Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Milton Handler papers, 1923-1997

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1672
Bib ID 10392067 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Handler, Milton, 1903-1998
Title Milton Handler papers, 1923-1997
Physical Description 107.5 linear feet (212 document boxes, 2 flat boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



Material is arranged into 7 series.



The Milton Handler Papers span the years 1923 to 1997. The collection's earliest records are class notes taken by Handler while he was a student at Columbia University. The most recent records consist of travel correspondence. In essence, the collection documents 45 years of Milton Handler's activities and achievements as a Professor of Law at Columbia University, a career as a preeminent antitrust and trademark scholar, and a lawyer and senior partner of the firm Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays, and Handler. The records total approximately 96 linear feet of material including correspondence (both incoming letters and carbon copies of outgoing letters); handwritten and typed drafts with corrections; legal memoranda; dockets; reports; legal and legislative documents; clippings; research materials and notes; printed items such as pamphlets, reprints of articles, and speeches; photographs; audio tapes; and award and degree certificates. Professor Handler made the initial donation of material to Butler Library at Columbia University in 1978. Subsequent donations took place in 1982, 1983, and 1984. In 1986, when Special Collections at the Library of the School of Law had been established, Handler requested that the papers donated earlier to Butler Library be transferred to the Library of the School of Law. He made additional donations of papers in 1986 and 1987. A description of the Milton Handler Papers record groups follows.

  • Series I: Briefs, Opinions, Speeches & Writings, 1926-1997

    This contains 42.5 linear feet of material. The briefs and opinions reflect Professor Handler's career of involvement with antitrust and trademark infringement cases including those of Continental Can Co. and Hazel-Atlas Glass Co., Texaco, Inc. (formerly The Texas Company), PepsiCo, Inc. (formerly Pepsi-Cola Co.), and Atlantic City Electric Co. This record group also documents an important career of speechmaking and lecturing and includes notes, memos, research material, drafts, and correspondence for speeches and lectures. Among these are the 25 Annual Reviews of Antitrust Developments before the Bar Association of New York City and three seminal lectures at the University of Buffalo School of Law (1957) entitled Antitrust in Perspective. In addition Record Group I includes Professor Handler's many and varied writings. Handler has written and continues to write key law review articles covering trademark, corporate mergers, and antitrust policy. One of the important offerings to the field of antitrust law is monograph 38, A Study of the Construction and Enforcement of the Federal Antitrust Laws (1941) written for the Temporary National Economic Committee for the study of the antitrust laws.

  • Series II: Columbia University

    This record group, 10 linear feet of material, documents Handler's 45-year career as Professor of Law at Columbia University (1927-1972). It contains correspondence with faculty, alumni, and administrators regarding a variety of topics including class reunions, scholarship fundraising, and the establishment of the Milton Handler Chair in Trade Regulation. Of note are some of the works Professor Handler prepared especially for his law students, e.g., Case Studies in Trade Regulation and some of Handler's own class notes taken when he was a student at Columbia University in the 1920's.

  • Series III: Projects and Subjects

    There are 16.5 linear feet of records in this group which is composed of several series. One series consists of records regarding commissions. Professor Handler served on several important commissions during his career. Included in the series on commissions are drafts of commission reports, correspondence, and related government studies, as well as the commission reports themselves. Handler's activity in Jewish affairs is reflected in the series of records, Jewish Interests, which documents his involvement in this area. It includes clippings, reports, correspondence, and programs. Notable is his co-authored brief entitled "Basic Equities of the Palestine Problem" which was submitted to the United Nations to effect acceptance and establishment of the State of Israel. Considerable documentation on the Truman Centre for the Advancement of Peace and other key activities involving the growth and development of Hebrew University also can be found in this series. Professor Handler helped to draft important legislation during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Some of the background material for this and later antitrust legislation, such as the bill to overrule Illinois Brick and the Hart-Scott Amendment, is in Record Group III, Series 5, Legislation & Senate Hearings, A-Z.

  • Series IV: Correspondence

    This wide-ranging group of letters between Handler and clients, business and scholastic colleagues, friends, and important legislators and politicians totals 19.5 linear feet. The letters cover subject matter ranging from cases to important antitrust and trademark legislation, as well as Handler's lectures and writings. Correspondence from the most recent years, 1977-1984, has been left in chronological sequence as received. Not to be forgotten are Professor Handler's "Saga Letters" which document his extensive personal world-wide travel from 1956 to 1985.

  • Series V: Benjamin Cardozo, 1931-1988

    This small amount of material, .5 linear feet, includes Cardozo's opinions and draft of opinions from 1931 court cases, correspondence regarding Cardozo Law School, and other related records.

  • Series VI: Harlan Fiske Stone

    In this record group totalling 1 linear foot are opinions dating from 1926 when Handler served as Stone's law clerk. Most notable of these is the opinion for the Trenton Potteries case which inspired Professor Handler to pursue antitrust law. This record group contains also correspondence with Stone, memoranda and notes for Supreme Court cases during Handler's year with Stone, and remarks, correspondence (including correspondence with Mrs. Stone and with Stone's secretary), and programs regarding memorial tributes to Stone.

  • Series VII: Audio/Visual Material

  • Series VIII: Awards and Certificates

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Milton Handler Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2013.2014.M028: Source of acquisition--Diamond Law Library. Method of acquisition--transfer; Date of acquisition--07/23/2013.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Daniel Weiss 1988.

Revision Description

2013-10-03 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Columbia University. School of Law Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Handler, Milton, 1903-1998 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Trade regulation -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Lifelong New Yorker, and very much a "son of Columbia" (College'24; Law School '26) the late Milton Handler (d. '98) taught at Columbia Law School for forty-five years. He was a prolific scholar and wrote a leading text on Trade Regulation.