Warren E. Burger Collection

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The Warren E. Burger Collection consists of the lifetime professional and personal papers and memorabilia of the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, as well as of related acquisitions, collected by the College of William and Mary.

The Warren E. Burger papers were given to the College of William and Mary by his son, Wade A. Burger in 1996. Warren Burger served as the 20th chancellor of the College of William and Mary from 1986-1993, and the College is honored to serve as the permanent home of the papers of one of the most influential legal figures of this century, whose papers will become an immeasurable resource for future historians and legal scholars. NOTE: In accordance with the donor agreement, the Warren E. Burger Papers are closed to researchers until at least 2028.*

  • The deed of gift specifies that the papers are to remain closed to researchers until 10 years after the last Justice who served with Warren E. Burger on the Supreme Court has passed away, or 2026, whichever comes later.

Warren E. Burger (1907-1995) grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he attended the University of Minnesota and then the St. Paul College of Law as a night student while working full time during the day. After graduating magna cum laude in 1931, he joined the firm Boyeson, Otis, Brill & Faricy St. Paul, becoming a partner in 1933. His participation in Harold Stassen's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 1952 led to his becoming Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, in the United States Department of Justice under the Eisenhower administration. He served as a judge for the Federal Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, from 1956-1969. In May 1969, President Nixon appointed him Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and his nomination was confirmed by an overwhelming margin in June. During his seventeen years as Chief Justice, he not only presided over the Court's many historic decisions but also worked tirelessly to improve the way the judiciary functions and how justice is administered throughout the nation's courts. In 1986, he resigned from the Supreme Court to devote his time and energy to serving as chairman of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. All these facets of Warren E. Burger's career are well represented in the approximately 1,200 cubic feet of papers, 1,500 photographs and more than 300 artifacts in custody of the College of William and Mary.

Preceded by College of William and Mary Chancellor Succeeded by
Alvin Duke Chandler

1962-1974

Warren E. Burger

1986-1993

Lady Margaret Thatcher

1993-2000


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A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.