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Robert Crown Law Library's Special Collections Guide


Robert Crown Law Library Special Collections identifies, collects, and preserves records of enduring value and cultural history for the Robert Crown Law Library and Stanford Law School.  Special Collections supports the curriculum, clinics, and programs of the school by gathering accurate, authentic, and selected records of the life at the Robert Crown Law Library and Stanford Law School using the highest standards of records management.  

It is the goal of Special Collections to preserve representative documents of the history of Stanford Law School, and to support the work and research of Stanford Law School faculty, staff, students, and alumni and to tell the story of the school’s development.  The collection is focused on the following areas:

  • Student-Related Materials. The archive strives to preserve student publications and materials related to social events and student experiences at Robert Crown Law School.  These records showcase student development as future professionals in the legal field, as well as the active student organizations at the Crown Quadrangle.
  • Faculty Materials. The collection includes faculty handbooks, photographs, and book listings with an emphasis on faculty publications. 
  • Stanford Law School Publications and Records.  The Robert Crown Law Library  preserves selective records from administrators and academic departments of the law school.  

Navigating the Collection

Finding aids are the archive/special collection equivalent of a catalogue entry for a specific section of records.  Each finding aid includes a summary of materials that can be found within the collection, explains how the institution has processed the collection, enumerates any restrictions on the use of the materials, and describes how the collections and indexes were acquired.  The information presented is standardized and structured.  The data, summaries, and key terms selected are manually generated by the Special Collections Librarian.  They describe  a series of documents; rarely do they describe a single document. 

Collections are the overarching theme or origin of an entire record set provided by a donor or an organization.  They are organized by the highest creator group and given a generalized summary of all materials contained.  These records are then sub-divided into more specific record sets or creators’ groups called “series”.  These series consist of  records that share a similar function, related subjects, or format specific records (e.g. maps, photographs, and recordings). 

Every level of organization will have a title with two different date styles and a description.  The title identifies the materials set.  The first date style is inclusive dates, which are the two extremes of the earliest and latest dated documents found within the record series.  The second, known as bulk dates indicate when the majority of the documents were created.  With every level of record, there is a description field which outlines a summary of content and subject matter contained within that section of materials.  As part of the description, the type and nature of the material will be outlined to help the researcher’s ability to judge whether or not this series is relevant to their research interest.  As a result, the summary will be written in broad terms, including only the most frequent organization names or personal names that appear within the documents. (e.g. Law Review, Nathan Abbott, Stanford Black Law Students Association) 

Requesting Records/In Person Research

Once you have identified materials you would like to access, place a request to view those items by emailing the Special Collections Librarian with the Title, Identifier Number or Accession Number.   All materials pulled from Special Collections must be viewed within the Special Collections Reading Room, which has limited seating capacity for researchers on any given day.  Appointments to view Special Collections materials must be made in advance.. Please make sure your appointment has been confirmed by the Special Collection Librarian prior to traveling to the Robert Crown Law Library.

Special Collections Consultations

Please contact Special Collections, regarding the Robert Crown Library’s Special Collections, hours, or to schedule an appointment.

Contact Information: