The Society, a private non-profit organization, is dedicated to the collection and preservation of the history of the Supreme Court of the United States. Incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1974, it was founded by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who served as its first honorary chairman. The Society’s headquarters is located at Opperman House, 224 East Capitol Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20003.
Opperman House has two important resources: The Goldman Library and the Membership Lounge. The Goldman Library has a conference table suitable for small meetings and luncheons. The books housed therein have been collected through the efforts of Professor James B. O’Hara, a Trustee of the Society, and comprise one of the finest collections of judicial biographies, Justices’ writings, and histories of the Court. The collection also includes materials relating to Solicitors and Attorneys General and Presidents of the United States. The headquarters also has a Membership Lounge, a meeting space located on the third floor sufficient in size for small receptions and luncheons. The Society accomplishes its mission by conducting educational programs, programs of interest to legal practitioners, scholars and historians and the general public, supporting historical research, publishing books, journals, and electronic materials, and by collecting antiques and artifacts related to the Court’s history.
These activities and others increase the public’s awareness of the Court’s contributions to our nation’s rich constitutional heritage. At present, the Society has about 3,700 individual members who provide financial support and volunteer for service on its standing and ad hoc committees. These committees report to an elected Board of Trustees; the Executive Committee of the Board is principally responsible for policy decisions. The Chief Justice of the United States is the Honorary Chairman of the Society. The Society employs twelve full-time staff members and operates the Gift Shop located in the Supreme Court at One First Street, N.E. Information about the Gift Shop including hours of operation may be found by clicking on the Gift Shop tab.
The Society provides financial support for the Supreme Court Fellows Program as well as staff support and serves as a fiduciary for the Supreme Court Musicale. The Supreme Court Historical Society supports its programs through contributions from its members, gifts and grants from foundations, corporations, law firms and individuals, Gift Shop Sales and a small endowment. The Society is recognized as a (501) (c) (3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
About the Society
The Supreme Court Historical Society is a private non-profit organization, incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1974. The Society is dedicated to the collection and preservation of the history of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Society seeks to accomplish its mission by supporting historical research, collecting antiques and artifacts relating to the Court’s history, sponsoring lectures or educational curriculum, and publishing books and other materials which increase public awareness of the Court’s contribution to our Nation’s rich constitutional heritage.
“Much of the history of the Supreme Court can be found in memorabilia, art, and documents that have gathered dust for too long in storerooms and attics. Some have been lost forever, because of carelessness, or neglect, or the failure to appreciate their worth, or the absence of any plan to preserve them. I am confident that the Society will reverse that trend and will acquire significant materials and preserve them for future generations. Equally important, it will encourage research on all aspects of the Court and on the rich and varied traditions and personalities that are part of its history.”
— Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, November 1974