Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS12144302

Michael Smith and Herbert Packer research materials on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit


Research materials collected by Michael Smith and Herbert Packer for a book they planned on writing about the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The materials include court opinions, interviews about several judges who sat on the court's bench, and some of Augustus Hand's correspondence.


  • 1910-1972

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.


27 boxes (27 linear feet)
The research materials collected by Michael Smith and Herbert Packer about the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit span the years 1910 to 1972 with the bulk of the material between 1925-1970. The materials were collected by Smith and Packer as part of a project to write a history of the court; unfortunately, both of them passed away before the book was completed.

The collection is focused on six influential judges who sat on the court's bench: Learned Hand, Augustus Hand, Jerome Frank, Charles Clark, Thomas Swan, and Julian Mack. It includes their opinions on cases heard in the court 1927-1954; transcripts of interviews by friends, colleagues and family members; research materials collected by Packer, Smith and their assistants about each of the judges; research note slips containing notes and citations; and collected writings, speeches and correspondence. Of note in the collection are ten copying books that belonged the Augustus Hand. These books contain copies of the letters written by Hand from 1914 to 1926.

Historical/Biographical Information

Professor Herbert Packer, of Stanford Law School, began gathering these research materials on the Second Circuit in order to write a history of the court. His research was cut short by his death in 1972 and Professor Michael Smith of Berkeley Law School took up the project. Professor Smith was not able to complete the book before his death in 2009. The reasearch project received support from the William Nelson Crowmell Foundation, presumably from 1967 to 1973, as indicated by the files in the collection.

Professor Herbert Leslie Packer, 1925-1972, was a member of the Stanford Law School faculty, 1956-1972. He had received his B.A. (1944) and LL.B. (1949) from Yale. During his career, Packer published four books: The Limits of the Criminal Sanction, Ex-Communist Witnesses: Four Studies in Fact Finding, The State of Research in Anti-Trust Law, and New Directions in Legal Education.

Professor Michael E. Smith, 1935-2009, spent his career as a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, joining the faculty in 1967. He had one brief respite from teaching in 1976-1977 when he served as Chief Ftaff Counsel to the U. S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia. Smith received his B.A. (1956) from Haverford College, his M.A. in government (1963) from Harvard University, and his J.D. (1964) from the University of Michigan. Smith also returned to school later in his life, earning another M.A. (1982) in moral theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Through the course of his research on the Second Circuit, Smith published three articles on the subject: "Judge Charles E. Clark and the Rules of Civil Procedure," "How Liberated Was Judge Jerome Frank?," and "Justice on Appeal."

Series List/Description

  1. Series I. Opinions, 1927-1954 1927-1954

    Typescript opinions from the United States Courtof Appeals for the Second Circuit. The opinions are arrangedchronologically by year, and alphabetically by case name within eachyear.

  2. Series II. Interviews and Transcripts, 1958-1972 1958-1972

    Transcripts of interviews conducted by Gerald Gunther (GG), HerbertPacker (HLP), and Jack Molloy(Molloy) of colleagues, friends, and family members of Judges Learned Hand, Augustus Hand, Jerome Frank, CharlesClark, Thomas Swan, and Julian Mack. The interview transcripts arearramged alphabetically by interviewee.

  3. Series III. Research materials

    Background materials about the court and thejudges collected by Smith, Packer and their research assistants. Themajority of this series is divided up by judges. The categorizationof the files reflects Smith's and Packer's original arrangement.

  4. Series IV. Research note slips, 1910-1959 1910-1959

    4"x6" cards containing citations and notes. Mostare arranged chronologically within file boxes that representdifferent research topics such as interest, patents, and the SupremeCourt.

  5. Series V. Correspondence, Publications, Writings, and Notes, 1921-1972 1921-1972

    Primarily speeches written and presented byAugustus Hand, in addition to publications related to the court, andphotocopied letters of FelixFrankfurter.

  6. Series VI. Augustus Hand Copying Books, 1914-1926 1914-1926

    Ten Chadwick Copying Books of August Hand. Analphabetical index is included at beginning of eachvolume.

    Within each series and/or subseriesindividual items or folders are identified by box and folder number.For example, the number 5-12 corresponds to box 5, folder 12.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Harvard Law School Library by Martha Smith, wife of Michael Smith, in September 2009.

General note

The collection also includes some audio cassettes of the interviews described in Series II. Access to these tapes is restricted.

Processing Information

Processed by Margaret Peachy, December 2009
Link to catalog
Michael Smith and Herbert Packer research materials on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1910-1972: Finding Aid
Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA 02138

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