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Biographical Research and Institutional Archives: the Case of the Inns of Court

Citation: Holborn, Guy (2014) Biographical Research and Institutional Archives: the Case of the Inns of Court. Legal Information Management . ISSN 1472-6696 (In Press)


Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

The Holy Grail for most biographical researchers is a large hoard of unpublished personal papers such as letters or diaries. In reality that quest will usually be in vain. Research must instead focus on institutional sources. Because of their long history and pervasive role in the English legal profession, the Inns of Court and their records are likely to be the starting point for many legal biographical research projects. They also very usefully illustrate what the biographical researcher is likely to gain (and unlikely to gain) from using institutional archives in general. The article goes on to describe the main classes of records held in the Inns’ archives and what they can yield.

Additional Information: This is a pre-print of an article which will be published in a special issue of Legal Information Management in 2014. It has been developed by the author (Guy Holborn, Librarian, Lincoln's Inn Library) from a paper he gave at “Legal Biography: a national socio-legal training day” at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on Wednesday 15 May 2013. The workshop was jointly organised by the British Library, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Socio-Legal Studies Association.
Creators: Holborn, Guy and
Related URLs:
Subjects: Law
Keywords: Legal biography, legal profession, lawyers, law and humanities, legal scholarship, Inns of Court
Divisions: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Collections: Legal Biography
  • March 2014 (published)


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