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The Red Set

Red Set books

The history of the Red Set dates from the 1890s when the Library began to preserve in a non-circulating collection one copy of each book or article published by the faculty. The name, "Red Set," derives from the red buckram used to bind most items placed in this special collection. A more inclusive plan for the collection grew out of this effort. To that end, the Library has developed the Red Set as a separate special collection in an attempt to preserve all publications of the Law School. In most cases, the Red Set copy is a duplicate copy of a circulating item that the Library acquires and maintains in its open circulating collection. Materials in the Red Set are catalogued in HOLLIS (the University's on-line library catalogue); the locator "Red Set" indicates that the item can be consulted in Special Collections.

Currently the Red Set is made up of three distinct categories of materials. The most clearly defined category consists of faculty-authored publications, including books, articles, and speeches. The next category includes publications by Law School offices, departments, and programs. Many of these are published on an annual basis, such as registration booklets or annual reports of programs. This group also contains a miscellany of faculty committee reports intended for public circulation. The last and most difficult category to define consists of student-created material including prize essays, graduate theses and dissertations, student-edited law reviews, and the non-serial publications of student-run organizations, of which there are currently more than seventy.

For more information about the Red Set, please contact:

Margaret Peachy, Curator of Digital Collections
Phone: (617) 496-9732
Email: mpeachy@law.harvard.edu

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