Scope and Contents
The materials primarily contain writings and correspondence by Dworkin and other authors. Dworkin’s writings include published and draft manuscript and electronic copies of books and articles, outlines, and notes. Writings by other authors include published copies, reprints, and photocopies of articles and books, and are often related to or discuss Dworkin’s work. Correspondence includes typed letters in both physical and digital formats, as well as email. The collection also includes conference and event-related papers, course materials, personal financial and legal documents, research materials on specific subjects, and press clippings and reviews, along with a smaller amount of photographs, memorabilia, and ephemera. Many folders contain photocopies, clippings, or offprints of articles on a range of subjects. Groupings which focus on a specific theme have been noted. Many materials are annotated, primarily by Dworkin, but also by other unidentified authors. Dworkin’s professional activities are also documented in digital and audiovisual material in a variety of formats.
Materials document Dworkin’s activities from his youth through his final years. Coverage is inconsistent, however, and only a small amount of material exists for the period from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s. The most well-documented time periods are the late 1960s and from the late 1980s until the 2010s.
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
1TB WD My Passport Ultra HD external hard drive (Item 2017-m-0051-0194) in Series IX, Computer Files, is unprocessed and may contain sensitive information or be in a physical state that would prohibit use. Researchers wishing to request access should email email@example.com. The request should outline the scope and purpose of the research project, why the researcher believes the material is relevant to their project, and contact information. If possible the request should also include a list of specific material of interest. The review may take several weeks.
Original audiovisual materials, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies, or if none exist must pay for a use copy, which is retained by the repository. Researchers wishing to obtain an additional copy of non-commercially produced items for their personal use should consult the ordering reproductions information on the Manuscripts and Archives website.
Original computer files may not be accessed due to their fragility. Researchers must consult access copies.
Conditions Governing Use
Copies of commercially produced audiovisual materials contained in this collection cannot be made for researcher use outside of the repository.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
38.17 Linear Feet (96 boxes)
285257 Computer Files (40.08 gigabytes)
1 External Hard Drives (1 terabyte)
Biographical / Historical
After graduating, Dworkin clerked with Judge Learned Hand on the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He then practiced law with the Sullivan & Cromwell firm in New York City. In 1962, he accepted a position as professor of law at Yale Law School, where he was later appointed to the Wesley N. Hohfeld Chair of Jurisprudence. From 1966 to 1969 he served as master of Trumbull College at Yale. In 1969, Dworkin left Yale to take a position at Oxford University, replacing H. L. A. Hart as chair of jurisprudence. Beginning in 1975, he held concurrent faculty positions at New York University and Oxford. At NYU, he founded and ran, with Thomas Nagel, the annual Colloquium in Legal, Political, and Social Philosophy. In 1997, Dworkin retired from Oxford and accepted a position as Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London.
Dworkin wrote and published extensively in both academic legal journals and the popular press. He published several books, including Taking Rights Seriously, Law’s Empire, Sovereign Virtue, and Justice for Hedgehogs. In addition, he wrote frequently for a general audience in publications including the Observer (UK), the New York Times, and most frequently in the New York Review of Books, where he was a regular contributor from the late 1960s through 2013.
Dworkin married Betsy Ross in 1958; they had two children, Jennifer and Anthony. Betsy died in 2000, and Dworkin later married Irene Brendel. Dworkin died on February 14, 2013.
Approximately 331.4 gigabytes of computer files were removed from the digital materials in the collection, including deleted, duplicate, system, and software files. The laptops and hard drive backups contained accounts and documents from other users in addition to Dworkin. Materials from these other user accounts were identified when possible and removed from the collection. 95 3.5 inch floppy disks, 5 5.25 inch floppy disks, 5 ZIP drives, 1 SuperDisk, 1 CD-R, and 1 laptop contained only separated files. These materials were stored in boxes 29, 30, 32, and 35 in the original accession of the collection. Since those materials have been separated, those box numbers are no longer used.
More detailed notes on processing and arrangement are included in the description for each series or accession.
- Guide to the Ronald Dworkin Papers
- compiled by Eric Sonnenberg
- April 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- April 2021: Series IX, Computer Files, was processed and description added.
- November 2021: Series Accession 2019-m-0059 was processed and description added.
Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)
Sterling Memorial Library
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511