Harry S. Martin III (Terry)

Henry N. Ess III Librarian & Professor of Law, Emeritus


Office: 326 Langdell Hall

Harvard Law School

Cambridge, Massachusetts

USA 02138

Telephone: (617) 496-2121

E-mail: Martin@law.harvard.edu

Professor Martin was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1943, but grew up in Minnesota. He graduated from Harvard College in 1965 with an A.B. in History and received a J.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1968. He is a member of the Minnesota bar. After two years in West Africa with the Peace Corps, where he taught law at the University of Liberia, he returned for his M.L.S. degree at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was the only Norwegian-American ever to be awarded a minority scholarship.

After five years on the staff of the University of Texas Law Library, he joined the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center in 1976 as Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Law Library, just in time to march in the Bicentennial Parade with the Washington Post Band. Professor Martin came to Harvard in 1981. In June 2008, he will step down as Librarian of the Harvard Law School. After a sabbatical year, he will retire in June 2009.

His professional activities include service on many law school inspection teams for the American Bar Association and on many committees of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). He has served on the Executive Board of the AALL, on that body’s National Legal Resources Committee, and on the AALL Special Committee on the Renaissance of Law Librarianship. He has served on the boards of the Center for Computer-Assisted-Legal-Instruction and the Human Rights Internet, and on the Executive Committee of the Section on Law and Computers of the Association of American Law Schools. He chaired the AALS Committee on Libraries and Technology in 2004. He is the past-president of the New England Law Library Consortium, past chair of the Executive Group for the Shared Resources Program of the Research Libraries Group, and was a founding participant of the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN).

At Harvard, he chaired for five years the University Library’s committee to oversee the operation and development of the Harvard On-Line Library Information System. HOLLIS currently supports automated acquisitions, serials control, fund accounting, on-line circulation, and an on-line public access catalog that includes periodical indexing. He is a member of the Harvard University Library Council, which includes the directors of the major faculty libraries at Harvard together with the Director of the University Library and his senior staff. He serves on the committee that oversees the Harvard-Google book scanning project. He is a long-standing member of the Harvard African Studies Committee. At the Law School he serves on the Administrative Board and the Graduate Committee, and formerly served on the Student Journals Committee and the IT Committee. From February of 1995 until October of 1997, he chaired the committee in charge of renovating Langdell Hall.

In 1991, he spent a six-month sabbatical leave at the Max-Planck-Institute for Public and International Law in Heidelberg, touring European libraries and investigating possibilities for an international network of legal libraries and documentation centers. In 2000, he spent a sabbatical at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne and at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies in London, researching issues in cultural property policy and digital preservation. Professor Martin has published articles on the electronic library and information networks, on the law of interstate compacts, on methods of legal research, and on collection development policy for law libraries. He served as project director of the Annual Review of Population Law, which for twenty years summarized legal developments relating to family planning, maternal and child health, status of women, population mobility, and related issues, with funding provided by the United Nations Population Fund. He developed the first course in Advanced Legal Research at Harvard and co-taught a course on artificial intelligence and law. Forten years he taught a seminar on visual arts and the law. He currently chairs the advisory board of the China–United States Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries to be held in Beijing in May, 2009.

Research interests include the international trade in cultural property and digital forms of scholarly communication. The future of legal information resources and their accessibility are major professional concerns, particularly free access to legislation, court decisions, and other official texts of the law. With older books turning to dust and new information being turned out on computers, law libraries are facing a future full of change.

The Harvard Law Library contains collections over two million volumes in varying formats, employs the services of a permanent staff of 95, and operates on an annual budget that exceeds $12 million dollars. Its extensive special collections are widely known. Besides current academic and professional research, the Library supports a wide range of historical and international scholarship. Current programs emphasize developing Web-based information services, converting of thousands of brittle books to microform and digital formats, developing  multi-library cooperative networks, and improving the research skills of our law students. Daily concerns include training and keeping high quality personnel, dealing with old buildings, adjusting to international currency fluctuations, and finding innovative ways to store more and more materials.

Professor Martin is married to a former nurse who is now an expert in African art, particularly textiles. They have two children, one a choral conductor and one a crime analyst. He has played the French horn, trombone, and baritone horn professionally. He has played solo cornet with the Lexington Bicentennial Band, the Charles River Wind Ensemble, and the New England Brass Band, trumpet in various Harvard and community orchestras, and in any church that offers.

The academic year 2008-2009 finds him in Austin at the University of Texas Law School.


Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults.

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Last modified: Friday, June 13, 2008 1:45 PM by Terry Martin.