Wednesday 9 December 2015

Secret History of the Bluebook

Fred Shapiro at Yale Law reports that The New York Times today has a story about the article by Fred and Julie Graves Krishnaswami entitled "The Secret History of the Bluebook." This article will be printed in the Minnesota Law Review in its April issue, and the unedited version is already posted on SSRN. From the Abstract:
The Bluebook, or Uniform System of Citation as it was formerly titled, has long been a significant component of American legal culture. The standard account of the origins of the Bluebook, deriving directly from statements made by longtime Harvard Law School Dean and later Solicitor General of the United States Erwin N. Griswold, maintains that the citation manual originated at the Harvard Law Review in the 1920s and was created or adapted by Dean Griswold himself. This account is wildly erroneous, as proven by intensive research we conducted in the archives of Harvard and Yale. In fact, the Bluebook grew out of precursor manuals at Yale Law School, apparently inspired by a legal scholar even more important than Griswold, namely Karl N. Llewellyn. The "uniform citations" movement that began at Yale was actually at first opposed by Harvard.

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