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Maynard E. Pirsig notebooks

Identifier: LSA-2023-10

Scope and content

The collection consists of notes written by Maynard Pirsig for classes at the University of Minnesota Law School in the 1920s. Loose notes and two sheets of practice questions that Pirsig answered are included in the back of the 1922-1923 notebook.


  • Creation: 1922 - 1925


Restrictions to access



Items in this collection do not circulate and may only be used in the reading room of the Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center.

Copyright notice

Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with Riesenfeld Center staff.

Biographical information

Maynard Ernest Pirsig was born in Kossuth County, Iowa on January 9, 1902. After receiving a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1923, Pirsig attended the Law School and graduated with an L.L.B. in 1925. In the early years of his career, he served as the director of the Legal Aid Society in Minneapolis and taught part-time at the Law School. Pirsig then joined the Law School faculty full-time in 1933, where he served as Dean (1948-1955) and taught ground-breaking courses in judicial administration until he reached the University’s mandatory retirement age in 1970. Pirsig then took a teaching position at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, which he retired from in 1993. Pirsig died in New Brighton, MN on February 5, 1997.


2 Volumes

Language of Materials



This collection contains two of Maynard E. Pirsig's notebooks from his time as a student at the University of Minnesota Law School in the 1920s.


In two volumes, chronologically:

  • Contracts. Notes taken by Maynard Pirsig of Henry W. Ballantine’s class on Contracts at the University of Minnesota School of Law, 1922/23.
  • Persons. Notes taken by Maynard Pirsig of Prof. James Paige’s class at the University of Minnesota School of Law, 1924/25.

Acquisitions information

Donated to the Law Library by Maynard Pirsig between 1981 and 1986.

Processing information

The titles of the two volumes were devised by the Law Library in 1986. The exact date of Pirsig’s donation of this collection to the Library is unknown. In the notebook on Contracts, we found both a gift receipt from the Law Library for the notebook dated July 24, 1986 and a University of Minnesota memo that mentions the gift dated December 16, 1981.

Guide to the Maynard E. Pirsig notebooks
Lily Eisenthal
February 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Law Library Archives, Stefan A. Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center Collecting Area

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455