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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601647

Richard H. Field papers


Much of the Richard H. Field Papers stems directly from his work as a professor and legal scholar. Roughly half of the collection relates to Field's work as chief reporter for American Law Institute's study of jurisdiction between State and Federal courts, including working papers of Field and reporters Paul J. Mishkin and Charles Alan Wright. Other material relates to his work as visiting professor at Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London (1970-1971); service with U.S. Office of Price Administration during and after World War II; and to the Alger Hiss case.


  • Creation: 1942 - 1978

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.


29 boxes

The Papers of Richard H. Field (1903-1978), attorney, educator, and legal scholar, span the years 1942 to 1978 (one item is dated 1932).

The collection includes correspondence; memoranda; minutes of meetings; reports; research notes; legal and legislative documents; holograph drafts and typed manuscripts of writings; lecture notes; lists; bound office files relating to day-to-day business of government agencies; and printed items including newspaper clippings.

The bulk of the material relates to Professor Field's professional life as a teacher and legal scholar. He was a member of the Harvard Law School faculty from 1946 to his retirement in 1973, and his major concentration in his teaching and research was in the fields of civil procedure, federal jurisdiction, and evidence. Although Professor Field retained a minimal amount of teaching notes, the Correspondence/Subject Series reflects his stature as an authority on civil procedure, evidence and professional ethics: from 1950 on he served on committees, organizations and official bodies which were charged with the drafting of new rules and codes such as the A.B.A.'s Code of Professional Responsibility, the Maine Advisory Committee's Rules of Evidence, Maine's Rules of Civil Procedure, Massachusetts' Rules Enabling Act, the Uniform Rules of Evidence of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court Advisory Committee's Rules of Civil Procedure. Field also served as arbiter on grievance committees and professional ethics investigations nationally and regionally.

A later addition to the Field Papers, a partial draft of a work that he co-authored, Materials for a Course in Civil Procedure , also stems from his work as an academic. This printed, pasted-in, and typescript draft has some manuscript notations. Roughly a third of the entire text is included in this preliminary form.

Approximately one half of the Papers comprise Professor Field's work as chief reporter for the American Law Institute's study of the division of jurisdiction between state and federal courts, a project which was conceived in 1959, initiated in 1960, and completed in 1968 with the presentation of its final report at the annual meeting of the American Law Institute. This Series represents the working papers of Richard H. Field and reporters Paul J. Mishkin of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Charles Alan Wright of the University of Texas Law School. These papers include correspondence and memos exchanged between these three, and with their assistant reporter David L. Shapiro, consultants David F. Cavers and Leavenworth Colby, and members of the American Law Institute Advisory Committee. Drafts of revisions of specific paragraphs of the existing Federal Code are included, but none are complete. The Series includes agenda of and notes on meetings of the reporters with members of their Advisory Committee and with the American Law Institute Council, comments on the six drafts and on specific paragraphs, subject-research files, and material relating to the legislative bills based on the Jurisdiction report, in particular Senate Bill 1876 (introduced May 23, 1973 by Senator Burdick). The report resulting from the Study was published by the American Law Institute in 1969 as: Study of the Division of Jurisdiction Between State and Federal Courts (xix, 587 p.).

Materials for a Basic Course in Civil Procedure. The draft is printed, with extensive manuscript annotations and corrections.

Additional professional material in the papers relate to Professor Field's stay at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London as Visiting American Professor during the academic year 1970/1971. While in England, he participated in workshops and colloquia held under the auspices of the Institute, and he served as an advisor in the drafting of the British "Legal Advice and Assistance Act" (1972). He also appeared in a West German versus East German law suit involving the Zeiss interests.

During and briefly after World War II Richard Field served in the Office of Price Administration: from 1942 to 1943 he was its regional counsel in Boston, and from 1943 to 1946 he was attached to the Office of Price Administration's headquarters in Washington, D.C., first as chief legal advisor and acting general counsel, and later as general counsel. The Papers include some correspondence, in particular with Chester Bowles, legal documents relating to cases that Richard Field argued, drafts of speeches which he prepared for President Harry S. Truman, and day-to-day working files of the Boston and Washington Offices, particularly orders and guidelines.

Of a personal-professional nature are the papers which Field kept on the Alger Hiss case. Field had been a classmate of Hiss at the Harvard Law School, and they had served on the Harvard Law Review together. During the legal proceedings against Hiss and the appeal following the second trial, Field served as treasurer for the funds contributed toward the defense of Alger Hiss (1949-1951). There is some correspondence regarding Hiss' reinstatement to the Bar of Massachusetts (reinstatement in August 1975). The Papers include correspondence (1946-1977), form letters, legal documents, lists, press releases, newspaper and other printed items.

Historical/Biographical Information

Field, Richard Hinkley, lawyer, educator, legal scholar.

b. Phillips, Maine, May 29, 1903.

s. Daniel F. and Clara E. (Hinkley) F.

grad. Phillips Exeter Academy, 1922.

A.B., Harvard University, 1926; LL.B. magna cum laude, 1929.

m. Caroline Crosby, June 28, 1930 (dec. Sept. 1966); children: Mary (Mrs. Rienzi B. Parker, Jr.), Margaret (Mrs. David L. Aronson), Daniel.

m. 2nd, Laura Deane Shaw, April 19, 1968; stepchildren: Robert, Christopher, Elisabeth, Caleb, Arthur, Caroline.

Admitted to Mass. bar, Maine bar, 1973.

Member, firm of Brown, Field & McCarthy, Boston, 1930-1942.

Assistant counsel, special commission on the control and conduct of Mass. state public utilities, 1929-1930.

Regional attorney, Office of Price Administration, Boston, 1942-1943; Chief legal advisor to O.P.A. and acting general counsel, Washington, 1943-1944; gen. Counsel, 1944-1946.

Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard University, 1946-1947.

Professor of Law, Harvard University, 1947-1968.

Story Professor of Law, Harvard University, 1968-1973; emeritus, 1973-1978.

Of counsel, Murray, Plumb & Murray, Portland, Maine, 1973-1978.

Visiting American Professor, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, U. of London, 1970-1971.

Consultant, Economic Stabilization Administration, 1950-1951.

Maine Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence, 1973-1977.

Fellow, American Bar Foundation.

Member, American Law Institute (chief reporter, div. of jurisdiction between state and fed. Courts, 1960-1968).

American, Massachusetts, Maine bar associations.

Permanent secretary, Harvard Class of 1926, 1926-1951.

d. 1978.


  1. Materials for a Basic Course in Civil Procedure, 1953, rev. 1969, 1973. (With Benjamin Kaplan)
  2. Maine Civil Practice, 1959. (With V.L. McKusick) 2nd ed., 1970. (With V.L. McKusickand L.K. Wroth)
  3. Maine Evidence, 1976. (With P.L. Murray)
  4. Also articles inprofessional journals.

Series List

  1. Series I. Correspondence/Subjects, 1953-1978 1953-1978

    ThisSeries consists of letters received and carbons of letters sent,reports, memoranda, agenda of meetings, legal documents, and printeditems. Some personal-professional correspondence is included. Thebulk of this Series relates to Field's participation in the work ofcommittees and other advisory bodies which were reviewing rules ofevidence, rules of civil procedure, and professional ethics. There isa smattering of Harvard miscellany and of legal briefs written byField as Counsel for the Portland, Maine law firm of Murray, Plumband Murray. The bulk of this correspondence covers the years from1970 to Field's last illness.

  2. Series II. Teaching Notes and Related Course Materials, 1949-1973 1949-1973

    ThisSeries contains handwritten and typed lecture notes and examinationquestions, mainly for Field's courses in Civil Procedure, Evidence,and Trial Practice. Some printed examinations, sample answers toexamination questions, moot court material, and memos are alsoincluded.

  3. Series III. Writings, Research Materials, Publication Matters, 1959-1977 1959-1977

    ThisSeries includes correspondence regarding Field's legal writings,including the third and fourth editions of his Materials for a BasicCourse in Civil Procedure (with Benjamin Kaplan). The correspondenceis mainly with Foundation Press. There is some printed researchmaterial, some with Field's marginalia, as well as correspondenceregarding the posthumous publication of Arthur E. Sutherland'smanuscript The Lawyer in America.

  4. Series IV. American Law Institute. Jurisdiction Study, 1959-1978 1959-1978

    ThisSeries contains correspondence, notes, drafts, memos, agenda ofmeetings, lists, legal and legislative documents, news clippings, andother printed material. Included is correspondence between thereporters, A.L.I. Council members, and outside advisors and expertson the planning, execution, progress, and results of the Study;correspondence about and critiques of each of the drafts and theirrevision, and notes on special parts of the drafts; two subjectsequences of research items, one of which is a sequence numbered 1through 23 by Field (an incomplete file); and copies of andcorrespondence about legislative bills based on the proposals of theStudy.

  5. Series V. Alger Hiss, 1946-1977 1946-1977

    ThisSeries consists mainly of material relating to the two perjury trialsof Alger Hiss (1949; Nov. 1949-Jan. 1950). Material consists ofcorrespondence between Alger Hiss and Field, who headed the drivesfor contributions to the Alger Hiss defense fund; correspondencebetween Field and contributors to the fund; correspondence betweenField and defense attorneys; documents relating to the legal actions;form letters; lists; financial miscellanies; and newspaperclippings.

  6. Series VI. World War II Activities, 1942-1946 1942-1946

    ThisSeries consists of correspondence, legal documents, and manuscriptsof speeches relating to the Office of Price Administration, the workof the regional offices, and efforts toward extension ofprice-controls at the conclusion of World War II. Bound files in thisSeries were placed in Paige Boxes (See listing at end ofInventory).

  7. Series VII. England, 1970/71; 1949-1972. 1970/71; 1949-1972.

    This Seriesconsists of correspondence, programs, agenda of meetings, typedcopies of papers read by Field and others, lists, memoranda, drafts,bibliographies, legal documents, and printed items including newsclippings. The Series relates to Field's activities during theacademic year 1970/71 which he spent at the Institute of AdvancedLegal Studies at the University of London.

  8. Series VIII. Partial draft of Materials for a Basic Course in Civil Procedure. n.d. n.d.

    This draft was an addenda to the originalgift, but no information is available on the source of theacquistion.

  9. Series IX. Paige boxes.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Papers of Richard H. Field (1903-1978), lawyer, educator, and legal scholar, were presented to the Harvard Law School Library as a gift on March 12, 1979 by his widow, Laura Deane Field.

Existence and Location of Copies

The Richard H. Field Papers is available on microfilm; see the HOLLIS record for more information.

Researchers are required to use the microfilm copy of the collection.

Processing Information

Prepared by Erika Chadbourn and Kim Webster, May 1979.

Field, Richard H. Papers, 1932, 1942-1978: 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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