Scope and arrangement
The Harold A. Stevens Papers, 1936 to 1990, consist of three series: BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION; PROFESSIONAL CAREER;and SCRAPBOOKSwhich document Stevens' advancement to the highest court in New York State and his contributions to the legal profession, particularly his role as a founder of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). Stevens' accomplishments are reflected in letters from his contemporaries, colleagues and dignitaries. Approximately one third of the collection consists of bound volumes of minutes and notes written by Stevens while he was a judge in the New York State Court system. Newspaper clippings and other memorabilia found in his scrapbooks, which comprise another third of the collection, document his career accomplishments in more detail than is available in his correspondence files.
The Harold A. Stevens papers are arranged in three series:
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION, 1943-1996, n.d. (.05 lin. ft.),series contains campaign material, letters, addressed to Stevens and his wife Ella from colleagues and subordinates following his retirement from the New York State Court system, as well as his funeral announcement and his obituary from The New York Times.
PROFESSIONAL CAREER, 1936-1996 (6.0 linear ft.).series is comprised of correspondence from colleagues and dignitaries, and contain accolades Stevens received during his rise from assemblyman to his retirement from the New York State Court of Appeals. The files contain some telegrams, reports, programs, and citations. There are seven subseries in this series: Elections and Appointments; Judicial Journals; General File; Independent Associations; Speeches and Writings; Accolades;and Printed Matter.The Elections and Appointments, 1950-1975 (.4 lin. ft.),files include correspondence regarding Stevens' career; both letters of congratulations and letters sympathizing with his loss of an election. Letters and certificates regarding his judicial appointments by New York State governors can be found here and also in his scrapbooks.
There are ten scrapbooks containing items that are illustrative of Stevens' career. In general, the majority of the materials are newspaper clippings, commencement programs, citations, and letters. The earliest scrapbooks, 1939 to 1952, include recital programs for Marian Anderson and Mildred Jenkins, and the ballot for Stevens when he ran for the Assembly in 1945. One scrapbook relates to the 1958 Manhattan College commencement exercise at which he was honored. Another scrapbook, dating from 1950 to 1964, includes newspaper clippings, programs, and a citation from Governor Nelson Rockefeller redesignating Stevens Associate Justice of the Appellate Division.
The scrapbooks for 1957 to 1980, consist of mementos from the International Congress of Jurists (convened in New Delhi, India in 1959), invitations (from Mayor and Mrs. John Lindsay, Governor and Mrs. Malcolm Wilson among others), several newspaper clippings about Benedict College (his alma mater), notices of his speaking engagements, and articles about some of his cases. One scrapbook contains newspaper clippings on the Medical Malpractice Mediation Program. Scrapbooks dated from 1963 to 1982, contain photographs, letters, programs, membership certificates from professional organizations, and two certificates from Governor Nelson Rockefeller (1967, 1969). The scrapbooks from 1973 to 1985 include invitations, campaign flyers, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings on the Democratic primary election between Jacob Fuchsberg and Stevens for Justice to the Court of Appeals in 1973.