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United States: legal resources: Legal history

Finding US legal history online and in the Bodleian Law Library

Holders of an Oxford SSO have access to the following databases which have been listed alphabetically by title

The following are available to anyone with access to the internet:

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..

Help with finding books

The Law Library's collection is fully catalogued on SOLO, Oxford  University's online resource discovery tool. For those wishing to learn more about using searches, we recommend the following:

All the Law Library's current USA law books are on Level 2, the level at which you enter the library.
They are in the collection with shelf marks beginning K. (We use the Moys Legal Classification System, not Library of Congress.)
This K collection arranges the books first by subject/topic, then by jurisdiction.

KL Legal System, Administration of JusticeKL.412 is for US legal history 
KL.413 plus three letter state code for the legal history of individual states
 

If your research is into the history and development of  a legal topic in the United States then there may well be useful titles among the books for that subject.

KM Public Law (constitutional & administrative law, public finance & tax law, criminal law & procedure)

U4 in the third line of the shelf mark indicates a work about US public law.

KN Private Law

U4 in the third line of the shelf mark indicates a work about US private law

Secondary Collection on the Ground Floor

Note  Your SOLO searches may reveal US law books which have shelf marks starting K but ending (sec coll). These are in the secondary collection of superseded monographs on the Ground Floor. They remain freely accessible (via stairs or lift) to anyone who wishes to consult them.

Before the Law Library's collection moved to Moys we had an inhouse shelf mark system. Our oldest editions have not been updated  to Moys. Consequently  SOLO searches may reveal US law books which have shelf marks USA 450 to USA 610 and ending (sec coll)
These are in also the secondary collection of superseded monographs on the Ground Floor. They remain freely accessible (via stairs or lift) to anyone who wishes to consult them

Please ask a member of staff for help if having difficulty finding them.

The Law Bod's collection includes legal biography. The US collection is on Level 2, the entrance level to the law library. 
 

Note: SOLO searches may show that this is an area of research where the Bodleian Vere Harmondsworth and History collections also have useful material.

KB is the shelf mark for Biography, Memoirs - also "popular" accounts of trials (as opposed to law reports)

eg KB.15.USA.CAR has biographical accounts of the career of Benjamin Cardozo

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) where we shelve books on legal philosophy and theory. (Works by Wendell Holmes, Cardozo, Llewellyn, Posner, Dworkin - to name a few - as well as works by others about these philosophers)

As this jurisprudence collection is being converted to Moys, an increasing number of legal philosophy works will be found in KA and other sections of the K run, which is in another part of Level 2.  The KA shelf marks will indicate in their shelf mark where the work is about US jurisprudence in particular

eg KA.50.USA.FEL 2000  American Legal Thought from Premodernism to Postmodernism : an Intellectual Voyage 

Please ask at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2 if you are having difficulty finding your way round our collection.

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