Palestine: records in the IALS Archives

Written by Clare Cowling, IALS Archivist |
Image of archival boxes and files shelved on stacks

What we hold

The Archives holds a small number of records about Palestine covering the period 1930-1995.  The records will be found in the following collections:

Papers of Sir William Dale (archives reference: DALE)

William Leonard Dale (1906–2000), lawyer and civil servant, was born on 17 June 1906 and trained as a lawyer and barrister.  His illustrious career included working with an English solicitor practising in Jaffa, then part of Palestine.   His personal correspondence in the 1930s describes his experiences of living and working in Palestine (reference DALE/1) and includes his diary while working there as an advocate (DALE/2).  Other relevant material is at DALE/4.

In 1961 Dale became the legal adviser to the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO).  A spell in the law officers' department (1967–68) was followed by a decision to move to Beirut as general counsel to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees.  Tributes to his time there plus newspaper cuttings will be found at DALE/6 and DALE/8.

In 1994 Dale was appointed one of the expert advisers appointed to the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) engagement project by the IALS to study the existing Palestinian legal infrastructure of the Gaza Strip and to recommend suitable financial and technical assistance.  His papers relating to this project are at DALE/3.

Manuscript Material relating to Legal Education and Research includes some papers of Frederick Maurice GOADBY, a lecturer at the Government Law Classes, Jerusalem, relating to private international law and personal status in Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s (ref: IALSLIB 10).

International Law Association (ILA): Archives, 1866-2019

The ILA was founded in Brussels in 1873 as an association 'to consist of Jurists, Economists, Legislators, Politicians and others taking an interest in the question of the reform and Codification of Public and Private International Law, the Settlement of Disputes by Arbitration, and the assimilation of the laws, practice and procedure of the Nations in reference to such laws' (afternoon sitting of the first conference of members, 19 November 1873: reference ILA 01/01).  The ILA has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies. 

Records in the ILA include those of the International Law Association in Israel, 1953-1988 such as a typescript 'Tension Between Peoples as a Problem of International Law', text adapted from an address in Hebrew given by Dr. Charles Boasson (ref: ILA/4/48) and ILA Library pamphlets relating to Palestine from c.1922-1936 (Ref: ILA/6/32). 

Further information: detailed descriptions of the records listed above will be found in the IALS Archives jurisdiction guide: Palestine.  All the records listed may be viewed by prior appointment in the IALS Library.  Requests for an appointment to examine any of the records should be made to the Archivist (  

About the IALS Archives

The IALS Archives was established in the 1990s during the Records of Legal Education Project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust to investigate records of legal education. During the project IALS accepted a number of collections from individuals and organisations which otherwise had no institutional archives or were at risk of loss. Since the end of the project IALS has continued to accept deposits of archive material relating to legal education.  To browse the Archives catalogues see this link:

Logo from TNA for an accredited archive service


The IALS Archives have been designated an “Accredited Archive Service” by The National Archives (TNA) in recognition of our archive service and management of this unique legal archives collection.

Clare Cowling

Clare Cowling is the IALS Archivist and an experienced archivist and records manager who has worked in legal archives management for many years.