Primary Source Databases/Web Archives
- Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Legal Texts
Large collection of translated sources and materials in the legal history of the ancient world, weighted toward the Mediterranean and the Near East, but including India, Japan, and China, and including links to other online primary sources archives
- Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Medieval Legal History, Paul Halsall, Fordham University
Large collection of translated sources and materials in European legal history of the medieval period, including links to other online primary sources archives.
- The Anglo-American Legal Tradition: Documents from Medieval and Early Modern England from the National Archives in London, O’Quinn Law Library, University of Houston
This site contains hundreds of digital images of various early English legal documents from the 13th to 17th centuries.
- English Law Yearbooks, 1268-1535, David Seipp, Boston University
An “index and paraphrase” of England’s main source for medieval legal proceedings, with 20,000 entries, and 4,000 entries from 1399 onward “fully indexed and paraphrased”.
- The Parliament rolls of Medieval England – 1275-1504
Searchable database of all parliamentary records from the medieval period.
- Internet Islamic History Sourcebook, Paul Halsall, Fordham University
Large collection of translated sources and materials on Islamic history. Some legal texts relating to administration of the Ottoman Empire. More substantial collection of international law documents concerning relations of the Ottoman Empire, or the North African states, to the West.
- Crime and Punishment, The National Archives (UK)
Case studies of crime, strategies of crime prevention, and punishment from the thirteen century to the present, with both selected primary sources and teaching materials.
- Early English Books Online, 1473-1800, Chadwyck-Healy
Access to almost all English legal treatises and pamphlets about law from this period.
- Law Library Microform Consortium Digital Collections
This primary source database contains some of the LLMC’s massive microform collection in an online format. Material online includes full text of many American and English legal reporters and much more.
- Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Constitutional States, Paul Halsall, Fordham University
Collection of documents on early modern European constitutionalism, focusing on Britain.
- Online Library of Liberty, The Liberty Fund
Full text access to several hundred classic texts of legal theory and constitutionalism, concentrated in the areas of early modern international law and the founding of the American Constitution
- The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1834
Essentially complete and searchable records of over 100,000 trials in this pivotal London court.
- The Avalon Project, Yale Law School
Extensive and searchable collection of documents in legal and diplomatic history, with a particular focus on England and the United States from the 17th through the 21st century
- Archives of Maryland Online
Digitized versions of over 80 volumes of state legal records, concentrated in the colonial and early national periods, but extending well into the twentieth century.
- Colonial Connecticut Records, 1636-1776, University of Connecticut
Partially searchable database of Connecticut colonial court records
- Salem Witchcraft Trials, University of Virginia
Rich digital collection centered on the Salem trials of 1692, including full search transcriptions of court records. Also includes digitized Essex County Court Records from 1636 to 1686.
- Famous Trials in American History, Douglas Linder, UM-KC School of Law
Extensive annotated primary source records of 56 famous American trials, from the 17th century to the present.
- Slaves and the Courts 1740-1860, The Library of Congress
Digitized print material relating to law and slavery including “…an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments, accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter, and other works of historical importance.”
- Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, The Library of Congress
A voluminous, searchable collection of documents relating to constitutional, legislative, and administrative history of the federal government up to 1875, including: the published records of the Continental Congress; Farrand’s and Elliot’s Debates of the Constitutional Convention; Journals of the House and Senate until 1873; compilations of all laws passed by Congress; records of Congressional Debates until 1875, with additional releases planned; the U.S. Serial Set and American State Papers, which together comprise House and Senate reports, and numerous Executive reports to Congress.
- John Jay Papers, Columbia UniversityThis searchable site at Columbia university features thousands of digitized documents (mostly letters) from the papers of John Jay -- New York lawyer, politician, Governor, diplomat, and Supreme Court Justice.
- The Pennsylvania Constitution Web Site, Duquesne University
This site has the text of all five Pennsylvania state constitutions (1776, 1790, 1838, 1874, 1968), with amendments, constitutional convention debates, and constitutional opinions from Attorneys-General.
- History of the Federal Judiciary, Federal Judicial Center
This site offers a wealth of background information about the history of the U. S. federal courts, including brief overviews of institutional evolution for particular courts, biographies of federal judges, and some primary source materials, chiefly involving a selected set of famous American trials, and the text of pivotal judicial legislation.
- Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899 Macquarie Univ. Law School
Subject searchable databases of cases and decisions from New South Wales, which are drawn from newspaper reports and manuscript sources.
- The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800-1926, Thompson Gale Resources
Searchable subscription database of 22,000 legal treatises on American and British law.
- Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies, 1812-1834, Ancestry.co.uk. This genealogical site has put data online from the British national archives (Office of Registry of Colonial Slaves and Slave Compensation Commission: Records T71/553-564). The database contains records on the enslaved and their owners in 1834 Barbados (for now).
- Marriage, Women, and the Law, 1815-1914, Research Libraries Group
Digital collection of primary and secondary sources on legal history of marriage, drawing on collections from seven libraries and archives in the U.S. and the U.K.
- Nineteenth-Century Texas Law Online, 1822-1897 University of North Texas
Digitized version of Gammel’s The Laws of Texas, including all acts of the Texas Legislature, many documents concerning Texas constitutional conventions, and some Gubenatorial papers.
- Coles County Legal History Project, Eastern Illinois University
An ongoing project to make nineteenth-century legal records from Eastern Illinois counties available on the web, mostly through a transcribed, searchable database. The cases include both civil and criminal proceedings, from 1830 to 1899. To date, most entries in the databases include only extensive indexes of the actual records, which come from sixteen counties and are housed at the EIU Library.
- Exploring Amistad, Mystic Seaport
Digital archive of documents concerning the Amistad slave revolt, including many related to the legal proceedings that the revolt generated.
- Evidence from the Haymarket Affair, 1886-1887, Library of Congress
Full transcript of the Haymarket Trial of Chicago labor radicals, with additional contextual sources.
- American Radicalism Collection, Michigan State University
A collection of online documents, images, and pamphlets as well as references to offline sources about various organizations, including the Ku Klux Klan, the American Communist party, and the Black Panther Party.
- Duluth Lynchings, 1920, Minnesota Historical Society
Repository of legal and other documents surrounding the lynching of several black men in Duluth, Minnesota.
- Nuremberg Trials Project, Harvard Law School Library
Searchable database of thousands of documents concerning the Nuremberg trials of war criminals after World War II.
- German Law Archive
Extensive, searchable database of German statutes and judicial opinions, translated into English, primarily from the post World War II era.
- Oyez Oyez Oyez
Online sound recordings of oral arguments before the US Supreme Court 1955-present.
- Historical Publications of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Thurgood Marshall Law Library, University of Maryland
Online access to scores of publications by the USCCR.
- New Hampshire Bar Legal History Project, New Hampshire Bar Foundation
The New Hampshire Bar Foundation has compiled over 50 oral history interviews with attorneys from the state, addressing various dimensions of post-World War II legal history.
- South African Freedom Project, 1950-1994, South Africa Digital Imaging Project, University of Kwazulu-Natal
Digital Collection of 44 anti-Apartheid journals, produced by a wide range of organizations, including black political organizations, the Black Sash, trade unions, student associations, and religious groups. Searchable by word within the full text, with extensive coverage of the Apartheid state’s legal machinery for imposing racial inequality and quashing dissent, the legal tactics and strategies of anti-Apartheid activists, and other aspects of twentieth-century South African legal history.
- The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, University of California-San Francisco
Searchable database of 7 million documents produced in discovery as a result of lawsuits brought against the tobacco industry. Site links to numerous other web repositories of documents related to tobacco litigation.
- Traces of Truth: Documents Relating to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, University of the Witwatersrand
Archive of selected documents from South Africa’s TRC.
- Meta-Index for U.S. Legal Research, Georgia State University Law School
One-stop searching for recent federal judicial, administrative, and legislative records.
- African International Courts and Tribunals, Project on International Courts and Tribunals
Repository of treaties, conventions, and case law emerging from post-colonial international judicial forums in Africa. In addition to selected primary source materials, the site includes concise overviews of the various tribunals now in operation, including their origins, along with links to the official sites of the tribunals, and bibliographies.
- British and Irish Legal Information Institute. This site contains the full text of all British and Irish legal reports after 1996, and provides numerous links to analogous legal information institutes around the world – with a particular emphasis on up to date contemporary case law.
- Project on International Courts and Tribunals
Repository of treaties, conventions, and case law, dating from the 1990s, relating to a host of international judicial forums, including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, the World Trade Organization, and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. In addition to selected primary source materials, the site includes concise overviews of the various tribunals now in operation, including their origins, along with links to the official sites of the tribunals, and bibliographies.