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Archives & Special Collections

The Archives of Biddle Law Library preserves, promotes, and provides access to the the papers and records of two major legal organizations: The American Law Institute (ALI), and the National Bankruptcy Archives. The archives also houses select institutional records and a number of archival collections from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


The Archives of the American Law Institute (ALI)

The ALI was established in 1923 by judges, lawyers, and law professors in an effort to promote the clarification, simplification, and scholarship of the law. The ALI Archives contains over 800 cubic feet of material documenting the administration, organization and work of the Institute, from early projects like the restatement of basic legal subjects to a collaboration with NCCUSL in developing and monitoring the Uniform Commercial Code.

View more information about the ALI collections


The National Bankruptcy Archives (NBA)

Display of archival material

In 2000 the Biddle Law Library and the American College of Bankruptcy collaborated to establish the National Bankruptcy Archives (NBA), a national repository of materials relating to the history of debtor-creditor relations, bankruptcy, and the reorganization of debt. The NBA currently contains over 1,000 linear feet of personal papers and institutional records.

View more information about the NBA collections

Explore the NBA Oral History collections



Biddle Law Library Collections

The Collections consist of manuscript collections, rare books, oral histories, and a select number of Penn’s Law School records. The manuscript collections include the papers of George Wharton Pepper, Bernie Segal, William Draper Lewis, and David L. Bazelon.

The Raymond F. Trent Collection consists of books, periodicals, articles, and audio tapes concerning the history of education and practice of black lawyers in the United States. Some records relating to the operations of Penn’s Law School are maintained by the University Archives. Please contact us for more information.


View more information about the Biddle Law Library Collections

Explore the collection of The Report the Law School’s yearbook

Explore the Penn Law Oral History Project collection

Contact & Hours

The Archives and Special Collections office is located on the second floor of Tanenbaum Hall, room T-251. The mailing address is:

University of Pennsylvania Law School
Biddle Law Library - Archives Department
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3406

For questions about the Archives, the Rare Books Collection, or other special collections, please email the Archives Department.

The Archives is open Monday-Friday, 9AM to 4PM. Appointments should be made 48 hours in advance of the visit. Visitors will be asked to show identification.