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Thursday, 11 June 2020
The Wallace Breem Memorial Award 2020
Lesley Dingle interviewing the late R.W.M. ‘Mickey’ Dias in 2007

Many congratulations to Lesley Dingle of the Squire Law Library who has received well-deserved recognition for her extensive work relating to the Eminent Scholars Archive (ESA). The Wallace Breem Memorial Award is a biennial award that is traditionally presented at the time of the Annual Conference of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL), and this year it has been awarded to Lesley for her work in establishing, developing and maintaining the Eminent Scholars Archive.

This unique archive, founded in 2005, contains entries for over 30 prominent legal scholars, who have connections to the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, and takes the form of recorded interviews, biographies, bibliographies and photographs. It is an important resource for researchers, biographers and legal historians and its value will only increase in the future.

This expanding archive documents the careers and achievements of these legal scholars and includes entries for international lawyers, legal historians, legal philosophers, criminal lawyers and many recent incumbents of the Arthur Goodhart Visiting Professorship in Legal Science.

The Wallace Breem Memorial Award is sponsored jointly by The Inner Temple and BIALL. One of the objectives of the Award is to recognise particularly good contributions to the world of law librarianship. The Award was inaugurated in 1990 in memory of Wallace Breem, former librarian of The Inner Temple Library and a founder member of BIALL (established in 1969) who, at various times, held the offices of Secretary, Treasurer, Chairman, Vice-President and President of the Association.

It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to capture the reminiscences of so many of the Faculty’s eminent scholars Lesley Dingle

More information about the Wallace Breem Memorial Award can be found on the BIALL website.

In accepting the award, Lesley said, "It is a great honour to be recognised by the 2020 BIALL/Inner Temple Wallace Breem Memorial Award for founding and maintaining the Eminent Scholars Archive at the Squire Law Library since 2005".

She paid tribute to her colleagues and in particular Daniel Bates "whose invaluable technical support and vision in capturing and editing the audio, video, and web materials has maintained the high level of presentation that the Archive has achieved". She also thanked David Wills for his support, encouragement and interest over the years.

The origins of the archive date back to 2005 when Lesley had the determination "to record the fascinating recollections of Professor Kurt Lipstein with whom I shared a room at the Squire. Kurt was one of the pre-war German emigres, and his poignant story highlighted the potential for such an archive. Since then, it has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to capture the reminiscences of so many of the Faculty’s eminent scholars, as well as the incumbent annual Goodhart Professor. This journey over the last 15 years has been a pleasure, enhanced as it is by the knowledge that ESA is an expanding repository of legal history and the history of many of Cambridge’s legal scholars over the last century."

Many congratulations again to Lesley Dingle and the Eminent Scholars Archive!