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Archiving justices’ papers not a moot point

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Erik Robinson provides guidance on the procedures for preserving historic documents to FSU law student volunteers
IN THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT’S RARE BOOK ROOM, the court’s archivist, Erik Robinson, provides guidance on the procedures for preserving historic documents to FSU law student volunteers, as they raise money to attend moot court trials.

Archiving justices’ papers not a moot point

FSCHS grant puts law students to work preserving historical documents

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The dust has settled in the Florida Supreme Court library for only a brief period of time, as student volunteers from Florida State University College of Law break from an archiving project to participate in moot court.

At the close of the final round of moot court, volunteers will resume archiving collections of justices’ papers that have been stored in their original acidic folders, overfilled, and in need of rearranging and long-term preservation.

To ensure these historic records would remain for generations to come, the court began the process of upgrading the overstuffed, accordion folders to subdivided, archive-quality folders. With the immensity of the ever-growing collection, more than half remained in their original state.

To expedite the project, Florida Supreme Court Historical Society approved a grant of $2,500 and opened applications to registered student organizations at FSU’s School of Law, willing to provide 225 hours of volunteer time. Florida State Women’s Law Symposium was selected from the grant applicants.

Several volunteers at a time, recruited by Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, have been working under the supervision of Erik Robinson, Florida Supreme Court archivist. Over 100 hours of work have been logged so far by volunteers Emily Baxter, Beatriz Benitez, Lindsey Boudreau, Cassandra DeCoste, Drew Domina, Kristin DuPont, Lolia Fernandez, Tiliany Parra Fontalvo, Alyssa Hartman, Tabitha Herrera, Rachel Laurel, Sarah Leon, Keeley McKenna, Kristi Sardina, and Nur Sokmensuer.

The collection of papers included in this project are housed in the Archival Collection of the Florida Supreme Court and include numerous chamber papers donated by former justices. The Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, the originator of the project grant, is a nonprofit with the mission to preserve, protect, and honor the rich history of the state’s Supreme Court. To learn more about the history of Florida’s high court, visit www.FlCourtHistory.org.

The Historical Society is always in search for historical significant documents from past justices that may be collecting dust in a relative’s closet or attic somewhere. If you know of documents that deserve to be preserved, contact the society’s executive director at or call 850-201-2622.