University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Harry A. Bigelow Papers 1925-1948

© 2007 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Bigelow, Harry A. Papers




2.5 linear ft. (5 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Harry A. Bigelow (JD’1899 Harvard Law) spent the bulk of his teaching career at the University of Chicago Law School. Joining the faculty just two years after the founding of the program and named Dean in 1929, Bigelow was instrumental in guiding the early development of the School. The Papers consist almost exclusively of correspondence.

Information on Use


No restrictions.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Bigelow, Harry A. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Harry A. Bigelow (1874-1950) was born in Norwood, Massachussetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1896 and went on to earn a law degree from his alma mater in 1899. He spent one year teaching criminal law at Harvard before relocating to Honolulu where he practiced law for three years. Bigelow married in 1902. His wife, Mary Parker, died in 1920. In 1904 he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, which had been founded just two years prior. Bigelow spent the remainder of his career at the University of Chicago, serving as Dean of the Law School from 1929 through to his retirement in 1935. As Professor Emeritus, however, Bigelow continued to teach in the Law School long after his formal retirement. An expert in property law, Bigelow served as an advisor to the American Law Institutue. He was also a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Order of the Coif. An avid big game hunter, Bigelow traveled to Africa for several expeditions. He died from heart failure in 1950 and was survived by his sister.

Scope Note

The Harry A. Bigelow Papers contain 2.25 linear feet of material and roughly cover 1925-1948, though the bulk of the materials were generated in the late 1920s. The collection consists almost entirely of correspondence. The correspondence materials, which can be found in both Series I: Papers and Correspondence and Series II: Research and Publication Materials, are largely composed of communications between Bigelow and various co-authors. Correspondence with his publisher, West Publishing Company, is also substantial. The Papers also contain a small collection of research notes and several of Bigelow’s student notebooks from Harvard. Lastly, there is a final series devoted to general files, which consist largely of undated hand-written notes.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

University of Chicago. Law School. Records

Subject Headings


Series I: Papers and Correspondence

This series contains Bigelow’s general correspondence files. While communications directly related to publication and research have, for the most part, been filed in Series II, correspondence regarding publications can also be found in Series I, in particular in the folders: Aigler, Powell, West Publishing, and White. Otherwise, the correspondence in Series I is varied, ranging from communications with university administration to personal letters exchanged with friends and acquaintances.

Box 1   Folder 1

A, 1925-1929

Box 1   Folder 2

Aigler, Ralph, 1926-1942 See also Powell and West Publishing Company; Series II: Research and Publication Materials

Box 1   Folder 3-7

American Law Institute, 1926-1929

Box 1   Folder 8

B, 1927-1942

Box 1   Folder 9

C, 1926-1948

Box 2   Folder 1

D-G, 1928-1947

Box 2   Folder 2

H, 1926-1942

Box 2   Folder 3

I-L, 1925-1932

Box 2   Folder 4

M-O, 1926-1941

Box 2   Folder 5

Madden, Joseph, 1928-1933

Box 2   Folder 6

P-S, 1926-1932

Box 2   Folder 7-8

Powell, Richard, 1926-1942 See also Aigler and West Publishing Company; Series II: Research and Publication Materials

Box 3   Folder 1

T-V, 1926-1929

Box 3   Folder 2

University of Chicago, 1927-1948

Box 3   Folder 3

W-Z, 1925-1929

Box 3   Folder 4-5

West Publishing Company, 1926-1942 See also Aigler and Powell; Series II: Research and Publication Materials

Box 3   Folder 6

White, Charles (of the Land Title Company), 1927-1928

Box 3   Folder 7

Unknown, 1927-1929

Series II: Research and Publication Materials

Box 3   Folder 8-9

Rights in Land: Correspondence with co-authors and publishers, general correspondence, notes, 1925-1945

Box 3   Folder 10

Correspondence regarding publications, 1942

Box 3   Folder 11

Correspondence regarding publications, 1943

Box 4   Folder 1

Correspondence regarding publications, 1944

Box 4   Folder 2

Correspondence regarding publications, 1945

Series III: Student Notebooks

Housed in this series are several of Bigelow’s student notebooks from his years at Harvard University. They are titled, but not dated.

Box 4   Folder 3

Property, n.d.

Box 4   Folder 4

Property, n.d.

Box 4   Folder 5

Carriers, n.d.

Box 5   Folder 1

Trusts and Sales, n.d.

Box 5   Folder 2

Corporations, n.d.

Series IV: General Files

This series contains notes, pamphlets, receipts for household expenses (many from Hyde Park businesses and other miscellaneous papers.

Box 5   Folder 3

Miscellaneous papers, n.d.

Box 5   Folder 4-7

Receipts, 1920s