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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601712

Austin Wakeman Scott papers


The bulk of the correspondence in this collection relates to Scott's activities as law teacher and legal scholar, and to his work as an authority in the fields of trusts and civil procedure. Other material relates to his service as clerk of the Ames Foundation (1920-1966); member of the board of the Harvard Cooperative Society (1940's and 1950's); and miscellaneous writings concerning the history of the Harvard Law School and his courses at the Rutgers U. School of Banking.


  • Creation: 1906-1979

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.


1 collection (35 boxes and 5 Paige boxes)

The papers of Austin Wakeman Scott (nicknamed "Scotty") span the years 1906-1979, with a few items of the Harvard Cooperative Society and the Ames Foundation dating back to the 19th century.

The collection includes correspondence (both letters received and carbons of letters sent); minutes of meetings; reports; financial statements; legal documents; forms; research notes; outlines; drafts and typescripts of writings, speeches and special lectures; press releases; proof sheets; clippings and other printed items.

The bulk of A.W. Scott's correspondence relates to his activities as law teacher and legal scholar, and to his preeminence as an authority in the fields of trusts and civil procedure. Correspondence with colleagues concerns his and their writings and teaching. Correspondence with former students relate to their careers, to their inquiries regarding particular points of law in Professor Scott's area of special expertise, and to Harvard alumni matters. Correspondence also includes invitations to write articles, participate in conferences and meetings, and join professional and non-professional groups. Scott's letters demonstrate his scholarly interest in presenting as meticulous and clear a reply as possible, especially when conveying his thoughts regarding trusts and civil procedure. Many inquiries stem from bankers, especially trust officers.

A group of seventy-nine items chronicles Scott's term as Visiting Professor at Brasenose College, Oxford University, England, in the spring of 1954. An additional ten items were generated when Oxford conferred an honorary D.C.L. (Doctor of Civil Law) on him in June 1954.

Austin Wakeman Scott's American Law Institute files (1924-1966) consist of correspondence and drafts. Scott served as reporter for trusts and co-reporter for restitution and judgments. Drafts are mainly in typed, mimeographed form, with marginalia, and include comments by others. The correspondence sequence with William Draper Lewis, Director of the ALI, spans the years 1923 to 1943.

Other series in the Scott papers relate to his service as clerk of the Ames Foundation (1920-1966) which publishes series of annual volumes covering both English and American legal history; to his service as a member of the board of and adviser to the Harvard Cooperative Society (1940s and 1950s), a department store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, catering primarily to the Harvard University community; to his miscellaneous writings including manuscripts of special lectures and unpublished addresses; to notes he made on the history of the Harvard Law School; to the Graduate School of Banking, Rutgers University, where he served as a visiting lecturer; and to current Harvard Law School and to personal/professional matters.

Also of interest are Professor Scott's letters to his parents which he sent to them during his first two years as a student at the Harvard Law School, 1906-1908; these letters were edited and published by the Harvard Law School in 1974 in honor of Professor Scott's 90th birthday. In addition, a small group of miscellaneous addenda, gifted to the Harvard Law Library at a later date, includes personal and family correspondence from the 1950s to the 1970s, especially personal notes from to Scott on his 90th birthday.

Major correspondents in the Scott papers, besides William Draper Lewis, include:

  1. Joseph H. Beale
  2. Henry W.Bikle
  3. George C.Bogert
  4. Louis D.Brandeis
  5. William J. Brennan,Jr.
  6. Charles C.Burlingham
  7. Benjamin N.Cardozo
  8. Zechariah Chafee,Jr.
  9. Loring C.Christie
  10. James B.Conant
  11. Sir RaymondEvershed
  12. FelixFrankfurter
  13. Herbert F.Goodrich
  14. Erwin N.Griswold
  15. LearnedHand
  16. James M.Landis
  17. Walter B.Leach
  18. PierreLapaulle
  19. Julian W.Mack
  20. Edmund M.Morgan
  21. The Right Honorable LordNathan
  22. Warren A.Seavey
  23. Mayo A.Shattuck
  24. Harlan F.Stone
  25. Arthur E.Sutherland
  26. KenzoTakanagi
  27. HarrisonTweed

Historical/Biographical Information

  • 1903 A.B., Rutgers College
  • 1909 LL.B., Harvard University
  • 1933 LL.D., Rutgers University
  • 1944 Harvard University
  • 1960 Brown University
  • 1965 Osgoode Law School, Upper Canada
  • 1954 D.C.L., Oxford University
  • 1910 Admitted to New York State bar
  • 1911 Massachusetts bar
  • 1909-1910 Instructor, Harvard Law School
  • 1910-1914 Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • 1914-1920 Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • 1 September 1915 to 1 February 1916 Acting Dean, Harvard Law School
  • 1920-1938 Story Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • 1938-1961 Dane Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • 1961-1981 Dane Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School
  • 1911-1912 Served on leave of absence, as Dean of the College of Law, State University of Iowa
  • 1928 Reporter for Trusts, American Law Institute; co-reporter for Restitution and Judgments President, Association of American Law Schools Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences Clerk, Ames Foundation
  • 1935-1959 Faculty member, Graduate School of Banking, American Bankers Association
  • 1961 Recipient, Harvard Law School Association Distinguished Service Award
  • 9 April 1981 d. Cambridge, Massachusetts
Author or editor:

  1. Cases on civil procedure. 1914, 1919
  2. Fundamentals of procedure in actions at law. 1922
  3. The law of trusts. 1939, 1956, 1967
  4. Cases and othermaterials on civil procedure (with Sidney Post Simpson). 1950
  5. Cases on trusts. 1951
  6. Also other legal monographsand numerous professional articles.

Series List

  1. Series I. Ames Foundation
  2. Series II. General Correspondence
  3. Series III. Letters of Austin W. Scott to his Family,1906-1908
  4. Series IV. American Law Institute
  5. Series V. The Graduate School of Banking, RutgersU.
  6. Series VI. Harvard Cooperative Society
  7. Series VII. Miscellaneous Writings
  8. Series VIII. Harvard Law School, Biographical, and OtherMiscellany
  9. Series IX. Addenda
  10. Series X. Oversized Materials
  11. Series XI. Paige boxes [bound items].

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Papers of Austin Wakeman Scott were presented to the Harvard Law Library in two contingents, at different times. Contingent one, the Ames Foundation papers, were given to the Harvard Law Library by Professor Scott during his lifetime, in 1967. The second contingent, selected papers in his office at the time of his death, were given to the Library as a gift by his grandchildren, Charity Scott, Stephen W. Scott, and Peter C. Scott, on October 24, 1981.

Processing Information

Compiled by Erika S. Chadbourn, Judith W. Mellins, and Lynne Hollyer, 1983.

Scott, Austin Wakeman. Papers, 1906-1979: Finding Aid.
Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections Repository

Harvard Law School Library's Historical & Special Collections (HSC) collects, preserves, and makes available research materials for the study of the law and legal history. HSC holds over 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts, over 100,000 rare books, and more than 70,000 visual images.

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