Howard M. Holtzmann Archive


The Howard M. Holtzmann Papers collect and preserve documents from the work and life of Judge Howard M. Holtzmann, A unique collection, the Holtzmann Papers tell the story of international commercial arbitration and conciliation through the lens of one of its foremost experts and practitioners.

Judge Holtzmann helped to develop and codify many of the precepts and protocols of international arbitration and mass claims processes through his landmark work as an arbitrator with international organizations such as the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland, and the American Arbitration Association, among many others, as well as in private practice at the firm Holtzmann, Sheppard, and Wise.

The Holtzmann Papers were left to the Society as part of a grant from the Holtzmann Foundation. It will stand as the keystone archival collection of the Society's Holtzmann Research Center.

As archives become an increasingly important site for legal research, the Howard M. Holtzmann Papers stand as a major addition to this growing field.

The Holtzmann Papers is comprised of 65.25 linear feet of material, housed in 249 boxes archive standard boxes and folders, and includes material in English, French, German, Chinese, Swedish. The types of items contained within the collection include:

  • manuscript and typescript drafts of Judge Holtzmann's published and unpublished writings
  • organizational materials with annotations and notes by Holtzmann
  • correspondence and circular memos; legal briefings and decisions
  • printed material relating to his research interests
  • photographs of Judge Holtzmann taken in both a personal and professional capacity
  • personal diaries and notebooks

The Howard M. Holtzmann Papers are held in ASIL's deFord Library and Information Center. To request material, or to schedule a time to use the archives, contact us at 202-939-6000 or via email at services@asil.org.

For a detailed list of items in the Holtzmann Papers, click on the downloadable Container List (pdf) found in About the Collection.

To view highlights from the collection and a detailed biography of Howard M. Holtzmann, see the Digital Exhibit.
Howard M. Holtzmann is regarded as one of the world's foremost experts and practitioners of international commercial arbitration, whose fifty year career was integral to the development of that field. Holtzmann was a foundational figure in the field of international arbitration and conciliation, and helped develop and codify many of the precepts and protocols of international arbitration and mass claims processes.

This exhibit documents Judge Holtzmann's illustrious career and landmark arbitration, while showcasing some of the highlights from the collection.

Born to Lillian Plotz Holtzmann and Jacob L. Holtzmann in 1922, Judge Holtzmann attended the Poly Prep Country Day School in New York City before going on to earn an undergraduate degree at Yale College in 1942. After serving in the US Navy during the Second World War, Holtzmann returned to Yale to earn a law degree from Yale Law School in 1947, an institution with which he would continue to have an important relationship as a donor and regular speaker on campus.

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From Domestic to International Arbitration
Holtzmann's early career found him specializing in labor and other forms of domestic arbitration. He soon, however, expanded his scope as an arbitrator outward, as international trade arbitration became a critical area in international law in the second half of the Twentieth Century.

Judge Holtzmann would serve as a long-term member of the United States delegation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 "to promote the progressive harmonization and unification of international trade law." As a delegate, he helped to develop UN model laws on trade and commercial arbitration. Also as part of UNCITRAL, Holtzmann arranged the CLOUT, or Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts, a compendium of legal decisions and arbitral awards made using UNCITRAL model laws, while also assisting in writing several of the UNCITRAL legislative guides.

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The American Arbitration Association's First Mission to the People's Republic of China
Judge Holtzmann's career was largely defined by his arbitration work with international governance bodies, including the American Arbitration Association (AAA), a non-profit organization in the field of alternative dispute resolution that provides services to individuals and organizations who wish to resolve conflicts out of court. While he would later serve as president of the AAA, in 1974, Holtzmann acted as a delegate on the AAA's first mission to the People's Republic of China. As one of the earliest Western envoys to the People's Republic, this mission has a critical place in the development of global trade relations between the US and China, and Holtzmann remained an expert and key intermediary in Chinese-US trade arbitration throughout his life. The Holtzmann Papers contains a large amount of material relating to this crucial moment in international commercial arbitration, including Holtzmann's diaries, reports, photos, and correspondence.

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The Iran-US Claims Tribunal
Judge Holtzmann's contributions to international arbitration and conciliation continued, in 1977, when he helped to draft the USA-USSR Optional Clause Agreement, which made Sweden the location for commercial arbitrations between the US and the Soviet Union, an agreement that made the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce the authoritative body for these negotiations. He continued his involvement by aiding in the revisions to the Agreement after the fall of the Soviet Union. 

One of Judge Holtzmann's most important contributions to commercial arbitration and international governance was his work as an arbitrator on the US delegation to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, established by the Algiers Accords on January 19, 1981 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America to resolve the claims of nationals of both states and between the states themselves. Holtzmann served as the first arbitrator, and remained the senior US member until 1994. The Tribunal stands as a landmark event in the establishment of international arbitration protocols. <

The Howard M. Holtzmann Papers include extensive material relating to his work with the Tribunal. Included are correspondence, chronological files, official documents, memos, communiqués, personal notes, and drafts of rulings and resolutions from this Tribunal. Also contained here is a substantial Index to Issues that outlines the various claims and rules covered by the Tribunal. The items on display below provide a brief glimpse of the materials contained in the collection pertaining to this groundbreaking arbitration.

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Throughout his later life, Judge Holtzmann continued to be a major contributor to international arbitration, tribunals, and conciliation. From 1997 through 2001, Judge Holtzmann worked as an arbitrator on the first and second Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland, a series of tribunals established with the aim of resolving all claims to dormant accounts defined to include accounts opened by non-Swiss customers that have been inactive since the end of the Second World War and which were made public by the Swiss Bankers Association. The Holtzmann Papers contain material produced as a consequence of Holtzmann's work as an arbitrator at this tribunal, and includes correspondence, reference and research material, writings, and drafts of rules and resolutions, and organizational and administrative records.

Throughout his career, Holtzmann was a key member of many international legal organizations, including the SCC International Advisory Board, the American Bar Association, the Environmental Law Institute, the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Judge Holtzmann also produced a voluminous canon of writing on all aspects of international arbitration. Among his most important works are his contributions to the Code of Ethics for Arbitrators and A Guide to the UNCITRAL Model on International Commercial Arbitration: Legislation History and Commentary (1994), written with Joseph E. Neuhaus, which remains the standard reference volume for that field. Holtzmann's lifelong dedication to the international arbitration can be seen most clearly in his seminal work, International Mass Claims Processes: Legal and Practical Perspectives, edited with Edda Kristjánsdóttir. Alongside these major works, Holtzmann wrote and presented hundreds of essays, articles, speeches, and lectures for law review journals and conferences. 

Judge Holtzmann died on December 9, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Carol, and his daughters, Susie and Betsey, as well as his grandsons McLaren (Jodi), Anthony (Erin) and Abe Noyes, and Jill van Berg (David Manella), Elizabeth van Berg and Allison van Berg. He also leaves five great-grandchildren. He also leaves his step-daughter Louise Mullen (Henry) and his step-son William van Berg.

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The Howard M. Holtzmann Papers

Collection Dates

1885-2014 (Bulk Dates: 1966-2011)

Processed by

Aaron Winslow

Abstract

The Howard M. Holtzmann Papers contain materials relating to Judge Holtzmann's legal career, both as an arbitrator with international organizations such as the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland, and the American Arbitration Association, among many others, as well as in private practice at the firm Holtzmann, Sheppard, and Wise. As a major innovator in the field of international arbitration, Holtzmann's papers illuminate the development of arbitration as it intersects with international and national law, as well as the protocols of international governance at the UN and The Hague. Contained in the collection are drafts of Judge Holtzmann's published and unpublished writings; organizational materials with annotations and notes by Holtzmann; correspondence and circular memos; legal briefings and decisions; and printed material relating to his research interests. Also held are photographs of Judge Holtzmann taken in both a personal and professional capacity, along with his personal diaries and notebooks.

Size

65.25 linear feet (249 archival boxes)

Location

Howard M. Holtzmann Research Center for the Study of International Arbitration and Conciliation
The American Society of International Law
2223 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008 

Language(s) of material
English, French, German, Chinese, Swedish

Biographical Note

Howard M. Holtzmann is regarded as one of the world's foremost experts and practitioners of international commercial arbitration, whose fifty year career was integral to the development of that field. Holtzmann was a foundational figure in the field of international arbitration and conciliation. Judge Holtzmann helped develop and codify many of the precepts and protocols of international arbitration and mass claims processes as one of the first U.S. appointees to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, and through his work with international governance institutions including the UN and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and as part of the American Arbitration Association's first mission to the People's Republic of China in 1975.

Born to Lillian Plotz Holtzmann and Jacob L. Holtzmann in 1922, Judge Holtzmann attended the Poly Prep Country Day School in New York City before going on to earn an undergraduate degree at Yale College in 1942 and, subsequently, a law degree at Yale Law School in 1947. Holtzmann went on to serve as a member of the United States delegation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 "to promote the progressive harmonization and unification of international trade law," as stated in their charter. As a delegate, he helped to develop UN model laws on trade and commercial arbitration. Also as part of UNCITRAL, Holtzmann arranged the CLOUT, or Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts, a compendium of legal decisions and arbitral awards made using UNCITRAL model laws, while also assisting in writing several of the UNCITRAL legislative guides.

Judge Holtzmann's career was defined, largely, by his arbitration work with international governance bodies. He served as a delegate on the American Arbitration Association's first mission to the People's Republic of China in 1974. This mission has a critical place in the development of global trade relations between the US and China, and Holtzmann remained an expert and key intermediary in Chinese-US trade arbitration throughout his life. In 1977, Holtzmann helped to draft the USA-USSR Optional Clause Agreement, which made Sweden the location for commercial arbitrations between the US and the Soviet Union, an agreement that made the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce the authoritative body for these negotiations. He continued his involvement by aiding in the revisions to the Agreement after the fall of the Soviet Union. 

From 1997 through 2001, Judge Holtzmann worked as an arbitrator on the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland, a series of tribunals established with the aim of resolving all claims to dormant accounts, defined to include accounts opened by non-Swiss customers that have been inactive since the end of the Second World War and which were made public by the Swiss Bankers Association.

One of Judge Holtzmann's most important contributions to commercial arbitration and international governance was his work as an arbitrator on the US delegation to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, established by the Algiers Accords on January 19, 1981 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America to resolve the claims of nationals of both states and between the states themselves. Holtzmann served as the first arbitrator, and remained the senior US member until 1994. The Tribunal stands as a landmark event in the establishment of international arbitration protocols.

Throughout his career, Holtzmann was a key member of many international legal organizations, including the SCC International Advisory Board, the American Bar Association, the Environmental Law Institute, the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the American Arbitration Association, for which he served as President.

Judge Holtzmann also produced a voluminous canon of writing on all aspects of international arbitration. Among his most important works is A Guide to the UNCITRAL Model on International Commercial Arbitration: Legislation History and Commentary (1994), written with Joseph E. Neuhaus, which remains the standard reference volume for that field. Holtzmann's lifelong dedication to the international arbitration can be seen most clearly in his seminal work, International Mass Claims Processes: Legal and Practical Perspectives, edited with Edda Kristjánsdóttir. Largely based on Holtzmann and Kristjansodottir's work with the Permanent Court of Arbitration and its Steering Committee, this book considers high profile mass claims cases such as the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, the Holocaust and the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and others that Holtzmann was personally involved with. Along with these books, Holtzmann wrote and presented hundreds of essays, articles, speeches, and lectures for law review journals and conferences. 

Judge Holtzmann died on December 9, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Carol, and his daughters, Susie and Betsey, as well as his grandsons McLaren (Jodi), Anthony (Erin) and Abe Noyes, and Jill van Berg (David Manella), Elizabeth van Berg and Allison van Berg. He also leaves five great-grandchildren. He also leaves his step-daughter Louise Mullen (Henry) and his step-son William van Berg.

Description

The Howard M. Holtzmann Papers contains the correspondence, writings, legal and business files, organizational material, and research material created by Judge Holtzmann during his fifty year career in international arbitration. The material ranges from the 1920s through 2014, with the bulk of the material focusing on Holtzmann's arbitration work from the 1970s until the early 2000s.

The collection is arranged in ten series that cover the many facets of Holtzmann's arbitration career. The Correspondence series contains personal and business communications, and has a subseries organized by Holtzmann himself and a subseries of general correspondence arranged by sender/recipient and date. The bulk of this material dates from the 1970s through the 2000s, and includes items relating to Holtzmann's work in UNCITRAL, the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, and various other arbitration activities. Further correspondence relating to specific activities and projects can be found elsewhere in the collection.

A Writings series covers the wide variety of Holtzmann's written output, primarily from the 1970s through the 2000s. The series is organized in three subseries, the first of one, "The Papers of Howard M. Holtzmann," arranged by Holtzmann himself and retained in original order. This subseries consists of several binders of typescript drafts of writings from the 1960s through the 2000s, completed in 2010 and 2011 by Holtzmann's assistant, as well as the original manuscript and typescripts of some of these binders. The subseries "Other Writings" holds items from across Holtzmann's career, including original manuscripts and typescripts of speeches, articles, and presentations. Also included here are original draft manuscripts, correspondence, and research material pertaining to several of Holtzmann's books, including International Mass Claims Processes: Legal and Practical Perspectives (2007), edited with Edda Kristjánsdóttir, and A Guide to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1989), written with Joseph E. Neuhaus. The items in this subseries are arranged alphabetically by title. Finally, this series contains a small subseries of writings By Others, and held by Holtzmann—some of the items in this subseries have marginalia and annotations and comments by Holtzmann.

The majority of the collection consists of material relating to Judge Holtzmann's work as a practicing international arbitrator. The bulk of this material is arranged in two series: the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). The former material pertains to Judge Holtzmann's time as the senior arbitrator with the US delegation to the Tribunal from 1981 to 1994. Materials include correspondence, drafts and revisions of rulings and procedural rules, Holtzmann's chronological files, and memos and communiqués, ranging from 1981 to 2009. The UNCITRAL series houses material from Holtzmann's work as a US delegate to this organization, and includes draft model laws, CLOUT case files, correspondence, memos, and working group papers and reports. Similar material is included in the Claims Resolution Tribunal series and Arbitration series, with material ranging from the early 1970s to 2013.  The items in all of these series are arranged alphabetically by type of material and function.

Holtzmann's work with various organizations devoted to international arbitration is documented in two series: American Arbitration Association and Organizations. Dated from 1968 to 2012, the items include meeting minutes and notes; model clauses and decisions for various cases; conference information, publications, and proceedings; research materials; and correspondence. Items are arranged alphabetically by function and type of material.

A broad spectrum of materials relating to Holtzmann's varied arbitration and other legal activities can be found in the series Business Files. Arranged by Holtzmann himself and retained in original order, the series contains writings, correspondence, legal briefs and decisions, and research materials, dating from 1973 to 2013. Finally, materials relating to Judge Holtzmann's personal life—including his endowments and donations to Yale, photographs, and family information—can be found in the Personal series, ranging from 1941-2012.

Container List (PDF)

About the Collection
The Howard M. Holtzmann Papers are organized into ten series (large groupings and categories) and subseries (smaller sub-categories within series). The container list contains a detailed index of every item in the Howard M. Holtzmann Papers. This index provides the exact box and folder location of every item in the collection.

Series I: Correspondence, 1923-2011

This series contains the correspondence and memos written and received by Judge Holtzmann, in both a professional and personal capacity. Included herein are groupings of correspondence organized by Holtzmann. The bulk of the correspondence ranges from the 1970s through the first decade of the 2000s.

Subseries 1: Arranged by Howard M. Holtzmann, 1982-2002
This subseries contains correspondence created and arranged by Holtzmann for his personal records. The material is grouped together as "Chronological Files," according to specified date ranges, and in other select thematic groupings. The files are kept in original order, as created by Holtzmann.

Subseries 2: General, 1923-2011
The material of "General Correspondence" comprises the uncollected and ungrouped correspondence and memos, both sent and received by Holtzmann. Because no original order could be determined, the items in this subseries have been arranged by larger thematic groupings, when discernable based on physical proximity or other context clues, and otherwise, by date, according to decade created.

Series II: Writings, 1934-2013
This series contains the manuscript and typescript drafts, notes, correspondence, and research and reference material pertaining to some of Judge Holtzmann's published and unpublished writings. The first grouping of materials is "The Papers of Howard M Holtzmann," a set of materials organized and arranged by Judge Holtzmann and transcribed by his assistants, and contains Volumes I-VI of his selected papers, as well "Speech Materials," Personal Papers," and "General Papers" also arranged by Holtzmann. This series contains both the transcriptions and the original manuscripts and typescripts. Researchers should not that an item-level index is given for the transcriptions, which is the same order as, and thus applicable for navigating, the original materials. Also contained in this series are manuscript and other items relating to several of Judge Holtzmann's books, including International Mass Claims Processes: Legal and Practical Perspectives, edited with Edda Kristjánsdóttir, and A Guide to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1989), written with Joseph E. Neuhaus. The materials include correspondence, publishing information, and drafts and reader's comments pertaining to the book throughout the various stages of writing, editing, and publishing. This section is organized alphabetically and by type of material.

Subseries 1: "The Papers of Howard M. Holtzmann," 1969-2010
Organized by Holtzmann himself, this series collects the various numbered and non-numbered binder volumes of Holtzmann's writings. "Volume I" through "Volume VI" contain itemized transcribed typescript writings that have been "scanned, proofed, and edited." Numbered 1.01 through 1.100, they were originally housed in brown binders. The numbered part of this series continues in "General Papers & Personal Papers," which contains items 2.1-2.27. Following these seven binders are three unnumbered caches of transcribed, typescript writings: "Misc. Papers (3)," "Speech Materials: Book 1," and an additional although different "Volume I," which I denote with the addition of "unnumbered." Although unnumbered and distinct from the seven numbered volumes, I have elected to place these latter three volumes with the former due to their physical proximity and the general logic of Holtzmann's filing system.

Also included in this subseries are the original manuscripts and typescripts of Volumes I through VI of the "Papers of Howard M. Holtzmann." Though they are not indexed at item level on the container list, these folders are an exact mirror version of the itemized typescripts, as found above it in the container list.

Subseries 2: Other Writings
This subseries holds the uncollected, unordered, and un-bindered writings of Holtzmann. Largely comprised of essays, speeches, lectures, notes, interviews, and other public presentations, Other Writings also contains drafts, research materials, correspondence, and notes pertaining to several of Holtzmann's books, including the Code of Ethics for Arbitrators, A Guide to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration: Legislative History and Commentary, and International Mass Claims Processes: Legal and Practical Perspectives, which he edited with Edda Kristjánsdóttir. Also of interest in this subseries are several light verses, satirical sketches, and fictional pieces written by Holtzmann, including "A Caribbean Christmas Carol," "Izzard Goes to Italy," and "The Wound and the Bow."

Subseries 3: By Others
This subseries contains the manuscripts and typescripts of writings, primarily articles and book chapters, written by people other than Holtzmann. The items are arranged alphabetically by author.
Series III: Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, 1981-2009
The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal was established on January 19, 1981 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America to resolve the claims of nationals of both states and between the states themselves. The Tribunal was, and remains, a landmark event in the establishment of international arbitration protocols. The material of this series relates to Judge Holtzmann's extensive work as the senior US member of the Iran-US Claims Tribunal from its convening in 1981 until 1994. Included are correspondence, chronological files, official documents, memos, communiqués, personal notes, and drafts of rulings and resolutions from this Tribunal. Also contained here is a substantial Index to Issues that outlines the various claims and rules covered by the Tribunal.
Series IV: United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, 1974-2011
UNCITRAL was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 "to promote the progressive harmonization and unification of international trade law." This series includes material related to Holtzmann's long-term involvement as a US delegate, and includes correspondence, working group papers, conference and seminar materials, research materials, writings, and numerous draft documents of arbitration rules. The latter material includes final versions of arbitration rules and model laws, as well as early versions, correspondence relating to their drafting, and corrected drafts and commentary on the rules. The items in this series are organized by type of material and alphabetically. Session and working group materials are organized by session number and date. Arbitration rule drafts are arranged by rule number.
Series V: American Arbitration Association, 1968-2012
The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is a non-profit organization in the field of alternative dispute resolution, providing services to individuals and organizations who wish to resolve conflicts out of court. Long involved with the AAA, this series contains material created by Holtzmann as part of the governance of this organization as well as arbitration proceedings under its auspices. Materials include Executive Committee meeting minutes and notes, model clauses and decisions for various cases, conference information and publications, research materials, and correspondence. Items are arranged alphabetically by function and type of material.
Series VI: Arbitration, 1973-2013
Alongside his work for various national and international governance and arbitration bodies, Judge Holtzmann also practiced widely in the field of arbitration. This series contains items relating to many of these cases and clients. Materials include written discussions of the cases, drafts and final versions of arbitration rulings, correspondence regarding these cases, and research material. The folders are arranged alphabetically by function and type of material.
Series VII: Organizations, 1957-2010
Reflecting the scope of Judge Holtzmann's engagement with the international legal world, this series contains materials pertaining to his work with a wide variety of non-governmental, international governmental, and educational institutions and organizations (aside from the major organizations given separate series). Organizations with whom Holtzmann worked that are covered in this series include: the American Bar Association, the Environmental Law Institute, the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Materials include correspondence, memos and communiqués, conference material, meeting minutes, drafts of rules and policy, writings, and research and printed material. The items are arranged alphabetically by organization.
Series VIII: Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland (CRT), 1997-2002
From 1997 through 2001, Judge Holtzmann worked as an arbitrator on the CRT I and II, a series of tribunals established with the aim of resolving all claims to dormant accounts, defined to include accounts opened by non-Swiss customers that have been inactive since the end of the Second World War and which were made public by the Swiss Bankers Association. This series contains material produced as a consequence of Holtzmann's work as an arbitrator at this time, and include correspondence, reference and research material, writings, and drafts of rules and resolutions, and organizational and administrative records.
Series IX: Business Files, 1973-2013
This series is comprised of the business chronological files of Judge Holtzmann. They are arranged alphabetically, thus retaining the original order as created by Holtzmann himself. The items are ordered according to organizations, institutions, particular projects, broad themes and subjects, and persons of interest to the various legal and arbitration work of Judge Holtzmann, and contain information and items both unique to this series as well as a useful cross-reference for material on similar subjects located elsewhere in the collection.
Series X: Personal, 1941-2012
This series contains items related to Judge Holtzmann in a personal capacity, including financial documents, notes, and materials relating to his family. Many documents—including correspondence and financial material—pertaining to Holtzmann's longstanding involvement in the governance, academics, and endowment of Yale and the Yale Law School can be found here. Additionally, this series contains correspondence and records relating to Holtzmann's work at the law firm of Holtzmann, Wise, and Sheppard. Note that, due to requests from the family, some items in this series are restricted. This series also contains the printed and published material used and retained by Judge Holtzmann for reference and research. Materials include journals, pamphlets, books, magazines, etc. Please note that this series does not include items from Judge Holtzmann's library.