Frequently Requested Materials
This page lists some of the most useful and frequently requested items for historical research into the law school and its people. Other materials useful for historical research may be located in the catalog using the keyword phrase “Boston University School of Law” along with other relevant keywords. For assistance in locating these and other archives items, please visit our archives research services page. Please note that all archives materials must be retrieved by a library staff member.
There are several magazines produced by the law school over the years which document the major activities of the law school, its faculty, distinguished alumni, etc. They are:
- The Brief/Law Brief (1958-68): KF292.B54 B75
- Law Alumni News (1969-73): KF 292 B5 A72
- The Brief (1978-1989): KF292.B5 A73
- Update (1981-1984): KF292.B5 A723
- Boston University School of Law Alumni Magazine (1992-1997): KF292.B5 A724
- The Record: The Alumni Magazine of Boston University School of Law (2005-present): KF292.B5 A724
There are very few audiovisual recordings in the archives collection. Those materials are identified in the catalog as audio or film. The Legal Follies series contains VHS and DVD recordings of the law school’s student revue from 1988 to present. Please note that arrangements must be made in advance to view these videorecordings as the law library does not have playback equipment. The library may contact Law Audiovisual Services to request equipment for archives researchers as appropriate. Patrons are strongly advised to bring their own headphones.
Biographical sources may be available in reference works. The Biography and Genealogy Master Index (BU patrons only) may be used to locate biographical sources. Published works about famous individuals may also be located on the BU catalog by searching for an individual’s name as a subject.
Boston University Publications
In addition to law school publications, there are many BU publications that may be useful to researchers looking for information about the law school within the University during various time periods. The most complete collections of these titles are at the Howard Gottlieb Archives, located in Mugar Library. Additional copies may exist in the Mugar Library open stacks.
- Alumni Magazine: Bostonia, BU SER A55bo 1900-2011 (with gaps)
- Student Yearbook: The Hub/Boston Comment/The Bostonian, BU Ser. B58h
The catalog of the law school is a useful source for information about the curriculum, student organizations, and major activities of the law school. The catalog was published under various titles that constituted the Boston University catalog from 1872 to 1981. Since 1982, it has been a School of Law publication under various titles. All volumes of this series are located at KF 270 B67 B67.
An unsigned note found with the first issue reads: “The Law School was opened in October 1872. There appears to have been no circular issued in that year for the school year 1872-73, or during that school year for the following year 1873-74. The catalogue 1873-74 & circular 1874-75 appears to be the first publication of the series.”
For information about commencement award recipients, speakers, and class lists (with some exceptions) consult Class Day Exercises (1931-1937), Law Day and Commencement (1956-1978), andCommencement Convocation (1979-present). These titles are located at KF292.B55 Z54.
There are various sources for course information that provide listings of courses taught throughout the years. The catalogs of the law school provide the most complete source for these listings, for more recent years the Course Selection Handbook (KF270.B67 B675, 1994 to present) not only provides lists of courses but also description of the courses and the names of the instructors.
The law school’s alumni directories have been produced irregularly since 1897. Additionally, early catalogs included lists of current students. For a listing of law school directories, search the catalog by subject: Boston University. School of Law — Alumni and alumnae — Directories
The Historical Register of Boston University (LD 512.49 B67 1911) contains lists of law graduates and faculty from 1872-1911. It includes an Index of Graduates and an Index of the Corporation, Professors and Lecturers. The Alumni Directory of Boston University (LD 512.3 .B67 1924) includes lists of law graduates from 1872 to 1923. It contains an Alphabetical Index of Alumni and a Geographical Index of Alumni
The Boston University School of Law Faculty Bibliography documents the scholarship of the law school faculty and covers those faculty members at the law school during a particular year. It was produced irregularly from 1977-1984, and has been produced annually since 1987. The current edition is available here. Older editions are located at KF 292 B525 A72.
The most authoritative source for an individual’s year of graduation is the Law School’s Registrar. The archives collection contains other sources of class lists with varying degrees of authority: Commencement programs (with some exceptions) and Alumni Directory of Boston University (LD512.3 .B67 1924) includes lists of graduates from 1872 to 1923.
F.H. Robinson, The Boston University Law School: A History Of Fifty Years (covers 1872-1922)
KF292.B5 R63 1923a
Eleanor Rust Collier, The Boston University School Of Law, 1872-1960: 88 Years
KF292.B5 C65 1960a
The Legal Follies series, located at KF 292.B55 Z5242, includes programs and posters (Boxes 1 and 3) of the law school’s student comedy revue from 1988 to present (with some gaps). Box 2 of the series contains VHS and DVD recordings. Please note that arrangements must be made in advance to view these videorecordings as the law library does not have playback equipment. The library may contact Law Audiovisual Services to request equipment for archives researchers as appropriate. Patrons are strongly advised to bring their own headphones.
There are two student newspapers in the law archives collection. Comment, the law school’s student run newspaper, covers the time period from 1966-1987. It is located at KF 292 .B54 A43.The Law Register, located at KF 292 B54 A435, covers 1993-1998. Both are a source for information on the daily life at the law school, student events, and photographs.
The law school archives do not contain oral histories as part of its collection.
The law library has photographs of students from the 1920’s through the 1950’s with a gap during the 1960’s on to the present. Other than these photographs and photographs in published materials, the law school collects few photographs in its archives collection. Most photographs are copyrighted by Boston University Photo Services and copies may be ordered by BU affiliates from BU Photo Services.
The law school archives do not contain student records. The Law School Registrar’s office maintains student records. Access to student records is controlled by federal and state laws and is restricted in most circumstances.
Law school yearbooks have been produced very irregularly since the opening of the law school. Three time periods are covered by the majority of the volumes in our collection: 1921-1933 are covered by The Brief, 1980-81 by The Advocate, and 1993, 1994, 1996-1998 by Lawyears. All of these titles are located at KF292.B53 A3.