Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601709

Arthur E. Sutherland papers


This collection contains materials relating to Sutherland's teaching, writing, research and professional activities, and to his interest in constitutional law.


  • Creation: 1923 - 1972

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.


68 linear feet (98 boxes); (19 Paige boxes)

The Arthur E. Sutherland Papers span the years 1923 to 1972, with the bulk of the material dating from 1950, when Professor Sutherland joined the Harvard Law School faculty.

The Papers include correspondence (both incoming and carbons of outgoing mail); manuscripts of published and unpublished writings and speeches; notes; drafts; outlines; lists; bibliographies; research material; legislative and legal documents; judicial decisions; reports; memoranda; galley proofs; newspaper clippings; printed items; photographs; phonograph records; and tapes.

The Papers relate to Professor Sutherland's teaching, writing, research, and other professional activities. Professor Sutherland's special field was constitutional law, and a large portion of his Papers relates to this field of law. The Papers include teaching notes of courses given by Professor Sutherland at Cornell Law School, Harvard Law School and Harvard College, and special lectureships such as the Rundell Lectures, delivered at the University of Wisconsin Law School November 16, 17 and 18, 1955, the lectures delivered at Oxford (England) as Fulbright Lecturer in 1956, the lectures on constitutional rights of minorities given over The Voice of America (radio) in 1960, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures delivered at the University of North Carolina October 1, 2 and 3, 1963, the Meiklejohn Lecture delivered at Brown University May 1, 1964, and the Edward Douglass White Lecture delivered at Georgetown University Law Center October 21, 1964.

Another sizeable group of the Papers consists of Professor Sutherland's research materials, notes and drafts for the manuscript of section of the book Constitutional Law: Cases and Other Problems (1967 edition, in 2 volumes, by A.E. Sutherland, Paul E. Freund, Mark De Wolfe Howe, and Ernest J. Brown); there is also a fair amount of correspondence relating to his research for this manuscript. A third important group in the Papers relates to Mr. Sutherland's work as reporter-in-chief, and subsequently as consultant, on the Model Code of Pre-arraignment Procedure for the American Law Institute (1959-1965). A fourth group are the so-called Sunday Laws research files, which Professor Sutherland assembled while serving as chairman of a committee, appointed by Governor Volpe of Massachusetts. A fifth sizeable group of papers relates to Professor Sutherland's work as chairman of the Harvard Law School Faculty Committee which arranged the conference "Government Under Law," held at the Harvard Law School in September of 1955 on the occasion of the bicentennial of John Marshall's birth.

Included in the Papers are drafts in various stages of Professor Sutherland's two books, The Law at Harvard (1967) and Lawyer in America (which will be published posthumously). There is a sizeable amount of research materials assembled by Sutherland in connection with the writing of these monographs. Other small groups of material deal with Sutherland's participation as a member of state, professional or academic commissions and committees, such as the New York State Commission on the Quality, Cost and Financing of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Harvard Law School Committee on the Neiman Fellows, the New York State Constitutional Convention, and the so-called Federalism Project.

Correspondence in Professor Sutherland's Papers relates predominantly to his professional activities and research. The two Correspondence Series include both letters received and carbons of letters sent. However, beginning with 1962, Sutherland kept the carbons of letters sent in notebooks, each covering approximately one calendar year; these notebooks were placed in Paige Boxes 3 and 4.

Professor Sutherland's correspondents ranged from professional colleagues, fellow attorneys and Law School alumni to members of the judiciary. Some of his more important correspondents were: Elijah Adlow; Raymond Pace Alexander; William J. Brennan, Jr.; Emanuel Celler; Grenville Clark; Thomas Gardener Corcoran; Zelman Cowan; Archibald Cox; Ami Cutter; Robert F. Drinan; Samuel J. Ervin; Felix Frankfurter; Henry J. Friendly; Robert W. Kastenmeier; Kenneth B. Keating; John F. Kennedy; Edward J. Lumbard; Thomas J. Michie; J.D.B. Mitchell; John Lord O'Brian; Roscoe Pound; Nathan M. Pusey; Robert E. Quinn; Paul C. Reardon; John O. Rogge; Leverett Saltonstall; Samuel A. Stouffer; and Andre Tunc.

The Sutherland Papers also contains a group of tapes of interviews, speeches, and various other academic celebrations. Of special interest are Professor Sutherland's tape recordings of the reminiscences of Dean Roscoe Pound and Professor Austin Wakeman Scott.

Historical/Biographical Information

Sutherland, Arthur Eugene, attorney, law professor, legal scholar.

b. Rochester, N.Y., February 9, 1902.

s. Arthur E. and Eleanor (Reed) S.

Educated in public and private schools, U.S. and Switzerland.

A.B. Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 1922.

LL.B., Harvard, 1925; J.S.D., Suffolk University, 1960.

m. Margaret Adams, September 10, 1927 (deceased January, 1958); children: David Adams, Peter Adams, Eleanor Reed, and Prudence.

m. second Mary Genung Kirk, February 21, 1959.

Associated with American Commission for Relief in the Near East, in Asia Minor and Thrace, 1919.

Admitted to the New York State Bar, 1926; practiced in Rochester, New York, 1926-1941.

Secretary to Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. Supreme Court, 1927-1928.

Commissioner, Uniform State Laws of New York, 1948-1950.

Professor of Law, Cornell University, 1945-1950.

Professor of Law, Harvard, 1950-1955; Bussey Professor of Law, 1955-1970; Bussey Professor of Law Emeritus, 1970-

Purington Visiting Professor of Political Science, Mt. Holyoke College, 1958-1959.

Fulbright Lecturer, Oxford University (England), 1956.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Lecturer under the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise, presented at University of North Carolina, 1963.

Delegate, New York State Constitutional Convention, 1938.

Trustee of Mt. Holyoke College.

Served with United States Army, 1941-1945; Office of Under-Secretary of War, Headquarters, 1st Infantry Division, Headquarters 5th Army; U.S. Forces, Austria; in Mediterranean and E.T.O.; Discharged as colonel, 1945; ret. Colonel. O.R.C.

American Legion of Merit with Cluster, Bronze Star Medal (U.S.) Order Brit. Empire; Cross of War (twice) (France); Czechoslovakian War Cross; Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco); Volontari della Liberta, Italy.

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Member American Law Institute; American, New York State Bar Associations.

d. March 8, 1973.


Cases and Materials on Commercial Cases and Other Problems, 1952; and also The Law of Transactions (with others), 1951.

Constitutional Law and One Man Among Many, 1956.

Constitutionalism in America, 1965.

Apology for Uncomfortable Change, 1863-1963 (The Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures, 1963), 1965.

Also other books and legal journal articles.

Series List

  1. Series I. Correspondence, Notes, Etc.

    This Series is arranged alphabetically by subject. Correspondentsinclude Harvard College and Harvard Law School colleagues, lawteachers in other parts of the United States and abroad, practicinglawyers, editors of publishing houses, former students, etc. TheSeries covers the period 1947-1969. Of interest are the foldersrelating to Sutherland's work as a consultant for the Department ofthe Army.

    The Series includes letters from Kingman Brewster,Jr.; Senators Joseph S. Clark, Sam Ervin, Jacob Javits, and KennethKeating; and Generals W.C. Westmoreland and Maxwell Taylor.

  2. Series II. Teaching Notes

    Material inthis Series consists of research materials, typewritten andhand-written notes and assignments. Courses dealt with all relate toconstitutional law. The course entitled Constitutional Law was a lawschool course taught by Sutherland at Cornell and HarvardUniversities, 1946-1961. Government 224A and Social Sciences 4 wereundergraduate courses taught at Harvard University. For copies ofHarvard Law School examinations given by Sutherland see SeriesHarvard Miscellany, Harvard Law School: Examinations.

  3. Series III. Writings: Cases on Constitutional Law

    This Series relates to Constitutional Law: Cases and Other Problems , 1967 edition, by Arthur E. Sutherland, Paul A. Freund, MarkDeWolfe Howe and Ernest J. Brown. The Series consists ofcorrespondence, research material and notes on the various topics andcases involved.

  4. Series IV. Other Writings, Speeches, Special Lectures, BookReviews, Etc.

    This Series consists of notes,drafts, research material, final typewritten manuscripts, andreprints of some of Sutherland's writings and speeches as well ascorrespondence about some individual pieces of writing. A substantialpart of this MS material deals with the functioning of the UnitedStates Supreme Court from an historical viewpoint and with specialreference to the decisions of the 1950's.

    The material in thisSeries is organized chronologically by date of publication or date ofpresentation.

  5. Series V. The American Law Institute

    This Series relates to Sutherland's work on the Model Code ofPre-arraignment Procedure. It deals primarily with the period1959-1965, although there is some material dated prior to 1959. TheSeries is divided into three parts. The first is correspondence bothrelated and unrelated to the Pre-arraignment Project. The second is aresearch file, and the last contains drafts of reports and othermaterials dealing directly with the Pre-arraignment Project. Alsoworking with Sutherland on the Project were Miss Susan Shapiro, Mr.James Vorenberg, Mr. Edward Barrett, and Mr. Robert Williams.

    Sutherland was the original Reporter-in-Chief; he resigned butremained a consultant throughout. His successors as Reporters wereJames Vorenberg and Paul Bator.

  6. Series VI. Sunday Laws Research Files

    OnJune 13, 1961 Governor Volpe of Massachusetts appointed a committee,with Sutherland as chairman, to study and make recommendationsconcerning the Sunday Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ThisSeries contains correspondence from numerous organizations andindividuals, research material, notes, drafts, and final copies ofthe report to the Governor. The report includes both minority andmajority recommendations for changing the relevant statutes.Sutherland signed the minority version which recommended moreextensive amendments than did the majority draft.

  7. Series VII. Government Under Law: The John MarshallBicentennial at the Harvard Law School

    Aconference on "Government Under Law" was held at the Harvard LawSchool in September 1955 on the occasion of the bicentennial of JohnMarshall's birth. Sutherland was chairman of the faculty committeethat arranged the conference. This Series consists of correspondenceand drafts of speeches made at the conference. Speakers includedUnited States Chief Justice Earl Warren, Supreme Court Justice FelixFrankfurter, The Rt. Hon. Sir Raymond Evershed, Master of the Rolls,England, Professor Andre Tunc of the University of Grenoble,Professor Herbers Wechsler of Columbia University, Thurgood Marshall,United States District Judge Charles Wyzanski, The Hon. PatrickKerwin, Chief Justice of Canada, and The R. Hon. Sir Owen Dixon,Chief Justice of Australia.

  8. Series VIII. Harvard Miscellany

    ThisSeries consists of correspondence with colleagues, speeches atHarvard Clubs and Harvard Law School Associations throughout thecountry, and material relating to the Harvard Law School Model Trial,the Sutherland Club, and other Harvard University activities. Theperiod covered is 1951-1969.

  9. Series IX. Correspondence

    Correspondence in this Series is with colleagues, practicingattorneys, former students, and academic institutions. Somecorrespondence about pending legislation or legal cases of nationalinterest is included.

    Correspondence is of a professionalnature, although it contains some personal matters relating toSutherland's correspondents. The period covered is mainly the 1950'sand 1960's. Materials are arranged alphabetically bycorrespondent.

  10. Series X. Teaching Notes: Miscellaneous Courses, Materials

    This Series contains mainly material onSutherland's course and seminars on Commercial Law and a course andseminar he taught in the college entitled Government 224-A, whichdealt with current problems in American Constitutional Law. The typesof material included are syllabi, notes, student papers, legal casesused as illustrations of points, and printed items. The periodcovered is 1950 to 1965.

  11. Series XI. Bill of Rights Seminar

    Thesefolders contain material pertaining to the Seminar on the Bill ofRights and the Fourteenth Amendment taught by Sutherland as aConstitutional Law course at the Harvard Law School. Material in thisSeries consists of reading lists, outlines of seminars, lists ofstudents who attended seminars, students' "work in progress," studentpapers, Sutherland's notes, and some clippings.

    Materials arearranged chronologically, and cover the period 1950 to 1968.

  12. Series XII. Writings: The Law at Harvard

    This Series relates to the publication of Sutherland's book TheLaw at Harvard. Materials include correspondence with HarvardUniversity Press, fan mail, requests for copies, book reviews,permissions, research items, pictures used in book, and some galleysheets. The book was commissioned for the Sesquicentennialcelebration of the Harvard Law School in 1967. The Series covers theperiod 1966-1969.

  13. Series XIII. Writings: Lawyer in America

    The book Lawyers in America was commissioned by the American BarAssociation for the celebration of its Centennial in 1978. Sutherlandcompleted the manuscript before his death in 1973.

    The Seriescontains drafts in various stages of the various chapters;handwritten and typed notes; and bibliographies, indices and a largeamount of research material assembled by Sutherland for this project,both in printed and Xerox form.

  14. Series XIV. Other Writings, Speeches, Special Lectures

    This Series consists of materials pertainingto articles, speeches, lectures, and book reviews written orpresented by Sutherland from 1940 to 1963. Folders contain notes,drafts and research materials as well as reprints of some ofSutherland's articles and speeches. Some correspondence aboutindividual reviews or speeches is also included. One central theme inthese writings is the relation of the individual to the democraticsociety around him, and the questions in constitutional law raised bythis relationship.

  15. Series XV. Research Notes and Materials

    This Series consists of material on specific cases whichSutherland used for his lectures and books, and of a set of indexcards on "arrest," with citations under a variety ofsub-headings.

  16. Series XVI. The American Law Institute

    This Series relates to Sutherland's work on the Model Code ofPrearraignment procedure. It supplements the material in ContingentI. on the same topic. Material in this group covers the period 1962to 1969, and includes mainly drafts and research materials.

  17. Series XVII. New York State Commission on the Quality, Cost andFinancing of Elementary and Secondary Education

    Folders in this Series pertain to affairs of this Commission ofwhich Sutherland was a member. The Commission was created when NewYork Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and the State Board of Regentsappointed 16 citizens who were all interested in public schools andtheir problems, in October 1969. The Commission's goal was toevaluate the state's present educational system and recommend ways toimprove it. The Commission prepared its findings during 1970 and1971.

    Much of the material in this Series consists of Xeroxcopies of reports to the Commission, speeches, and memoranda.

  18. Series XVIII. Nieman Fellows

    Niemanfellowships are awarded by Harvard University to professionaljournalists for one year of study at Harvard covering broad orspecific subjects of their choice. These fellowships were createdunder a bequest by Agnes Wahl Nieman "to promote and elevatestandards of journalism"; her husband, Lucius W. Nieman, founded theMilwaukee Journal.

    This Series includes memoranda and outlinesannouncing topics that were to be discussed by the Nieman Fellowas asa group with Harvard Law School faculty members. Sutherland was amember of the Harvard Law School Committee that arranged thesemeetings. This Series covers the period 1951 to 1966.

  19. Series XIX. Miscellaneous Subjects

    ThisSeries includes a miscellany of professional projects in whichSutherland was involved in a minor way and of personal items such asHarvard class reunions, clippings about himself, and legal cases inwhich he served in the capacity of arbitrator or counsel.

  20. Series XX. Paige Boxes

    Items in thisgroup were transferred to the Harvard Law School Library fromProfessor Sutherland's office in January 1974. Much of this materialwas kept or placed by Professor Sutherland inside 3-hole notebookcovers, for convenience of storage and retrieval. Also includesaddena added to the Sutherland Papers in August 2004. This lateraddenda includes letters of recommendation Sutherland wrote forstudents, which are closed to the public.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Contact Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Archives.

Processing Information

Prepared by Danny Brudney and Tom Brudney, August, 1972; July, 1974.

Sutherland, Arthur E. Papers, 1923-1972: 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.

1545 Massachusetts Avenue
Langdell Hall
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-4550