Use the tabs above to understand how the Law Bod's collection is arranged. There is an Enquiry Desk on Level 2, just as you enter the main Reading Room: please do come and have a word if you are having any difficulty in using the library.
The Law Library's collection is fully catalogued on SOLO, Oxford University's online resource discovery tool.
To find comprehensive works on all aspects of English contract law use the subject search terms
Contracts -- England
Contracts -- Great Britain
Once you understand the terminology, then more specific subject searches would be worth trying also eg Impossibility of performance -- England
For those wishing to learn more about using searches, we recommend the following:
Normal searches in SOLO will find both ebooks (where available) and physical or print books automatically. However we strongly recommend that all holders of an Oxford SSO log into both Westlaw Books and LexisLibrary (go to Commentary section) and have a look at their content separately, and not rely on SOLO searches alone.
When you are studying English contract law, most of the print books of interest to you will be shelved on Level 2, the entrance level to the Law Bod.
Looking for a Reading List title?
When you search SOLO for books on your Reading List you may find that the location is shown as Law Library Reserve Collection. The Reserve Collection is also on Level 2 but is a separate bookcase. Please ask at the Enquiry Desk for directions when you are next in the Law Library, we are always happy to point you in the right direction.
Note. The books in the Reserve Collection are available to all categories of readers (not just those on the particular course).
Reading List titles in the Law Reserve include
A few shelves away from the Law Reserve Collection is the open shelf collection.
Law Commission of England and Wales
For fuller guidance on foreign law studies please consult the appropriate Law Bod guide for your particular interest. Below the link is a basic guide to where to find the collections of print books for foreign jurisdictions in the Law Bod.
Which jurisdiction are you interested in?
Level 2 (the entrance level to the law library) In addition to the law of England & Wales, and also in the KN section, are books relating to the following common law/Anglo-American legal tradition countries
Please note. Texts relating to contract law in other common law jurisdictions are also shelved in this sequence: the shelf mark indicates the jurisdiction (The appropriate geographic code - eg A8 for Australia - is what is added to the shelf mark of these books so that they are shelved together)
Level 3 (one floor above the entrance level to the law library)
Here you will find books on the contract law of individual European jurisdictions (eg France, Germany) and the contract law of the European Union. (EU law books have shelf marks beginning Euro Comm.)
Level 1 (one floor below the entrance level to the law library)
Here you will find the books of the remaining jurisdictions of the world (eg China, India, South Africa)
On Level 2, the level at which you enter the Law Library, an area of the open shelf collection has books with shelf marks beginning General.
This is where you will find comparative studies, and works surveying the response to legal problems in two or more jurisdictions.
If all the countries being compared are (or were) members of the Commonwealth, the book should have a shelf mark beginning Cw Gen. This collection is also on Level 2, but separate from General.
Please ask at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2 if you are having difficulty finding your way round our collection.
The majority of books on European Union law are on Level 3, one floor above the entrance level to the Law Library. These books have shelf marks beginning Euro Comm.
Are you looking for a Reading List title?
If the book on European Union law you are interested in has a shelf mark beginning KW and the location mentions the Law Reserve Collection you will find it on Level 2, the level at which you enter the library.
Additional subject search terms to use in SOLO
Contracts - philosophy
Contacts - economic analysis
On Level 2, the level at which you enter the Law Library, an area of the open shelf collection has books with shelf marks beginning Jurisp (short for jurisprudence or legal philosophy. Within this section the books are arranged by the last name of author or editor.
This is where most books on the philosophy/theory behind contract law will be shelved. However do pay attention to SOLO results as there may be others shelved with the books on the law of contract (ie with KN shelf mark) or with comparative studies (ie with General or Cw Gen shelf mark.) These collections are also shelved on Level 2.
Potentially useful title shelved in KN collection on Level 2
Potentially useful book shelved in the General collection on Level 2
The Moys (K shelf mark) system is a subject classification.
The law of contract is handled first on the level of the following categories
KN10 General works (all aspects of contract law)
KN13 Formation of contracts
KN14 Parties, capacity, privity
KN15 Enforceability of contracts
KN16 Discharge of contracts
KN17 Breach of contracts, remedies
KN18 Special forms of contract
Within these categories there can be more specific collections eg KN16.4 for books looking solely at Frustration
In the KN collection in the Law Bod, books on the law of England & Wales/UK are shelved first - with shelf marks made up of a subject indicator, followed by author/editor and publication date elements.
For example Atiyah's Essays on Contract Law is KN10 ATI 1990 where KN10 indicates contract law, ATI the author and 1990 the date when this edition (a reprint with an added chapter) was published.
After the books on the English law, come book titles on the law in certain (foreign) jurisdictions shelved country by country. The shelf marks of these books have a special element in the third line as shown in table below. For example Eldridge and others (editors) Australian Contract Law in the 21st Century has shelf mark KN10.A8.ELD 2021.
N4 New Zealand
U4 United States of America
If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the print or ebook you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).
If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the book you are looking for, we may be able to source it through Oxford's inter-library loan service.
There are a number of reasons why the Bodleian Libraries may be unable to provide electronic access to a resource. The ebooks guide explains some of these reasons: