating Black accomplishments since 1888 when Aaron Albert Mossell became the first Black man to graduate from Penn Law. This exhibition provides a list and an accompanying visual timeline to mark Black history firsts here at   Penn Law.





Past Exhibitions

Phyllis Kravitch: Breaking Precedent                                                                                                                        

This exhibition provides a brief glimpse into the legal career of Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch L'44.                                    

Phyllis Kravitch trailblazed a path for women in law, and during her career championed the rights of migrant workers, refugees, and women. This exhibit contains documents from her educational background, such as an award from the University of Pennsylvania Law Alumni Society. These documents from her collegiate life show her success over the male-dominated law school admissions system in her time, as no school she applied to other than Penn accepted her due to the fact that she was a woman. This exhibit also showcases awards and certificates from her time in the Georgia bar, as well as her time as the first female superior court judge in Georgia. Phyllis's achievements did not end here, however, as she later became the first female appointee to a federal appellate court. In addition to the above, this exhibit features items from her federal career such as a letter from Jimmy Carter, a letter from Barack and Michelle Obama, and awards from her time in the Eleventh Circuit. 

Located in the Biddle Law Library, T-253. 

American Bar Association (ABA) 19th Amendment ExhibitionThree suffragists casting votes in New York City, c. 1917, Library of Congress

From 10 to 28 of February 2020, the ABA exhibit was hosted by Penn Law’s Biddle Library. Along with the exhibit, Biddle’s librarians pulled relevant artifacts from the library’s own collection. Featured alongside the ABA exhibit are photos of important figures in the fight for women’s suffrage, information on the suffrage movement as it happened in Pennsylvania, and pamphlets from court cases concerning women’s right to vote in Pennsylvania in the decades leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Photo: Three suffragists casting votes in New York City, c. 1917, Library of Congress