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HOLLIS 601621

United States. Wickersham Commission. Records, 1928-1931: Finding Aid.

Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard Law School

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 601621
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: United States Wickersham Commission
Title: United States Wickersham Commission records
Date(s): 1928-1931
Quantity: 19 linear feet (38 boxes, 3 Paige boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Records of a commission chaired by former U.S. Attorney General George Wickersham, also known as the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement. Bulk of the material relates to prohibiton and narcotic law enforcement and the cost of administration of criminal justice.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The papers of the Wickersham Commission were turned over to the Harvard Law School Library by Dean Roscoe Pound, a member of the Commission, and Professor Sidney Post Simpson, who served the Commission as Director of the "Study of the Cost of Administration of Criminal Justice". No specific correspondence file exists which relates to the transfer of these papers.

Processing Information:

Prepared by John J. Feeney, Jr., May 17, 1975.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Series List

Scope and Contents

The approximately 7,000 items in the papers of the United States Wickersham Commission span the years 1928-1931. The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, minutes of meetings, transcripts, press releases, notes, financial statements, form letters, briefs and reports, drafts and outlines of reports, news clippings, and printed items.
The papers in the collection relate to the activities of the United States Wickersham Commission. Appointed by President Herbert Hoover in May, 1929, pursuant to an act of Congress, the members of the Commission were charged with the responsibility of "studying exhaustively the entire problem of the enforcement of our laws and the improvement of our judicial system, including the special problem and abuses growing out of the prohibition laws". The Commission was chaired by George W. Wickersham and included among its members Henry W. Anderson, Newton D. Baker, Ada L. Comstock, William I. Grubb, William S. Kenyon, Monte M. Lehman, Frank J. Loesch, Kenneth Mackintosh, Paul J. McCormick and Dean Roscoe Pound of the Harvard Law School. Under Wickersham's leadership the Commission pursued its studies under eleven headings: namely, Prohibition, Delinquency, Criminal Justice and the Foreign Born, Lawlessness in Law Enforcement, Penal Institutions, Probations, and Parole. By June 26, 1931, the date of the Commission's last meeting, it had completed and signed reports on all of the subjects undertaken.
While the papers in this collection cover the entire scope of the Commission's investigation, the bulk of the material deals with its work in the area of Prohibition law enforcement and the cost of the administration of criminal justice. For a detailed description of the content of these papers, see the Series Description.
Important segments of papers relating to the work of the Wickersham Commission may also be found in the following collections in the Manuscript Division of the Harvard Law School Library: Roscoe Pound Papers, Miriam Van Waters Papers.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

United States - Wickersham Commission.
Criminal justice, Administration of - United States.
Anderson, Henry W.
Comstock, Ada Louise.
Hoover, J. Edgar (John Edgar), 1895-1972.
Mackintosh, Kenneth.
Norris, George W. (George William), 1861-1944.
Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964.
Simpson, Sidney Post, 1898-1949.
National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement.