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Arthur Beardsley, 1889 - 1950

Information about Dr. Arthur Beardsley, first director of the University of Washington Law Library


Ph. D., University of Washington, 1928

M.A., University of Washington, 1925

B.S. (library science), University of Washington, 1924

LL.B., University of Washington School of Law, 1918


Dr. Beardsley was a scholar and historian with a noted interest in historical legal research, in particular the laws, lawyers, and judges of early Washington and Oregon.

He made a significant contribution to the preservation of Washington state legal history by writing The Bench and Bar of Washington: The First Fifty Years (1849-1900), a painstakingly researched 42-chapter unpublished manuscript that details the history of early Washington’s legal community. Beardsley described his motivation behind writing The Bench and Bar as a way of “preserv[ing] . . . a memorial [of the early lawyers and judges of Washington] and [providing] an inspiration to the young lawyers to come.”


Attorney, 1944-50

Librarian and Professor of Law, University of Washington, 1937-44

Librarian and Associate Professor of Law, University of Washington, 1932-37

Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law, University of Washington, 1925-32

Law Librarian, University of Washington, 1922-25

Librarian, Puget Sound Navy Yard, 1918-19

Librarian, Camp Lewis, 1919-22

More Information

Mary Whisner, Washington State Legal History Collections (describes Dr. Beardsley's Bench and Bar clippings collection and related manuscripts).

Carissa Vogel, Rediscovering Dr. Arthur S. Beardsley: A Brief Introduction to His Life and Work, 27 Legal Ref. Serv. Q. 347 (2008). [UW Restricted]

Laura M. Goldsmith, History of the University of Washington Law Librarianship Program, 82 Law Lib. J. 239 (1990).