Resource Guide to the
Gallagher Law Library's 
Washington State Legal History Collections

Legal Research Guides

Updated March 19, 2014.
Prepared by Mary Whisner for Legal History Seminar, Prof. Walter J. Walsh, and annotated by Lisa Wagenheim, reference intern, summer 2001.


The year 2001 marked the centennial of the first graduating class of the University of Washington School of Law. In celebration, the Gallagher Law Library has compiled a list of sources that contain historical information about the Washington legal community and the University of Washington Law School that are available in the Library. Below is an annotated list of those resources. The historical collection can be a useful tool for academic and practitioner-focused research as well as a rich set of resources for tracing the careers of family members or colleagues.

Washington State Bench & Bar Collection

Arthur Beardsley was the head law librarian at the University of Washington School of Law from 1922 to1944. Dr. Beardsley was a lawyer, a librarian, and an historian. In 1939, Arthur Beardsley and Judge Donald A. McDonald began collecting newspaper clippings and photographs of Washington State lawyers and judges in an attempt to compile a history of Washington State's legal community. Dr. Beardsley used the detailed research to write a manuscript about Washington's legal history. The result of this meticulous research was a 42-chapter manuscript called The Bench and Bar of Washington: The First Fifty Years, 1849-1900. This work was never published, but the Gallagher Law Library has a copy of the manuscript.

Dr. Beardsley preserved the materials that he used to write his manuscript, and the Gallagher Law Library has continued to preserve these materials both in bound volumes and file folders. Arthur Beardsley's contribution to the preservation of Washington State's legal history is significant. The Bench and Bar clippings and files can be useful for families of past Washington State lawyers and judges, who are interested in understanding their relative's contribution to the legal community. The clippings and files are also useful tools for scholarly research regarding Washington State legal history.

Bench & Bar Files

What: Files with letters, clippings, photos, etc., relating to Washington State attorneys and judges (mostly 1960s and earlier). Contents vary widely. Filed by name.
File cabinets in a nonpublic area.
Finding Tool:
Brandy Whittington, Index to the Washington Bench & Bar Clippings (1999), KF354.W3 W37 Index at Reference Area and Reference Office; index is also available at . Please read the compiler's notes before looking at the index. Please note: this index only includes information about the files folders and does not include information about the bound volumes.
Request files from Circulation Desk.

Many of the Bench and Bar file folders contain newspaper clippings, photographs, and correspondence between Arthur Beardsley and lawyers or relatives of lawyers. The contents in the files are not permanently affixed to the file folders. All material is loose and some of the files are empty or sparse.

Washington Bench & Bar Clippings

What: Bound volumes with newspaper clippings relating to Washington attorneys and judges. 143 volumes cover 1850-1979, generally in chronological order. Most of the volumes cover the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Volumes are arranged by year, part, and page number.
A nonpublic area.
Finding Tool:
Card file in the Reference Area, arranged by name. Look for citations with the format: 1959 pt.2:165. (Some cards have citations with Roman numerals; these are from an earlier indexing system and are no longer retrievable.)
Request volumes from Circulation Desk.

The bound volumes contain clippings from more than a century. Many of the volumes are in poor condition and must be handled with great care.

Note: In addition to the Bench and Bar Clippings, researchers interested in individuals and events in Washington history might want to use the Pacific Northwest Regional Newspaper and Periodical Index, Originally begun as a card file in 1936, this database covers newspapers, pamphlets, and other materials from the 1850s to present. It is maintained by the University of Washington Libraries - Manuscripts, Special Collections, University Archives.


Access to the Washington State Bench & Bar Collection

The Gallagher Law Library's Washington State Bench and Bar Collection consists of file folders and bound volumes that are located in nonpublic areas for preservation purposes. The staff of Circulation Services provides access by retrieving the clippings and files. Retrieval requests may be submitted at the Circulation Desk on L1. A list of names in the file folders is available online and in the Reference Area and the Reference Office (call number KF354 .W3 W37). The names in the bound volumes are only available in the printed card catalog in the Reference Area.

A Gallagher barcode must be shown before patrons may use the Bench and Bar materials. To see how to get a Gallagher barcode, visit the Circulation information page. Items will be brought to the Circulation Desk for use in the Reference Area. Patrons will be asked to leave ID as security. Patrons must personally return the Bench and Bar materials to staff at the Circulation Desk.

Access to the Bench and Bar materials is also provided through the Gallagher Copy & Send service. Copy & Send will photocopy and mail materials for $15.00 per document. Fax charges are $20.00 per document. For more information about Copy & Send, or to send a request go to the Copy & Send web page or call 206-616-2370.


Arthur S. Beardsley's Histories

Arthur Beardsley was the law librarian of the University of Washington for many years (1922-44). His scholarly interest in the history of the bar in Washington led to the collections of bench and bar clippings. Works include:


Mary Ann Andersen's Oral Histories

Two oral histories discussing aspects of the University of Washington Law School were compiled by Mary Ann Andersen. The first oral history, published in 1988, is a collection of interviews that illustrate the rich history of the Gallagher Law Library. The second oral history, published in 1999, is a compilation of interviews discussing the history of the University of Washington School of Law.  

  • Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library: An Oral History / compiled and edited by Mary Ann Andersen; transcribed by Karen Walton (1988), Z733.M375 M3 1988 at Classified Stacks. (Includes indexes). Interviewees include:
    Viola Bird p. 180 Luvern Rieke p. 425
    Robert Berring p. 517 Richard S.L. Roddis p. 435
    William Burke p. 488 William Schneider p. 495
    Keith Callow p. 502 Alfred Schweppe p. 350
    Charles Corker p. 465 George Neff Stevens p. 386
    Marian Gallagher p.1 Lehan K. Tunks p. 406
    Alfred Harsch p. 370 Reba Turnquist p. 324
    Penny Hazelton p. 279 Betty Wilkins p. 213
  • University of Washington School of Law Oral History / compiled and edited by Mary Ann Andersen; transcribed by Dee Posley (1999), KFW292.W34 U65 1999 at Reference Stacks and Special Collections / Washington. 4 vols. Interviewees include:
    Volume 1-Interviews with Deans Volume 3- Professors, Administrators and Alumni
    Harry M. Cross p. 50 Arthur E. Campbell p. 810
    John R. Price p. 85 William H. Gates p. 818
    Luvern V. Rieke p. 127 William Gerbering p. 725
    Richard S.L. Roddis p. 165 Dr. Solomon Katz p. 738
    George Schatzki p. 199 Robert Meisenholder p. 549
    David Vernon p. 234 Dr. Charles Odegard p. 754
    Volume 2-Interviews with Professors Volume 4- Interviews with Alumni
    William Burke p. 268 Justice Charles Horowitz p. 850
    Charles Corker p. 310 Bradley Jones p. 855
    Richard Cosway p. 338 Harold Lant p. 872
    Robert Fletcher p. 371 George Powell p. 876
    Al Harsch p. 401
    Robert S. Hunt p. 460
    John Huston p. 488
    Ralph Johnson p. 520
    Cornelius Peck p. 577
    Marjorie Rombauer p. 642
    Hon. Charles Z. Smith p. 704


Law School Faculty Files

What: Files with clippings, letters, photos, and other materials relating to past and present UW law faculty. Filed by name.
File cabinets in Gallagher Law Library Administrative Services Department.
Finding Tool:
University of Washington Law School Professors, (also linked from catalog record for Index to the Washington Bench & Bar Clippings).
Contact Natalie Riha, Program Coordinator, Law Library Administration, 206-543-4089.

The Reference Office has an Excel spreadsheet listing all faculty members and their terms of service. The Law Library also has a collection of files for faculty members that include photographs, clippings, and correspondence. Following the deaths of faculty members (beginning in 2002), the Library website also provides lists of publications and professional activities. Pages are available for:


Law School History Files

What: Files on selected topics in School of Law history (e.g., "Condon Hall Dedication 1933," "Public Service Program").
File cabinets in Gallagher Law Library Administrative Services Department.
Finding Tool:
List in Natalie Riha's office.
Contact Natalie Riha, Program Coordinator, Law Library Administration, 206-543-4089.

The Law School history files are not comprehensive and not likely to include information about individuals.


Other Special Indexes

In addition to the Washington Bench and Bar Clippings, there are four other card files in the Reference Area that provide access to information about Washington lawyers and associations. Each file is arranged in alphabetical order by name. The Gallagher Law Library also has other sources for information about the Washington State legal community.

  • Index Photos Numerical. Refers to a collection of numbered photographs. Not retrievable at this time.
  • Indexed Biographies. Refers to sources other than the Washington State Bench and Bar Collection, including the Roll of Attorneys in Washington Reports
  • Bar Proceedings. Refers to Washington State Bar Association proceedings. Available in Classified Stacks:
  • Vital Cases. Refers to defining Washington cases in the reporters (e.g., Washington Reports). Reporter volumes available in the Reference Area (and other locations). Check the Law Library catalog for the status of individual volumes.



The Gallagher Law Library has a collection of briefs from the Washington Territorial Court, Washington State Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. For a list of briefs, formats, and locations, see the Court Briefs & Oral Arguments guide.


A Few General Tips

  • Remember to use general library resources. For example:
    • Old volumes of the Washington State Bar News could contain valuable information about lawyers, the bar, and legal developments. Articles about Washington legal history might be published anytime. For instance, an article on the history of official court reporting in Washington appeared in the Nov. 2005 issue of the  Washington State Bar News (Tim Fuller, "The Most Accurate and Useful Law Books Possible": Wash.Terr., Wash., Wn.2d, and Wn.App--Milestones of Office Case Reporting in Washington, Washington State Bar News, Nov. 2005, at 22.
    • Old volumes of Martindale-Hubbell will give you biographical information about lawyers and the make-up of their law firms.
    • Treatises and practice manuals from a given period will tell you about the state of the law at that time. (Note: in the Law Library catalog, you can conduct a keyword or subject search and then limit your results to books published within a certain span of years.
  • The Law Library has many publications from the Law School-professors' course materials, student papers, annual reports, accreditation self-study reports, course catalogs, alumni publications, etc. (Some materials-such as faculty meeting minutes-are in University Archives.) Search the Law Library catalog under "University of Washington. School of Law" as an author or browse the Classified Stacks under KF282.W33. Mary A. Hotchkiss, ed., University of Washington School of Law: Celebrating 100 Years (a special issue of Profile) (KF292.W33 A54 v.11 at Reference Area and Special Collections / Washington) contains essays about the history of the Law School.
  • If you want to locate cases where a particular attorney was counsel of record, use the following searches:
  • Other University of Washington libraries, especially Manuscripts, Special Collections, University Archives, in the Allen Library, will have valuable information for local history (including legal history!).



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