FALL 2013

New Digital Collections at the Law Library

Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School, the law school's institutional repository, has been in existence since 2009, preserving and providing access to faculty publications and law reviews. Now new collections are being added to the repository, broadening its scope to include more historical materials. The first two new collections to be made available are The Snail Darter and the Dam and Sui Juris.

Photograph Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas meets
with two members of the Cherokee Nation.
Photograph by Fran Scheidt.

The Snail Darter and the Dam features materials assembled by Professor Zygmunt J.B. Plater related to the TVA v. Hill case, which he argued before the Supreme Court in 1978. A landmark case in United States environmental law, TVA v. Hill pitted the Tennessee Valley Authority's Tellico Dam project against a coalition of environmentalists, farmers, and Native Americans, represented by Professor Plater. In addition to important court and administrative documents related to the case, the collection includes numerous photographs, including one remarkable image of retired Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, a noted environmentalist and opponent of the Tellico Dam project, meeting with members of the Cherokee Nation near the site of the dam on the Little Tennessee River. The collection in the repository serves as a companion to Professor Plater's recent book, The Snail Darter and the Dam: How Pork Barrel Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River, available from Yale University Press.

Published by the Student Bar Association of Boston College Law School from 1956 to 1968, Sui Juris recorded campus news and events during a period of growth and transformation for the law school. All 45 issues of the publication have been digitized by law library staff and are now available for download. Included are descriptions of campus visits by notables of the day, including many well-known Boston political figures such as Kevin White, William Bulger, and Louise Day Hicks. Volume 12, number 2 of Sui Juris, published in April of 1968, features an article titled "A Rendezvous" by student Robert R. Kumor, Jr., Class of 1970, which attempts to capture the student body's reaction to the National Security Council's decision on February 16, 1968 to change its policy and abolish graduate school deferments for the military draft. Kumor writes "Most students are to varying degrees opposed to the war. Some can treat the change as bad luck and nothing more. Others face a very serious moral problem evaluating this absurd cancer in our society. Wanting so much to lock the entire administration in the church, bar the door with the cross of its own misconceptions and run off, we, like David Hemming in 'Blow Up,' pick up the tennis ball and allow the game to continue. We give it moral meaning." Beginning in 1971, after graduating from Boston College Law School, Kumor served in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. He would go on to be appointed a judge in the Massachusetts District Court in 1990. Sui Juris provides a window into the culture of Boston College Law School during a formative time in the school's history.

Nick Szydlowski
Digital Services & Institutional Repository Librarian,
Law Library