Subject: Legal History
17th - 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers
The Burney Collection, sourced from the British Library, is an archive of newspapers and news pamphlets (approximately 1,270 titles) gathered by Reverend Charles Burney (b. 1757-d. 1817). See title list. Although the majority of materials were published in London, there are some English provincial, Irish and Scottish papers, as well as a handful of examples from the American colonies.
America, History and Life
America, History and Life is a primary index to research in U.S. and Canadian history. It provides abstracts of scholarly literature on the history and culture of the U.S. and Canada from pre-historic times to the present. It covers 1800 journals in many languages and includes citations to book reviews, media reviews and dissertations. This database contains journal articles plus citations with links to full text articles in other databases.
Anglo-American Legal Tradition
AALT contains documents from medieval and early modern England from the National Archives in London. Documents are "digitized and displayed through The O'Quinn Law Library of the University of Houston Law Center by license of the National Archives." [Internet resource: free on the Web]
Archive Finder brings together ArchivesUSA and NIDS UK/Ireland). ArchivesUSA is a current directory of over 5,500 repositories and more than 161,000 collections of primary source material across the United States. NIDS UK/Ireland is a major reference work that reproduces on microfiche the finding aids to thousands of archive and manuscript collections in libraries and record offices, museums and private collections throughout the UK and Ireland. Used together in Archive Finder, researchers are able to read descriptions of a repository's holdings to determine whether a collection contains material useful to their work as well as find the information they need to contact the repository directly.
Avalon Project at Yale Law School
The Avalon Project mounts digital documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government. It adds value to texts by linking to supporting documents expressly referred to in the body of the text. The Federalist Papers are a collection of 85 essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay that explain the philosophy and defend the advantages of the U.S. constitution. They are available at the web site of the Avalon Project. [Internet resource: free on the Web]
Biography in Context
The Biography in Context database integrates Gale biographies with full-text magazine articles, images, and website links. Search for current or historic people by name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, birth/death dates and places, or gender, or by keyword and full text. The Marquis Who's Who module provides quick reference information on over 1 million additional people whose entries have appeared in more than 20 Marquis sources published from 1985 to the present.
British History Online
British History Online is a digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Much of the material in this digital library is free, but additional "premium" content is available by subscription only. THE LIBRARY DOES NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THE PREMIUM CONTENT. [Internet resource: free on the Web]
British Periodicals Collection
British Periodicals Collection I provides access to the searchable full text of more than 160 British periodicals from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century . Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences. Collection II consists of more than 300 journals from the UMI microfilm collections English Literary Periodicals and British Periodicals in the Creative Arts together with additional titles.Topics covered include literature, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture. On completion, this digital archive will consist of almost 500 periodical runs published from the 1680s to the 1930s.
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875. It includes the Journals of the Continental Congress (1774-89); the Letters of Delegates to Congress (1774-89); the Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, or Farrand's Records, and the Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (1787-88), or Elliot's Debates; the Journals of the House of Representatives (1789-1875) and the Senate (1789-1875), including the Senate Executive Journal (1789-1875); the Journal of William Maclay (1789-91), senator from Pennsylvania in the 1st Congress; the debates of Congress as published in the Annals of Congress (1789-1824), the Register of Debates (1824-37), Congressional Globe (1833-73), and Congressional Record (1873-75); the Statutes at Large (1789-1875); the American State Papers (1789-1838); and congressional bills and resolutions for selected sessions beginning with the 6th Congress (1799) in the House of Representatives and the 16th Congress (1819) in the Senate. A select number of documents and reports from the monumental U.S. Congressional Serial Set are available as well. [Internet resource: free on the Web]
Declassified Documents Reference System - US
Declassified Documents Reference System - US provides full text searchable access to a selection of over 75,000 previously classified U.S. government documents. Post World War II documents include correspondence and memoranda, minutes of cabinet meetings, technical studies, national security policy statements, and intelligence reports.
Digital National Security Archive
Please note: this collection may contain classified material.The Digital National Security Archive contains more than 58,000 declassified primary documents that led to policy decisions. Covers such areas as Afghanistan, Berlin Crisis 1958-1962, Cuban Missile Crisis, El Salvador, Iran-Contra Affair, Terrorism and U.S. policy, etc.
Early American Newspapers. Series I, 1690-1876
Early American Newspapers, Series 1, 1690-1876 offers cover-to-cover reproductions of over 710 historic American newspapers, providing more than one million pages as fully text-searchable facsimile images. Focusing largely on the 18th and early 19th centuries, this online collection is based on Clarence S. Brigham’s “History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820” and other authoritative bibliographies.
Early English Books Online
EEBO is a full-text electronic collection of images of all books, pamphlets, and broadsides published in the English language in any country from 1475 through 1700. It includes the works listed in: --Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (printed materials published in English from 1475 to 1640) --Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (printed materials published in English from 1641 to 1700) --Thomason Tracts (compendium of broadsides on the English Civil War printed between 1640 and 1661). The EEBO Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP), a separate but closely linked project at the University of Michigan, is creating a subset of fully searchable texts from the titles available in EEBO.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) contains digital images of every page of over 180,000 books published during the 18th century in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more. It offers full-text searching of approximately 26 million pages. Georgetown subscribes to both the main ECCO database and ECCO II.
HarpWeek provides a searchable index to the content of Harper's Weekly, beginning with 1857 issues. Provides access to the illustrations, cartoons, news, literature, editorials, and advertisements via controlled thesauri, as well as full-text search capability, and scanned images of each issue.
HeinOnline Slavery in America and the world: History, Culture & Law
This HeinOnline collection brings together, for the first time, all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery.
HeinOnline: Scottish Legal History
Scottish Legal History includes Stair Society main series publications, supplementary series, other works on Scottish legal history, and scholarly law review articles on Scottish legal history.
HeinOnline: Selden Society Publications & the History of Early English Law
The initial release of this collection on HeinOnline contains official publications from the Selden Society, including the Selden Society Annual Series vols. 1-117 (1887-2000), the Supplementary Series vols. 1-13 (1965-2000), and the Centenary Guide to the Publications of the Selden Society. Also included are links to law review articles that discuss the development of early English history, plus English legal history classics.
HeinOnline: U.S. Congressional Documents Library
HeinOnline has various modules, which are are fully-searchable. This database contains PDF documents for Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, Congressional Globe, Congressional Record, American State Papers, and Journals of the Continental Congress.
HeinOnline: World Trials Library
The World Trials library on HeinOnline contains, "in addition to trial transcripts and other critical court documents, trial-related resources such as monographs which analyze and debate the decisions of famous trials as well as biographies of many great trial lawyers in history." GULLiver contains individual records for publications in this database.
Heinonline: English Reports
HeinOnline allows you to search or browse all 176 volumes of the English Reports, Full Reprint along with its "Index of Cases" and "Index Chart." This collection encompasses the decisions of the English Courts prior to the commencement of the Law Reports in 1865. It represents reprints of 275 separate series of reports, arranged by the English Courts: House of Lords, Chancery, Rolls Court, etc. The English Reports, Full Reprint contains over 100,000 cases reprinted verbatim and spans the years 1220 to 1867.
Historic Supreme Court Decisions - by Justice
Historic Supreme Court Decisions - by Justice includes all the justices who have served on the Supreme Court, with links to one or more opinions in this historic collection. Clicking on a linked name will retrieve all the opinions by that justice included in the collection (including concurring and dissenting opinions). Following each justice's name is a link to a brief biography.
Historical Abstracts provides bibliographical coverage of the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada). Included are article abstracts from over 2,000 journals published worldwide, plus citations to books and dissertations.
Justis UK Statutes
The Justis UK Statutes database (with JustCite add-on) contains the full text of all Acts of Parliament in England, Wales and Scotland as enacted from 1235 to the present day. UK Statutes is the only statute law database to contain Scottish Acts of Parliament and repealed legislation. All Acts appear as enacted, with links to amended and amending legislation allowing the user to trace the development of the law. A notable feature of the Justis services is the JustCite tabs, which provide users with a visual display of the path of legislation. You can also use this link for JustCite (NB: Georgetown does not subscribe to Justis content other than UK Statutes, JustCite and International Law Reports.)
LLMC Digital is an electronic database of historical legal materials containing case reporters, statutes of the U.S. and selected foreign nations, U.S. government documents, and many other legal materials. It is a rich source for legal history researchers.
LexisNexis Academic Universe provides full-text documents from over 5,600 news, business, legal, medical, and reference publications with a variety of flexible search options. LexisNexis Academic provides searchable access to a comprehensive spectrum of full-text information from over 5,600 sources, selected to meet academic research needs, including: National and regional newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, international news, and non-English language sources; U.S. Federal and state case law, codes, regulations, legal news, law reviews, and international legal information; Shepards Citations for all U.S. Supreme Court cases back to 1789; Business news journals, company financial information, SEC filings and reports, and industry and market news.
Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) records offer researchers a unique view of the inner workings of the organization and the hundreds of groups with which the ACLU interacted. Covering the years from before the ACLU’s official founding in 1920 through the 20th century, this archive offers primary source materials on some of the most important issues that affected the United States.
Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800-1926
MOML is a full-text searchable collection of 21,000 British and American legal treatises from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The 10 million+ pages available in this database are viewable as PDF images. Content was originally published in the microfilm sets “Nineteenth-Century Legal Treatises” and “Twentieth-Century Legal Treatises.”
Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources I, 1620-1926
The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources, 1620-1926 contains a fully searchable digital archive of the published records of the American colonies, documents published by state constitutional conventions, state codes, city charters, law dictionaries, digests and more. It is cross-searchable with Primary Sources II.
Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources II, 1763–1970
The Making of Modern Law Primary Sources II database consists of United States state and territorial codes, municipal codes, and constitutional convention and compilations. Scholars of America's common law heritage will find this resource invaluable for tracing major legal topics across all states and territories. It is cross-searchable with Primary Sources I.
Making of Modern Law: Trials, 1600-1926
The Making of Modern Law: Trials, 1600-1926 is comprised primarily of holdings of the Harvard and Yale law libraries. The Harvard collection contains a vast number of popular printed accounts of sensational trials for murder, adultery, and other scandalous crimes. The overall archive comprising more than 10,000 titles and almost two million pages also contains unique documents from the Library of the Bar of the City of New York. It includes unofficially published accounts of trials; official trial documents, briefs, and arguments; and official records of legislative proceedings, administrative proceedings, and arbitrations.
Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1832-1978
The Supreme Court Records & Briefs database contains nearly 11 million pages of records and briefs brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in the period 1832-1978. The collection is derived from two essential reference sources. For the period 1832 (when printed Court records began) through 1915, the documents are based primarily on the holdings of the Jenkins Memorial Law Library, America's first law library, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For 1915-1978 the source is the Library of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, a nationally recognized research facility and the single largest member supported law library in the United States.
Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO)
Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO) is a resource for the study of Britain and its place in the world during the medieval and early modern period (c. 1100-1800). It contains digital versions of key printed sources for English, Irish, Scottish and Colonial history and original manuscripts .
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
The ODNB an illustrated collection of 50,000 specially written biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the year 2001. It excludes living persons. It has themed entries (e.g. Roman Britain) and groups of subjects with a common attribute (e.g. Archbishops of Canterbury). The database contains 10,000 images. The print edition is in the Williams Law Library's Reference collection.
Bills & Public Laws 1987-present; Committee Prints & misc. publications 1817-present; Congressional Record Bound Edition & predecessors 1789-2001; Congressional Record Daily Edition 1985-present; Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports 1916-present; Hearings 1817-present; House & Senate Documents 1817-present; House & Senate Reports 1789-present; Serial Set publications 1789-present; Serial Set Maps 1789-1969; CIS Legislative Histories 1969-present.
- ProQuest U.S. Supreme court records and briefs, 1975 - 2016
Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London, 1674 to 1913
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey is a fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of close to 200,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court.
Public Documents Masterfile
Public Documents Masterfile is an electronic guide to federal, state, local and international public documents, spanning over 200 years of publication, in a single searchable database. Contains two types of records, full bibliographic records and brief records comprised of index terms or pointers to public documents cumulations or catalogs. The more than 5 million records now (2011) online comprise: * Post-1976 GPO Documents * GPO Monthly Catalog Indexes 1900-1976 with Page/Entry Numbers and Depository Status (forthcoming) * GPO Documents 1789-1976 with SuDocs Numbers * Pre-1900 United States Documents * International Documents (e.g., World Bank Records) * US Department of Energy * ERIC files * Non-U.S. Documents (Canada, with other countries forthcoming) * State and Provincial Documents * Non-GPO Public Documents Held by the Library of Congress. Paratext has added more than 12 million links from its core research products—19th Century Masterfile (NCM) and Public Documents Masterfile (PDM)—to full-text resources, many in the public domain. These links, which will be fulfilled through Google Book Search™ and Google News Archive Search™, include more than one-million links to documents in The New York Times Archive.
Rise of American Law: Digital Archive of 19th and 20th Century Legal Texts
The Rise of American Law on Westlaw contains more than 1,700 out-of-print secondary law volumes, divided into 6 databases. Titles, which are from the period from 1840 to 1970, include treatises, encyclopedias, histories, commentaries, international law.
Frequently Used Databases
- Academic Search Premier
- Bloomberg BNA Library
- Bloomberg Law
- Cambridge Journals
- CCH IntelliConnect
- E-Journal Finder
- Google Scholar
- Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
- Legal Periodicals & Books
- Oxford Journals
- ProQuest Congressional
- ProQuest Research Library
- RIA Checkpoint
- Westlaw / TWEN