Campus News

January 28, 2011

Digital works of law and religion scholar open

Harold J. Berman (1918-2007)

A digital collection of writings by a pioneer of the modern study of law and religion opens Feb. 2 at Emory's Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR).

Many of these non-book writings by the late Harold J. Berman, Emory Law's first Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, have never been published, or have been available only in foreign sources.

Berman (1918-2007) wrote on the topics of law and religion, comparative legal history, Russian law and culture, legal philosophy, and private international law.

His major works have been translated into 18 languages, with new Chinese and Italian translations recently published of his last major work: "Law and Revolution II: The Impact of the Protestant Reformations on the Western Legal Tradition" (Harvard University Press, 2003).

 His book "Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition" (1983) won the Scribes Award from the American Bar Association.

"The digital collection gives Professor Berman's fans and students around the world access to his 70 plus years of outstanding scholarship, including pieces published in foreign sources that are very hard to find today, and scores of unpublished writings that widen and deepen an already astonishing collection of exquisite scholarship," says John Witte, Jr., CSLR director, Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Alonzo L. McDonald Family Foundation Distinguished Professor.

Berman published 25 books, more than 400 articles, and also left numerous unpublished works, including two nearly complete book manuscripts.

Prior to this death, he designated Witte, his former student at Harvard Law School, and close friend and colleague at Emory Law, to serve as his literary executor. Witte has collected some 500 pieces written between 1938 and 2007to be made available in digital format.

About 20 percent of the total collection will be available initially and housed on a Zotero website. The documents are searchable via Internet search engines, but the word "zotero" needs to be included in the search for the best results.

The full collection will be available over the next several months via the Zotero site and ultimately housed in the University's digital library collection.

Berman Library to be dedicated

In conjunction with the collection opening, CSLR will dedicate its conference room as the "Berman Library," complete with a display of his main writings, memorabilia, last portrait and a bound, 15-volume set of the new digital collection.

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