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Underhill Moore papers

Call Number: MS 356

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of correspondence, course materials, diaries, legal documents, printed material, reports, subject files, and writings that document Underhill Moore's career as an academic and his personal life. The Correspondence Series is the most voluminous and contains large amounts of intermixed professional and personal correspondence and related materials. The Personal and Family Papers focus upon the Moore Family and the strong role that Moore played in lives of his children and extended family. The voluminous and detailed nature of the papers which span fifty years provide substantial evidence of Moore's evolving roles as law student, practicing attorney, and law professor in his professional life and as an ardent suitor, husband, and father in his personal life.

Moore's writings are highlighted by Law and Learning Theory: A Study in Legal Control, which represents the culmination of a decade's study by Moore and his colleague Charles C. Callahan at the Institute of Human Relations at Yale University of the effect of automobile parking law enforcement upon driver behavior. Although the collection does not contain any preliminary data developed during the study, there are two different drafts of the book in the Writings Series.

The Underhill Moore Papers were processed as part of a collaborative effort between Manuscripts and Archives and the Yale Law School to document the careers and accomplishments of law school faculty and alumni.


  • 1870-1948
  • Majority of material found within 1925 - 1943


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Underhill Moore, 1946-1948.


18 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, course materials, diaries, legal documents, printed material, reports, subject files, and writings that document Underhill Moore's career as a law professor and his personal life. The papers emphasize Moore's teaching, writing, and involvement with Columbia Law School, Yale Law School, and the Institute of Human Relations at Yale University from 1924 to 1943. The papers also contain materials relating to Dr. William O. Moore and the Abraham Underhill estate.

Biographical / Historical

William Underhill Moore was born on May 25, 1879, in New York City. He received three degrees from Columbia University: B. A. (1900), M. A. (1901), and LL.B. (1902). After graduation from law school, Moore worked briefly as an attorney in private practice and taught a course in mining law at Columbia University in 1906. Later in the same year, he obtained an appointment as a professor of law at the University of Kansas. In 1908, he left to join the law faculty at the University of Wisconsin where he taught courses in bankruptcy, insurance, negotiable interests, and property. He spent two years at the University of Chicago before returning to Columbia University in 1916.

At Columbia, Moore continued to teach courses relating to commercial transactions and was particularly well known for his expansive approach to legal instruction. His broad view that legal education should encompass the study of other social sciences (economics, sociology, and psychology), as well as conventional legal analysis, led to a division among faculty members in the late 1920s. As the situation at Columbia deteriorated, Moore sought an environment where he could explore his research interests and continue to teach.

In 1929, he accepted an appointment as Sterling Professor of Law and as a faculty member of the Institute of Human Relations at Yale University. The Institute had been formally established earlier that year as an interdisciplinary center for cooperative research and advocated intellectual collaboration among different academic disciplines. Moore received funding and assistance from the Institute throughout his years at Yale University. Moore remained on the faculty at the Law School and the Institute until his retirement in 1946. He taught intermittently at Ohio State University until his death in 1949.

Moore's most significant legal education publication was Cases on the Laws of Bills and Notes , which he co-authored with Howard L. Smith through three editions between 1910 and 1932. In addition, he wrote a series of highly regarded articles relating to banking practices that appeared in the Yale Law Review in the early 1930s. He collaborated with T. H. Sanders and Henry R. Hatfield to produce two publications for the American Institute of Accountants: Statement of Accounting Principles and Relationship Between Legal and Accounting Concepts of Capital . Moore's work at the Institute of Human Relations focused upon the effect of enforcement of parking laws upon the behavior of drivers in New Haven, Connecticut. The decade-long study culminated in the publication with Charles C. Callahan of Law and Learning Theory: A Study in Legal Control (commonly known as the New Haven parking study) in 1943.

Underhill Moore and his wife, Henelia Wilhelmi, had two children, Alwine Jane and Kent. He died in 1949 in Ohio.

Guide to the Underhill Moore Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Barbara Heck
January 2006
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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