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The Peter McCall Papers: Another Dimension of the Biddle Archives

June 11, 2010



Jonathan Ellis received the Peter McCall prize at Penn Law’s 2010 graduation.   This prize is awarded annually to the member of the graduating class who has received the highest grades during their three years at Penn Law.  You might wonder, who was Peter McCall, and how did this prize originate? Peter McCall was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and Penn Law professor (1852 to 1860), who taught practice, pleadings, and evidence.  His former students and friends established the Peter McCall prize, originally in the amount of $80.00, to honor his legacy. After his resignation from Penn Law, McCall later served as a University Trustee, with fellow Penn Law professor George Sharswood.  He was also one of the founders of the Law Academy of Philadelphia, which was the first professional legal association in the United States.

The papers of Peter McCall have been added to the Biddle Law Library Archives.  The Peter McCall papers include a book of the professor’s handwritten lectures (shown above), as well as a collection of early Law Academy of Philadelphia pamphlets.  The collection reflects McCall’s dual commitments to Penn Law and the Philadelphia legal community.

The finding aid for this collection is located here.  If you’re interested in seeing any of these materials up close, contact Jordon Steele or stop by the Archives.