Manuscript Collections


Special Collections maintains over 80 manuscript collections on the history of legal thought and legal practice. Our collections are particularly strong in American legal history since 1700 featuring collections of papers from Judges and local law practices. Additionally, our holdings also include large international collections, ranging from 17th-century Italian wills to papers of the United Nations

We support the educational mission of the U.Va. Law Library by making these materials accessible for use in research and in teaching. As part of our active digitization program, to date we have digitized over 170,000 items from our manuscript collections and archives. Use our main search page to find specific manuscript items or collections (digital and non-digital) or browse our manuscript finding aids.

Collection Highlights

Records of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), 1946-1948
The IMTFE, informally known as the Tokyo War Crimes trial, was an international tribunal for trying Japanese officials for war crimes after World War II.  This digitized manuscript collection brings together papers from both the prosecution and the defense, including papers for prosecutors Frank S. Tavenner, Jr. (specifically regarding his work on the International Prosecution Section), Roy L. Morgan, and C. J. Phelps and defense counsel G. Carrington Williams.

Benjamin Kissam Ledger and Docket Book, 1755-1776
Benjamin Kissam (1728 – 1782) was a prominent colonial lawyer who trained prospective lawyers, including John Jay, in his office in New York City (Golden Hill). This ledger, which dates from 1755 to 1776, contains detailed accounts of Kissam's clients, family members, and household employees. The docket book records the cases that Kissam handled before the Supreme Court of New York from 1768 to 1775.

Papers of the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust
In 2000 Special Collections acquired this large collection that traces the production and marketing history of the Dalkon Shield, the intrauterine contraceptive device manufactured and sold by the A.H. Robins Company.  These papers detail the A.H. Robins Company's purchase of the Dalkon Shield and the company’s subsequent tort litigation and bankruptcy which was resolved in 1988. The collection also documents the establishment and history of the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, 1988-2000, which settled over 218,000 claims.

Elizabeth N. Tompkins, Law 1923, first female law graduate at UVA

Special Collections manuscripts are particularly strong in records of late nineteenth and early twentieth century legal practice, and many of these manuscripts came to Special Collections as gifts of U.Va. Law School alumni/ae and faculty.  These donations include: the diaries of William Minor Lile; the Prince Edward County Free School Association papers of F.D.G. Ribble; Judge Hardy Cross Dillard's International Court of Justice files; Richard Bonnie's papers concerning the investigation of Soviet psychiatric abuse; and Frank McCulloch's papers on the International Labor Organization. Alumni whose papers are housed in Special Collections include railroad attorney Gordon Buck; Virginia lawyer and lieutenant governor Lewis Preston Collins; Charlottesville lawyer and judge R. T. W. Duke, Jr.; Justice James Clark McReynolds; Roy Morgan's files on Japanese and German internment in Virginia during World War II; the papers of Judge John Paul; Washington lawyer E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr.; and Judge George Revercomb.


Manuscript Inventories

Accession Title
MSS 77-1 The Papers of Frederick D. G. Ribble, 1920-1965
MSS 78-1 The Papers of Garrard Glenn, 1901-1947
MSS 78-2 The Papers of Armistead Mason Dobie 1902 (1939-1956) 1965
MSS 78-3 The Personal Papers of Frank S. Tavenner, Jr. and Official Records from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 1945-1948
MSS 78-4 Papers and Official Records concerning the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Created and Collected by G. Carrington Williams, 1945-1948
MSS 78-5 The Diaries of Homan W. Walsh, 1930 - 1963
MSS 78-6 The John M. Woolsey Collection of Legal Documents
MSS 78-7 The Papers of George B. Eager, Jr.
MSS 78-8 The Papers of Henry S. K. Morison
MSS 78-9 The Papers of John Bassett Moore
MSS 78-10 Commission of Assize for the Circuit of Northern Ireland
MSS 78-11 The Papers of John Ritchie III
MSS 78-12 The Papers of Peter Low (Working Materials for the Commission on Constitutional Revision), 1968
MSS 79-1 Miscellaneous Documents from Circuit Court of Nelson County, 1869-1898
MSS 79-2 The Papers of Charles M. Davison, Jr. (1967-1977)
MSS 79-4 Profile of John A. G. Davis
MSS 79-5 The Papers of A. J. Gustin Priest (1919-1977)
MSS 79-6 The Papers of Duke and Duke Law Firm
MSS 79-8 The Papers of John B. Minor 1845-1893
MSS 79-9 The Papers of Charles O. Gregory, 1937 - 1966
MSS 79-10 Letter from John Wickham to William Wirt
MSS 79-11 System of Justice in Puerto Rico Documents
MSS 79-12 Miscellaneous English and American Legal Documents, 1559 - 1847
MSS 80-1 Lecture Notes of William H. White, Jr.
MSS 80-3 The Papers of James L. Skerritt, 1910 - 1978
MSS 80-4 The Papers of John B. Minor, Jr.
MSS 81-1 The Papers of H. Lane Kneedler: Legislative History of Virginia's Criminal Assault Law, 1977 - 1981 [COSAR]
MSS 81-3 The Joseph V. Gartlan, Jr. Files Concerning Criminal Sexual Assault Legislation
MSS 81-4 The Papers of A. E. Dick Howard on the Virginia Commission on Constitutional Revision, 1969-1971
MSS 81-5 Committee on Sexual Assault Reform [COSAR] Files on Criminal Sexual Assault Legislation
MSS 81-7 Judicial Papers of Judge John Paul, 1930 - 1964
MSS 81-8 The Law Practice Papers of George E. Allen, Sr.
MSS 81-9 The Papers of Richard J. Bonnie
MSS 82-2 Department of Justice Statements of the Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General (1943-1951)
MSS 82-3 The Papers of Daniel J. Meador 1959 - 1975
MSS 82-4 The Papers of Herbert Johnson
MSS 82-6 Inventory of the Papers of the United Nations Conferences on the Law of the Sea at the University of Virginia
MSS 83-1 The Papers of James B. McClellan on the Panama Canal Treaty Debates
MSS 84-2 The Papers of Joint Legislative Committee to Study Revision of [New York] Corporation Laws
MSS 84-3 The Papers of Jeffrey O'Connell
MSS 84-5 The Papers of Professor Thomas R. White, III
MSS 84-8 The Papers of Hardy Cross Dillard
MSS 84-9 Letterbook of James and G. T. Lambert
MSS 84-10 Commonplace Book from Stannery Court Library, Wales, 1817
MSS 84-11 Papers of Benjamin Kissam, 1755 - 1776
MSS 85-1 The Papers of Justice James Clark McReynolds 1819-1967
MSS 85-2 Records of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia
MSS 85-3 The Papers of Professor Carl McFarland
MSS 85-4 The Papers of Monrad G. Paulsen
MSS 85-6 The Law Practice Papers of Lewis Preston Collins
MSS 85-7 The Papers of Harry LeRoy Jones
MSS 85-8 John W. Stephenson Private Accounts, 1874-1886, Warm Springs, Va [Ledger]
MSS 85-9 The Papers of W. Hamilton Bryson
MSS 85-10 "Memorandum Book" kept by New York Administrator, 1841-1845
MSS 85-11 The Papers of Robert T. Barton, Jr. re: Law Alumni Association [1958-1980]
MSS 85-12 The Papers of J. Wilson Newman, 1955-1978
MSS 85-13 The Papers of Frank W. McCulloch, 1971-1988
MSS 85-14 The Papers of Judge James Hoge Ricks, 1916 - 1956
MSS 85-15 The Robert Korver Manuscript Collection of 19th Century Lawyers
MSS 85-16 National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1983-1984
MSS 85-17 The Papers of John Norton Moore Regarding the Maritime Boundary Delimitation in the Gulf of Maine Area, 1977-1984
MSS 86-1 The Papers of Park Elliott Dietz for the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography
MSS 86-2 Law School Papers of Clarence B. Pearce, 1916-1920
MSS 86-3 Transcription of the Lectures of John Millar, 1779 - 1780
MSS 86-5 The Papers of E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr. 1944 - 1982
MSS 86-6 Letter by Ambassador Shabtai Rosenne to the Virginia Quarterly Review
MSS 86-7 Thomas Jefferson Circular Letter to the Governor of Rhode Island, 11 January 1793
MSS 86-8 Photographs by André Kertész
MSS 87-1 The Papers of Chief Justice Earl Warren, 1951-1970
MSS 87-2 The Papers of Stephen A. Saltzburg, 1973 - 1988
MSS 87-3 The Papers of Roger B. Taney, 1792 (1805-1812) - 1818
MSS 87-4 The Papers of Edwin S. Cohen
MSS 88-1 The Papers of Solicitors J. M. Shugar and A. W. Vaisey, 1850 (1875-1900) - 1914
MSS 88-2 The Papers of Gordon M. Buck, 1881-1956
MSS 88-3 The Law Office Papers of William F. Long and R. Watson Sadler
MSS 88-4 Edward O. McCue Records Pertaining to Westmoreland v. CBS
MSS 88-5 Seals for the State of Virginia and the High Court of Chancery
MSS 88-6 The Papers of Bernard P. Chamberlain (re Law School Alumni Association and Class of 1922)
MSS 89-1 The Diaries of William Minor Lile,1882 - 1898; 1913 - 1932
MSS 89-2 19th Century Legal Manuscripts
MSS 89-3 Charles and Thomas Frankland Legal Record Books, ca. 1740 - 1811
MSS 90-1 Docket Book from Steuben County, New York, 1828 - 1830
MSS 90-2 The Papers of Ernest L. Folk III
MSS 90-3 The Papers of Neill H. Alford, Jr.
MSS 90-4 Manifest for the Ship John Spear
MSS 90-5 Typed Manuscript for Justice Daniel Dissenting by John P. Frank
MSS 91-1 The Charles Read-Joseph Read Commonplace Book
MSS 91-2 Letterbook for the Receiver of Wrecks at Hull, 1855-1861
MSS 91-3 The Docket Book of Richard Watson, 1871-1889
MSS 91-4 Docket Book of Judge William H. Pingrey 1839
MSS 91-5 Commonplace Book of I. Rove, Jr. 1783 - 1876
MSS 91-6 The Papers of Emerson G. Spies, 1955-1990
MSS 91-7 Record Books for Hancock Mutual Insurance Company, 1853 - 1858
MSS 92-1 Giusticiati: Italian Manuscript List of Persons Condemned to Death in Venice, 726-1804
MSS 92-2 Commonplace Book of Thomas Turner Fauntleroy
MSS 92-3 Will and Testament of Joseph Bonner On Board Ship Hardwicke, 1745
MSS 93-1 The Papers of Frances Farmer
MSS 93-2 The Papers of Saleem A. Shah, 1952-1992
MSS 93-3 The Papers of Judge George H. Revercomb, 1971-1993
MSS 93-4 The Papers of Roy L. Morgan, 1941-1966
MSS 93-5 Commonplace Book, ca. 1832 [Working Legal Manuscript]
MSS 93-6 McCue Family Memorabilia
MSS 93-7 Record Book of Samuel E. Smith, 1818 - 1850
MSS 94-1 James B. Lovelace Manuscript: Court Tales, Trials and Appeals
MSS 94-2 The Papers of John C. McCoid II
MSS 94-5 Clay Memorabilia
MSS 95-1 The Papers of Arthur I. Schulman Concerning the Virginia ACLU
MSS 95-2 The Papers of Charles E. Moran
MSS 95-3 Roger J. Traynor Memorabilia
MSS 95-4 The Papers of Harvey Fireside
MSS 95-5 The Papers of Harold O. Pressman
MSS 95-7 Bound Case Materials for Walsh v. Preston, also called the Mercer Colony Case
MSS 96-1 Manuscript Style or Form Book of James Armour ca. 1698
MSS 96-2 Attorney's Ledger, 1884-1890 [from Connecticut?]
MSS 96-3 Ledgers of H. W. Parker [of Vermont?]
MSS 96-4 Robbins and Gates Record of Account, Ohio 1839-1842
MSS 97-1 The Papers of Richard B. Lillich
MSS 97-2 The Papers of Marion K. Kellogg
MSS 97-3 Memorabilia of Arthur J. Morris
MSS 97-4 The Papers of Elizabeth N. Tompkins 1921-1971
MSS 97-4 Elizabeth N. Tompkins Memorabilia
MSS 97-5 Appointment of William H. White
MSS 97-7 License to Practice Law in Virginia issued to John Douglas Simms in 1808
MSS 97-8 Attorney's Ledger, Boston, 1871-1875
MSS 97-9 Practice Record Book of Thomas D. Ranson, 1884-1912
MSS 98-1 The Papers of David A. Martin
MSS 98-2 The Papers of Judge Pierce Lively
MSS 98-3 The Correspondence of William W. Crapo Concerning the Alabama Claims Cases 1870-1876
MSS 98-4 The Papers of Ellen V. Nash
MSS 98-5 Docket Book of James Bayes, Holmes Co. Ohio, 1837-1839
MSS 98-6 The Shotwell Collection, 1823-1836; 1842-1888; Cadiz, Ohio
MSS 99-1 The Papers of Donald K. Duvall
MSS 00-1 The Papers of Judge John D. Butzner, Jr. 1986-1998
MSS 00-2 Beth Wharton Photographic Collection
MSS 00-3 George Wilson and Elizabeth Dent Wilson Family Photos and Memorabilia
MSS 00-4 Papers of the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, [1970-1998]
MSS 00-5 The Cash Book of John Brazee, 1841-1844, Ohio
MSS 01-1 Letter from Frank T. Glasgow to Frank Gilmer
MSS 01-2 The Peter L. Paull Collection of Faculty Photographs and Libel Show Programs
MSS 01-3 The Papers of Judge Edward S. Smith, 1964-1997
MSS 01-4 The Papers of Thomas D. Gidley
MSS 02-1 Claim of Charles Gallagher for Loss of Schooner Nimrod and Cargo on James River, Virginia, December 5th, 1864
MSS 04-1 The Papers of Judge Thomas C. Gordon, Jr.
MSS 04-2 The Papers of Monroe Leigh
MSS 04-3 The Papers of David Nelson Sutton
MSS 04-4 The Papers of Robert C. Fitzgerald
MSS 04-5 Mortimer M. Caplin Collection
MSS 05-1 The Papers of John W. Bissell
MSS 05-2 Yancey Document
MSS 05-3 The Papers of George Gilmer,1936-1977
MSS 07-1 George Newton Conrad Medallion
MSS 07-2 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 1910 Collection of Historical Photographs
MSS 07-3 John Shackelford Collection of Debts for Thomas Morgan
MSS 08-1 Patents of William Mesinger
MSS 08-2 Paul Mahoney Gift of Documents re: Pre Securities Act and Investment Bankers as Managers or Agents and as Underwriters
MSS 08-03a Addendum to the Papers of Earle K. Shawe [a]
MSS 08-03 The Papers of Earle K. Shawe
MSS 2009-01 Richard Merrill Gift of Prints of John Nieto (Native American Painter)
MSS 2011-01 Papers of Judge Richard L. Williams
MSS 2011-03 Collection of 17th Century Italian Legal Documents
MSS 2012-01 C. W. J. Phelps War Crimes and the "Tojo Trial" Collection
MSS 2012-02 Photographs of Frank S. Tavenner at House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), 1952; 1954
MSS 2012-03 Hewitt Wiley Photographs and Interview
MSS 2012-04 The Papers of Howard Klee re Amoco - U. S. EPA Pollution Prevention Project of Yorktown, Virginia
MSS 2013-01 The Papers of A. E. Dick Howard
MSS 2013-02 William H. Sims, 1841 University of Virginia School of Law Diploma
MSS 2013-03 Steve Hopson Law School Memorabilia Collection
MSS 2014-01 Ronald P. Sokol Correspondence with Hardy C. Dillard and Daniel J. Meador
MSS 2014-02 Frank Gardiner Wisner Law School Memorabilia
MSS 2014-03 Peter V. Lacouture Collection of Photographs, 1970 -1971
MSS 2014-04 Papers of Michael P. Dooley
MSS 2014-05 The Papers of Professor Walter J. Waddlington
MSS 2014-06 IMTFE Allied Judges Photograph
MSS 2014-07 Collection of Photographs Attributed to G. Carrington Williams Relating to IMTFE
MSS 2015-01 Scottish Court of Session Records
MSS 2015-02 Ewing Memorabilia
MSS 2015-03 Papers of Peter Kinzler
MSS 2015-04 Papers of James M. Martinez re Mental Health in Virginia
MSS 2015-05 The Brackett Henry Snidow Collection of UVA Memorabilia
MSS 2016-01 Sketch of Judge Edward J. Ryan by Ida Libby Dengrove
MSS 2016-02 Kenney Collection of Digital Photographs of the Law Class of 1986
MSS 2016-04 R. Randolph Hicks Collection of Records of Appellate Court Cases in Virginia
MSS 2016-05 The Paul von Bergen Collection
MSS 2016-06 Law School Memorabilia of William Mapother Sr. (L '63)
MSS 2017-01 Brandon L. Garrett Collection of Criminal and Death Penalty Trial Transcripts