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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 5995928

E. (Edwin) Merrick Dodd papers


The papers of E. (Edwin) Merrick Dodd consist of materials related to Dodd’s professional activities as professor of law, author, and legal scholar.


  • 1932 - 1951

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. Access to unpublished Harvard administrative records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation of the record. Access to student and personnel records is restricted for 80 years. This collection is housed off-site at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice of two business days. Consult the Historical and 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 Historical and 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 (4.59 linear feet in 11 Hollinger boxes)
E. (Edwin) Merrick Dodd was a legal scholar, author, and professor at Harvard Law School between 1928-1951, where he taught courses and wrote about business organizations, corporate finance, corporate reorganization, and labor law. With a few exceptions, this collection is comprised of law school office files relating to Dodd’s professional activities at Harvard, including: reports; minutes of meetings; professional correspondence; teaching materials; drafts of writings, speeches, and lectures; pamphlets; poems. There is virtually no family-related or other personal material. The collection offers a rich view of academic life at Harvard during the 1930s and 1940s. The law school committee files contain information on contemporary issues in legal education curriculum and admissions, including the admission of veterans returning from World War II.

Historical/Biographical Information

October 31, 1898
Born Providence, Rhode Island.
A.B., Harvard College.
LL.B., Harvard Law School.
Practiced law with Brandeis, Dunbar & Nutter, Boston.
Practiced law with Herrick, Smith, Donald & Farley, Boston.
Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University.
Legal Section, United States War Industries Board.
Practiced law with Channing, Corneau & Frothingham, Boston; member of firm, 1920-22.
Professor of Law, University of Nebraska.
Acting Professor of Law, University of Chicago.
Married Winifred Hyde, of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Professor of Law, Harvard University; Fessenden Professor, 1946-51.
Adviser, American Law Institute Restatement of Business Associations.
Harvard University, Committee of Eight, Walsh-Sweezy appointment termination case.
Compliance Commissioner, local office of United States War Production Board.
November 3, 1951
Died with his wife in an automobile accident, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Series List/Description

The arrangement that Prof. Dodd imposed upon his files, including folder headings, was largely preserved. Exceptions are in brackets. For convenience of handling, large, bulky folders were broken up into thinner folders. Removed from the collection were: journals received in the year of his death; off-prints of journal articles by other authors and published material available elsewhere in the Harvard Library. A list of these items is available. Mail, chiefly from publishers, much unopened, was also removed.

  1. Series I. Harvard Law School. 1932-51.
  2. ___ Subseries A. Committee Work. Many files in this subseries contain information about studentsthat will not be accessible to researchers until 80 years after theirdates of creation.
  3. ___ Subseries B. General Administrative Files. Manypapers from 1951, the year of Dodd’s death, were not filed into hissystem and remain separate in this subseries.
  4. ___ Subseries C. Alphabetical Files. Dodd used an alphabetical arrangement for many of his files.Largely comprised of correspondence, this part of the collection isincomplete; the alphabet begins with the letter “I.” Thecorrespondence is primarily on topics involving the law school andthe university, including correspondence with colleagues such asRoscoe Pound and Thomas Reed Powell, and with former students.Another topic found in his correspondence is public affairs, whichDodd generally viewed from the left.
  5. ___ Subseries D. Teaching materials. This subseries contains correspondence and memoranda aboutcurricular changes affecting Dodd's Business Organizations course, aswell as notes, case summaries, and other materials for his othercourses.
  6. Series II. Walsh-Sweezy Case, 1937-38.

    Dodd was a memberof a committee of “nine senior professors," later known as theCommittee of Eight, appointed by Harvard President James BryantConant to report on the University's termination of the appointmentsof John R. Walsh and Alan R. Sweezy, junior faculty in the EconomicsDepartment. The action of the University was met with discussion,comment, and protest among students, faculty, members of theCambridge Union of University Teachers, and the public, who raisedissues of due process and academic freedom. Dodd's committee filescontain correspondence, memoranda, reports, notes, and printedmaterial regarding the case.

  7. Series III. Writing.

    With his faculty colleague Ralph J. Baker, Dodd co-edited Cases and Materials on Business Associations. The second edition was published shortly before his death.With DeForest Billyou, Dodd published Cases and Materials on Corporate Reorganization. Most of Dodd’s scholarship appeared in his many law reviewarticles. Drafts and notes for Dodd’s publications are included inthe collection. Some are in Series III: Writing; others are includedin the Series I, Subseries C: Alphabetical Files, under Law ReviewArticles and under Writings. Dodd’s manuscript for American Business Corporations until 1860: with Special Reference to Massachusetts, was published posthumously, edited by his friend andcolleague Zachariah Chafee, Jr., The manuscript and correspondenceabout the book is in the Zachariah Chafee Papers. Dodd also wrotemany letters to the editors of Boston and New York newspapers, someof which are in the Red Set.

  8. Series IV. Miscellaneous. Miscellaneous.

    This series contains a few items from outside the general scope ofDodd’s professional activities at Harvard Law School, including a lawschool class notebook and two spiral-bound notebooks that appear tobe a checklist of Nazi documents associated with the Nurembergtrials.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Contact the Curator of Modern Manuscripts for information.

Related Materials

See Papers of Zechariah Chafee, Jr., 1885-1957.

Processing Information

Processed by Janet C. Katz, 2010-2011.
Link to catalog
Dodd, E. (Edwin) Merrick, 1888-1951. Papers, 1932-1951: 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.

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