This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses to locate the multiple forms, genres, sites and practices that manifest law's counter-archive. It examines law's implicit assertions of authority in staking out domains of adjudication through the constitution of archives of violence. Stoler suggests that we attend not only to colonialism's archival content, but to the principles and practices of governance lodged in particular 'archival forms'. Derrida's Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression ranges from the origins of psychoanalysis to the implications of new technologies such as the internet and email for archiving. State law speaks with one voice and one authority, guarding its singularity. French inquisitorial judges of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and English judges in their petty sessions charged with administering Poor Laws, assembled the 'real archive', not the archive of Archive Fever, which is reduced to a repository of documents.