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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601676

Jens Iverson Westergard papers


This collection contains materials chiefly relating to personal and family affairs, but also includes miscellaneous material relating to Westengard's work in Siam as adviser to the government, 1903-1915, and papers and notes relating to his work as a Harvard Law School professor.


  • Creation: 1885 - 1945

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.


5 boxes

The Westengard Papers is a collection madeup of documents that vary widely in form and time period. The materials range from correspondence, which covers the period from 1885-1921, with one postcard dated as late as 1945, to lecture notes, a compilation of cases on admiralty, memorial/souvenir monographs from Siam, photographs, and ephemera.

The correspondence of the Westengard Papers is divided in three ways. The first group is organized by recipient (e.g. wife, son, etc.). The second group is organized by subject (e.g. official: Siam, biographical, etc.). The third group consists of correspondence written by people other than Westengard.

The bulk of the correspondence is of a personal nature. Mrs. Westengard was not with her husband for the majority of the time that he spent in Siam, so there is voluminous correspondence between the two. The collection is limited in information as to Westengard's official and diplomatic responsibilities, and deals primarily with items of interest to Mrs. Westengard as the bulk of the official correspondence was forwarded by JIW to his wife with his notes of explanation.

Among Westengard's correspondents were: Joseph Henry Beale; Chulalongkorn (Rama V), King of Siam 1868-1910; Devawongse, Prince (Siam); Charles W. Eliot; Robert L. Raymond; and Edward Henry Strobel.

Another primary part of this collection are the Westengard's lecture notes and case compilations, which deal mostly with Harvard Law School Admiralty courses, but there are also lecture notes for Westengard's course on Torts. The notes are mostly typed, with manuscripts additions, and pasted or laid-in text of legal documents. While there are no dates on these materials, it is probable that the Torts notes date from 1916, when Westengard collaboratively taught with Roscoe Pound, and the notes on Admiralty likely fall between, 1916-1919, when Westengard was an active Admiralty instructor.

Several memorial books and copies of coronation programs are part of the ephemera in Westengard collection. All date from Westengard's service in Siam and are bound in red leather embossed with the Siamese crest or, in the case of the larger volumes, a metal crest is attached to the front cover.

The Westengard pictures are mostly of the period between 1890 and 1920. Many are family photos, particularly of Westengard and his son Aubrey. There are also many photos of Siam and of Siamese Royal and official functions. In addition there is some miscellaneous memorabilia, which includes decorations, programs, etc. from Siam.

Historical/Biographical Information

Westengard, Jens Iverson, lawyer, educator, diplomat, judge.

b. Sept. 14, 1871.

s. Abel A. and Nelsigne D. (Iverson) Westengard.

West Division High School, Chicago, Ill., 1888.

LL.B. Harvard, 1898.

A.M. Harvard (honorary), 1903.

m. Rebecca A. Prosser, London, England, July 16, 1898.

In real estate and banking business, Chicago, 1890-1895.

Practiced law in Boston, 1899-1903.

Instructor of law, 1898; assistant professor of law, 1899-1903; Bemis Professor of International Law 1915-1918, Harvard Law School.

Assistant general adviser to His Siamese Majesty's Govt. 1903; acting general adviser Dec. 1905-Feb. 1907 and Feb. 1908-April 1909; general adviser with rank of minister plenipotentiary, April 1909-Sept. 1915.

Appointed member of Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration 1911.

Judge, Supreme Court of Appeals of Siam, 1911.

Siamese title: Phya Kalyan Maitri; decorated with Grand Cross of the Crown of Siam; spl. second class of Chula Chom Klao; second class of Order of Ratanaphorn (Siam); Officer of Legion of Honor (France); Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog (Denmark).

d. Sept. 17, 1918, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Series List

  1. Series I. Correspondence
  2. Series II. Books and Lecture Notes
  3. ___ Suberies A. Cases on Admiralty
  4. ___ Subseries B. Siamese Memorial Books
  5. ___ Subseries C. Lecture Notes
  6. Series IV. Material Transferred to the Art Collection
  7. Material Transferred to the Class Notes Collection

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Series I and part of Series II of the Westengard Papers were donated to the Harvard Law School Library by Julie Grenier in December 1971. Julie Grenier's mother, a close friend of Mrs. Westengard, was given these materials by Mrs. Westengard. Mrs. Grenier handed the materials down to her daughter Julie. The Harvard Law School Library's accession books record the Cases on Admiralty material in Series II of this collection as a gift from the Westengard Estate, received on March 24, 1954.

Processing Information

Prepared by Virginia Agnew Gartrell, August 1976.

Westengard, Jens Iverson. Papers, 1885-1945: Finding Aid.
Harvard Law School LibraryCambridge, MA 02138
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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