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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 9347103

Nason & Proctor briefs


This collection consists of seven volumes of Massachusetts court documents, mostly briefs in matters of tort and contract law, filed on behalf of Nason & Proctor's Boston-area clients.


  • Creation: 1894-1926.

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 (2 Paige boxes)

The collection consists of seven volumes dating from 1894 to 1926. They contain Massachusetts court documents, mostly briefs, filed on behalf of Nason & Proctor's Boston-area clients.

The cases cover a wide range of subject matter in tort and contract law. Some are wills and estates cases; of additional interest are the Commissioner of Banks cases (Volume 6), dealing with the liability of stockholders in trust companies. Many documents are heavily annotated in ink and colored pencil.

Historical/Biographical Information

The Boston law firm of Nason & Proctor first appears in Hubbell's legal directory in 1895, advertising its services in "Mercantile, Insolvent, and Corporation Law. All the Courts." That advertisement ran nearly unchanged through 1931, the year of its last appearance in the directory.

Little is known about Robert W. Nason; his biography does not appear alongside his law partner's in either Hubbell's or Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Two Volumes (William T. Davis, Boston, 1895). He was admitted to the bar in 1875 and apparently died before 1930, if not much earlier.

Thomas William Proctor was born in Hollis, New Hampshire November 20, 1858. After attending Dartmouth College (A.B., 1879) he enrolled at Boston University where he earned his LL.B.. He was admitted to the bar in October 1883. He began his legal practice with John H. Hardy and Samuel J. Elder in the firm of Hardy, Elder & Proctor, which became Elder & Proctor in 1885. Before his association with Nason, Proctor also served as Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney (1886-1891) and Boston City Solicitor (1891-1894).

Nason & Proctor appears to have dissolved in 1931 or 1932, apparently upon Proctor's death. It is not known how or when the collection left the Nason & Proctor offices.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

According to the bookplates, the series is part of a larger 15-volume set, received by the Harvard Law Library December 24, 1932. The HLS Accession Books and the bookplates also record that the collection was a gift of " Gordon, Proctor & Hoar, " but no record exists in Martindale-Hubbell of a firm by that name. The resemblance to that of one of Boston's oldest and largest law firms, Goodwin, Procter & Hoar (now Goodwin Procter LLP, no relation to Thomas W. Proctor) is obvious, but for that reason it seems an unlikely mistake.

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Carter, 2004.

Nason & Proctor. Briefs, 1894-1926: 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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