Roswell B. Perkins President Files
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library [Contact Us]3460 Chestnut Street, Biddle Law Library, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3406
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Roswell B. "Rod" Perkins was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1926. He received his undergraduate degree (1945) and law degree (1949) from Harvard. For most of his career, Perkins worked at the law firm Debevoise and Plimpton, where he was named partner in 1957. He specialized in corporation and securities law.
Perkins became a member of the American Law Institute (ALI) in 1964. In 1980, he was named the sixth President of the ALI and served in this role until 1993. During his presidency, Perkins played a major role in the drafting of the Principles of Corporate Governance: Analysis and Recommendations. He also proposed the raising of an Endowment Fund for the institute. Perkins served as Chair of the Council from 1993 to 2008. He recieved the ALI Distinguished Service Award in 2008.
Throughout his career, Perkins was an active member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He was a member of the ABA's Commission on Law and the Economy and the ABA Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities. He received the Fifty-Year Award of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation in 2002.
Roswell B. Perkins passed away in March 2019 at the age of 92.
The Roswell B. Perkins President Files, 1959-2010, document his activity as President of the American Law Institute from 1980 to 1993.
Series I: Correspondence, 1964-1992, contains general correspondence arranged chronologically. The correspondence is related to meetings, membership, and various ALI projects conducted during Perkin's presidency. Also included are copies of presidents' letters written by Perkins.
Series II: Principles of Corporate Governance, 1977-1995, contains reports, correspondence, revisions, research materials, and speeches from the drafting of the Principles of Corporate Governance: Analysis and Recommendations.
Subseries 1: Correspondence and Comments, 1980-1993, contains general updates on the project and comments on drafts from Perkins, ALI members, and project advisors. Correspondence from the American Bar Association and the Business Roundtable is also included. The folders labeled Part IV, Part V, Part VI, and Part VII contain correspondence and suggested revisions on each part of the project.
Subseries 2: Drafts and Meeting Notes, 1977-1992, consists of tentative, discussion, and council drafts of the final report as well as preparatory materials and notes from meetings where the drafts were discussed.
Subseries 3: Publications and Remarks, 1977-1995, consists of articles, speeches, and research prepared by Perkins and others related to the project.
For additional records on the Principles of Corporate Governance, see ALI.04.023.
Series III: Subject Files, 1959-2010, contains reports, articles, minutes, and some correspondence pertaining to specific subjects. These files were collected by Perkins during his ALI presidency and maintain his original arrangement. Included is material related to the ALI/American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Legal Education, fundraising, finances, the history of the ALI, and reflections on Perkins' presidency.
The collection is arranged into the following series: Series I. Correspondence, 1964-1992; Series II. Principles of Corporate Governance, 1977-1995; Series III. Subject Files, 1959-2010.
Series II. Principles of Corporate Governance is divided into three subseries: Correspondence and Comments, 1980-1993; Draft and Meeting Notes, 1977-1992; and Publications and Remarks, 1977-1995.
Received from the American Law Institute headquarters, circa 2000 and 2022.
Processed by Jordon Steele, June 2009 and Elizabeth Wittrig, April 2023.
- University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library
- Finding Aid Author
- Jordon Steele and Elizabeth Wittrig
- Finding Aid Date
- 2009, revised April 2023
- Access Restrictions
The archives reserves the right to restrict access to materials of sensitive nature. Please contact the department for further information. This collection is located offsite.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.