American Legal History
So, I had this idea that people could post any links or tips they've learned over the course of doing their project. I'm not a historian and not an American, so even the basic legal sources were largely new to me. This idea was sparked in part by some helpful comments from AngelaChen and AndrewKerr on my project and I've taken the liberty of reproducing comments from them here. - EmilyByrne 25 Jan 10

Secondary Sources

I have found the best initial reference point to be Google books. Time after time I would track down hardcopy sources and in some cases scan them, only to find that the helpful juggernaut had beat me to it.

Jstor was also helpful.

Primary Sources

I found Newsbank's Archive of Americana (link here, via CLIO) to be extremely helpful, but the site search engine is not the best.

For Congressional sources between 1873 and 1875 this database is a winner:

The library of Congress isn't always helpful, but is sometimes very helpful:

As well as Lexis and Westlaw, there's Justia, which is better for externally accessible case links.

Google booksoften works for primary sources as well as secondary ones, including very early statutes. I found Acts of Congress and States reproduced (accurately and in full) in funny places including annual reports of various government agencies, professional boards and societies.


From Angela:

In addition, just in case anyone has not already done this: if anybody is looking for statutes dating back to the colonial period, I've found that it is a very good idea to ask the law library reference librarians and especially the Special Collections Librarian, Sabrina Sondhi, for help (she has replaced Whitney Bagnall). Sabrina is the one who will give you access to the rare books which may be read in the rare book reading room, though it may take several days for them to be retrieved from storage.

Related Internal Links

-- EmilyByrne - 25 Jan 2010



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r2 - 07 Sep 2011 - 00:11:10 - IanSullivan
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