The Library of Congress > American Memory
banner image
return to home page table of contents about the guide abbreviations search banner image

Manuscript Division



Women's Suffrage
Health and Medicine
Papers of Presidents and First Ladies
Congressional Collections
Legal Collections
Women Justices, Judges, and Attorneys
Supreme Court Justices
arrow graphicState and Appellate Judges
Lawyers and Litigants
Military and Diplomatic Affairs
Literature and Journalism
Artists, Architects, and Designers
Actresses and Actors




State and Appellate Judges

Supplementing the papers of Supreme Court justices are the papers of many lower-court judges, especially those who played a vanguard role in the modern civil rights movement, such as:

  • Simon Ernest Sobeloff (95,000 items; 1882-1973; 1950-73) [catalog record]
  • J. Skelly Wright (81,200 items; 1933-87; bulk 1948-86) [catalog record]
  • Frank Minis Johnson (116,000 items; 1945-89; bulk 1955-86) [catalog record].

J. Skelly Wright's papers include letters from his former law clerk Susan Estrich (b. 1952), who later became the presidential campaign manager for Michael Dukakis and a noted legal expert on rape.

see caption below

Judge Benjamin Barr Lindsey. Photographer Harry M. Rhoads, [between 1930 and 1940?]. Western History/Geneaology Department, Denver Public Library. Rh-594.
bibliographic record

The papers of U.S. District Court judge Gerhard Alden Gesell (60,000 items; 1956-93) [catalog record] include materials on United States v. Vuitch (1971), an important abortion case that laid the groundwork for Roe v. Wade. Also of interest is Gesell's sentencing file (1968-92), which reflects the vast economic and demographic changes in the District of Columbia over a twenty-year period and contains valuable social data about families, crime, the judicial system, and race relations.

Joining the papers of federal judges are those of several state judges. Ben B. Lindsey (95,000 items; 1886-1954) [catalog record] was a judge and social reformer who helped to develop the juvenile court system in Colorado and California. Lindsey corresponded with many women reformers, and his subject files concern child labor laws, penal reform, women's suffrage, birth control, marriage, divorce, sex education and hygiene, and the Women's Protective League.

Charles Mason, justice of the Iowa territorial supreme court recorded in his diaries, 1836-82, located in the Charles Mason Remey Family Papers (1,225 items; 1778-1949; bulk 1855-1932) [catalog record], his work on behalf of women's rights, including his support of equal pay for equal work.

red line
Home Table of Contents About the Guide Abbreviations Search
The Library of Congress> > American Memory