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For scholars of law, history, and government—and the American public—the papers of all Supreme Court Justices are of vital importance. They contribute to biographies, histories, and legal critiques. Our understanding of the Court and its decisions is enriched by access to the thinking of the justices. In turn, this knowledge informs our views on our laws and social order and helps shape the future of our legal, political, and even moral culture. Despite the importance of these papers, many justices who have donated their papers in the past 75 years or so have placed restrictions on access to the collection. These restrictions generally keep the papers closed until a certain amount of time has passed. This time period may be a few years or decades, but the trend is toward restriction for longer periods of time.


Poster presented at American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, July 15-19, 2016.