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Clay Judson Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-JudsonC

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, writings, photographs and personal papers of Clay Judson, 1892-1960.

Includes World War I correspondence between Judson and his mother, Alice Clay Judson, and Judson and his wife-to-be, Sylvia Shaw, and correspondence to and from other friends and family members, particularly Judson’s son, Clay Judson, Jr. and his father, General William Voorhees Judson; typed manuscripts of several speeches and re-prints of articles written by Judson for law periodicals. There are also a significant number of mementoes (certificates, diplomas, etc.) and some photographs.


  • Creation: 1800-1966



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Clay Judson Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Clay Judson Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Clay Judson

Born Sidney Clay Judson at Lexington, Kentucky, on February 6, 1892 to Alice Clay Judson and General William Voorhees Judson, Clay Judson earned his A.B. at Harvard and his law degree at University of Chicago. In 1917, he enlisted in the United States Army and served as a captain during World War I. He served in France and Germany for 17 months during 1918-1919, but saw very little combat. Instead, he took a law course at the Faculté de Droit at the Université de Paris. Following his return to Chicago, he taught at the University of Chicago and then worked at several law firms.

In 1921, Judson married Sylvia Shaw, a sculptor and the daughter of a prominent Chicago family. They had two children: Alice, born in 1922, and Clay, Jr. born 1924.

Judson served as a trustee or officer in many charitable and educational organizations, including the Francis W. Parker School, the Chicago Zoological Society, and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, among others. Prior to World War II, he was on the Executive Committee of the America First Committee, an organization dedicated to keeping the United States out of the war. During World War II, he was a member of the Price Adjustment Board of the Chicago Ordinance District.

Judson died on November 29, 1960.


3.8 Linear Feet (6 boxes and 1 oversize box)


Correspondence, writings, photographs and memorabilia of Chicago lawyer Clay Judson.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Correspondence, 1894-1966
Boxes 1-2
Series 2: Photographs, approximately 1895-1922
Box 2
Series 3: Works, 1914-1957
Box 3
Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1800-1962
Box 4
Series 5: Clippings, 1891-1962
Box 5

Collection Stack Location

1 22 7, 1 30 3


Gift of Sylvia Shaw Judson Haskins, 1963, 1973; Alice Ryerson (Alice Hayes), 1988.

Related Archival Materials note

See also the William Voorhees Judson Papers, Midwest MS Judson

Processed by

Emily Calkins, 2007.

Inventory of the Clay Judson Papers, 1800-1966
Emily Calkins
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States