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Guide to the Papers of Bernard Botein
1929-1975 (bulk 1968-1973)
 MS 68

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Emma Curtis. Machine-readable finding aid was created by Emma Curtis.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on February 14, 2012
Description is written in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Bernard Botein Papers consists of originals and copies of primary and secondary materials that document the service and activities of Bernard Botein in the years of private practice following his resignation as Supreme Court Justice.

The collection centers around Botein’s efforts in over forty-two legal, civic, philanthropic and political organizations and on committees and taskforces on various reformist causes, significantly in the areas of court reform and reform of criminal justice administration in the State of New York. Materials include correspondence, reports, proposals, preparatory materials for studies and research, newspaper clippings and other printed materials including copies of legal publications and legislative documents. The collection presents information on the investigative, commemorative and administrative activities of these groups. Organizations of attorneys, judges and legal educators are represented, as well as community organizations like the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA), and a number of committees relating to court administration. Information regarding Botein's participation in the political campaigns of George McGovern, John V. Lindsay and Manhattan District Attorney Frank Hogan can be found here.

The collection also contains over eight-six of Bernard Botein’s orations and legal writings in the form of manuscripts and often annotated draft texts that include addresses, statements, articles, proposals, reports and studies, as well as associated notes and correspondence, and relate to his service with various organizations, committees and taskforces. It includes press releases during Botein’s appointment as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department for Manhattan and the Bronx (1958-1968), and copies of published works represented in a number of legal journals and newsletters, such as New York Law Journal and  Journal of the American Judicature Society.

Additional materials consists of correspondence, including congratulatory letters from prominent members of the legal and political communities, professional invitations, as well as Botein’s letters of support to individuals; black and white photographic prints that encompass the length of Botein’s career (1929-1971), with several depicting Botein alongside prominent legal and political figures; documents concerning the 1969 documentary, The True and The Just commissioned by the Department Committee on Court Administration; and documents pertaining to memorials in honor of Bernard Botein including manuscripts of memorial addresses by colleagues Honorable David W. Peck and Whitney North-Seymour and several articles addressing Botein’s legal career.


The collection is arranged in six series.

  1. Series I. Organizational Files
  2. Series II. Speeches, Addresses and Writings
  3. Series III. Correspondence
  4. Series IV. Subject Files
  5. Series V. Photographic and Visual Materials
  6. Series VI. Memorials and Memorial Addresses

Most of the material is arranged chronologically within series, except Series I and Series IV, which are arranged alphabetically.