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FIRE's First Amendment Library features a special collection dedicated to the obscenity trials of late comedian and free speech icon Lenny Bruce.

First Amendment Library Feature: Unique Document Collection

By November 16, 2016

FIRE’s new First Amendment Library has a plethora of useful—and free!—features for anyone interested in learning more about the First Amendment. From lawyers to laypeople, there is truly something for everyone in our just-launched and ever-expanding library. Today, we’d like to tell you about some of the unique documents we’re compiling for the library—some of which you won’t find anywhere else.

The library currently features several special collections. Our collection on “The Trials of Lenny Bruce” aims to tell the story of the comedian’s fight against obscenity law in a way that’s never been done before. With an introduction by Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover, the authors of The Trials of Lenny Bruce, FIRE has compiled the court transcripts from Bruce’s trials in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco and other related documents. This is the first time these documents have been made accessible to the public, free of charge, in digital format, all in one location.

The library will also provide a permanent home for a the academic papers of First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh. Volokh, who graduated from UCLA with a degree in computer science at age 15, is one of the most prolific and respected free speech scholars of our day. A professor at UCLA School of Law, Volokh teaches on topics related to the First Amendment and a variety of other subjects. He also runs UCLA’s First Amendment amicus brief clinic. He is a member of the First Amendment Library’s Board of Advisors.

Finally, the library has also compiled a list of every Supreme Court Justice in the history of the Court and a list of First Amendment cases over which they presided, and an expanding list of litigators who have argued before the Court complete with the cases they argued.

We hope you have fun and learn while searching our special collections. Meanwhile, we’re reaching out to publishers, libraries, and other academic thinkers to help expand this ever-growing resource. We hope to soon include more academic papers, court transcripts, and possibly even full books. Check back often for new and exciting content coming soon.