Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Hugo Black Papers

Hugo Black, 1937 (LC)
For years, anyone who wanted to consult the papers of Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress had to obtain the permission of one of the surviving donors, Hugo Black, Jr.  This turned out to be the opposite of a chore, because the justice’s son was so interested in scholars’ work and fun to talk to.  After his death, uncertainty about the existence of other surviving donors forced the Manuscript Division to defer accepting new requests for access to the collection, but I now have good news to report.  Jeff Flannery, the Head of Reference and Reader Services at the Manuscript Division, tells me that “restrictions to access the Hugo Black Papers have been removed by the surviving donor, with the exception of one letter which relates to family matters.”  Presumably, the Division will provide access to that letter after the lifetime of the surviving donor.  Rverything else is open now.