Anglo-American Legal Tradition

AALT is an ongoing project based at the University of Houston, Texas. The site contains digitised images of medieval and early modern documents in the National Archives of England, focusing on major legal series from the late 12th century to 1800. Additional content includes some on-site guidance on reading the documents, and links to online palaeography and medieval Latin tutorials on the National Archives web site.

Annotated Justinian Code

This annotated English translation of the Codex Justinianus, on the web site of the University of Wyoming College of Law, was made by the late Justice Fred H. Blume of the Wyoming Supreme Court. A translation of Justinian’s Novellae (Novels) is also provided.

Avalon Project

A collection of full text documents in law, history and diplomacy, including documents up to the present time. Many documents of significance in world history are included, though United States documents predominate from the 17th century onwards. The site is produced by the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School.

Boston University School of Law: The Year Books

The Year Books, precursors of modern law reports, are the principal source materials for the development of legal doctrines in the English courts from the late 13th century to 1535. Many have been printed, but others remain in manuscript form only. The database on this site, compiled by Professor David J. Seipp of Boston University, provides a searchable index to and paraphrase of printed Year Book reports. Also on the site is a list of old printed editions of Year Books, a list of manuscripts with locations, and an annotated bibliography of over 80 articles and books about the Year Books.

Bracton Online

Electronic version of Bracton’s De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliae (On the laws and customs of England), co-produced by the Ames Foundation, Harvard Law School Library and the Cornell Legal Information Institute. The Latin text and the modern English translation (by Samuel E. Thorne) may be viewed either separately or in parallel.

British History Online

British History Online was created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust. It is a digital library, mostly free of charge, containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and early modern history of the British Isles. Freely available content of legal and parliamentary interest includes Raithby’s Statutes of the Realm of the period 1628-1701, the full text of Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum 1642-1660, edited by C.H. Firth and R.S. Rait (3 vols, 1911), and some early volumes of the House of Lords and House of Commons Journals. Subscription is required for access to some content including Calendars of State Papers.

Early English Laws

Early English Laws is an ongoing project to publish online and in print new editions and translations of all English codes, edicts and treatises from c.600 up to the time of Magna Carta (1215). Additional site content includes a group of contextual essays, bibliography, glossary and links.

English Medieval Legal Documents

This is a collaborative database of the published sources of English medieval legal documents, with links to online sources. Coverage dates are 600 to 1535, with an emphasis on sources published since 1950. It is produced by the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and the Asa V. Call Law Library, and aims to provide an update to the classic bibliographies of English law published by W. Harold Maxwell, Joseph H. Beale and Percy H. Winfield.

Famous Trials

Famous Trials is a resource compiled by Douglas O. Linder of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, originally intended for his own students. It presents materials (text and images) relating to celebrated trials from many historical periods. With the obvious exception of the earliest cases, the trials selected took place in the United States. Linder provides edited transcripts of evidence and judgments, related press coverage, biographies of key participants, and bibliographies.

Internet History Sourcebooks Project

This project provides a wide-ranging collection of on-site historical texts, with some links also to resources elsewhere. It comprises three main sourcebooks (ancient, medieval and modern), plus several subsidiary sourcebooks and “special resources”. Two of the main sourcebooks, Internet Ancient History Sourcebook and Internet Medieval Sourcebook, include sections devoted to legal texts. For both of these legal sections there are direct links from the site’s home page, towards the bottom of the left hand menu under Special Resources. The project is located at Fordham University, New York, and edited by Paul Halsall.

Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics

This section of the Constitution Society’s web site provides the texts of a wide selection of classic books and other works and documents on constitutional government. These include for example Magna Carta, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Bentham’s Principles of Morals and Legislation, and selected works of Edward Coke. The latter comprise parts 1-3 of the Institutes and the 9th part of the Reports.

National Archives

The National Archives is the official archive of the UK government, responsible for looking after the records of central government and the courts of law and for making them as widely accessible as possible. It is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. The site has an extensive range of research guides and other information, including an online catalogue (“Discovery”) containing more than 32 million descriptions of records. For archived digital government information, including archived “snapshots” of current and defunct government department web sites, select the home page quick link to “UK Government Web Archive”.

New Square Chambers: Term Date Calculator

This calculator can be used to determine the dates of the four sittings or “legal terms” of the Court of Appeal and the High Court of England and Wales in every legal year from 1972-73 to 2200-2201. There is also an informative “Historical Note on the Legal Terms”, reproduced from A handbook of dates for students of English history, edited by C.R. Cheney and Michael Jones (2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Parliamentary Archives

This section of the UK Parliament web site provides information on the archive collections held by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. For links to published parliamentary material (current as well as historical) available online, including on external web sites, select “Digitised Historical Parliamentary Material”.

Proceedings of the Old Bailey

The Old Bailey is the familiar name for the Central Criminal Court in London. This site contains a fully searchable digitised collection of all surviving editions of the proceedings of the court from April 1674 to April 1913, a total of nearly 200,000 trials. As well as transcripts of the text, there are digital images of the original printed page in many instances.

Roman Law Resources

Information on the sources, literature and teaching of Roman law, with extensive annotated links. The site is edited by Professor Ernest Metzger of the University of Glasgow School of Law.

Scottish Legal History: a Research Guide

This research guide, on the GlobaLex web site, covers Scottish legal history from the feudal period through to 1901. Both print and electronic references are listed, some with annotations. The author is Yasmin Morais, Cataloguing Librarian at the Mason Law Library, University of the District of Columbia. The guide was first published in 2008 and has been updated several times, most recently in January 2017 to include sources on the 2014 independence referendum. All earlier versions are also accessible from this page.