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Warren E. Burger Online Exhibit

Warren E. Burger Office Exhibit

In the newly renovated and expanded Swem Library, the Warren E. Burger Special Collections Wing is home not only to the Chief Justices papers, but it is proud to house the Warren E. Burger office exhibit and a changing display of photographs and memorabilia of the late Chief Justice.

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Warren E. Burger Office Exhibit, Swem Library, The College of William & Mary

While not an exact replica of one of the Chief Justice’s offices at the Supreme Court, this exhibit features original artifacts from the Warren E. Burger papers in a setting that closely resembles the interior design of his Supreme Court chambers. Situated behind the desk are the United States Flag that the Chief Justice kept in his office, as well as a prototype of a United States Supreme Court Flag, which was presented to the Chief Justice, but never accepted as the Court’s official flag.
The desk shown in this picture is a 1960s reproduction of one of the original nine Supreme Court Justices’ desks from 1935. The originals and a few reproductions were manufactured in the Supreme Court carpenter shop.  Chief Justice Burger used this desk when he moved into the ‘Retired Chief Justice’s Chambers’ in 1986. 

Other items displayed are artifacts from the collection, which the Chief Justice kept on his desk top: blotter with paper inserts, scissors, stapler, pencil holders, pencil case, crystal paper clip holder, red telephone, wood trays, Supreme Court stationery, marble paperweight, and personalized colored notepaper. The red appointment book, dated 1994 has the following entry for Saturday, February 5th 1994: Charter Day [College of William & Mary] 10 a.m.; Robing 9 a.m.  On that day, Burger, who had been the College’s Chancellor from 1986-1993, gave the welcome address for his successor Margaret, The Lady Thatcher on the occasion of her investiture.

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Chief Justice Burger’s bench chair (1969).His briefcase is shown in the background.

The exhibited chair is the Chief Justice’s original chair from the Supreme Court Bench and was also manufactured in the Supreme Court carpenter shop. Burger used this bench chair during his entire Supreme Court tenure from 1969-1986.

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Globe with clock, thermometer, barometer, and hygrometer, n.d.  Gift from Warren E. Burger’s wife, Vera. Pedestal inscription: “To Warren from Vera 1952.”

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Briefcase, leather, c. 1940-1950.