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Full-text historical U.S. & English electronic sources   Tags: historical_research  

The main part of this guide lists full-text searchable databases of historical U.S. and English legal and non-legal sources. The smaller boxes include links to research guides, government sites, databases indexes, and other Internet sources.
Last Updated: Mar 24, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

U.S. Legal Print Page

U.S. Legal Sources

HeinOnline (UCLA only)

  • To enter this subscription database, click on "Log in" link in blue font on the right.
  • Subscribed Libraries include Law Journal Library, Legal Classics (e.g. American Constitutions by Frankin Benjamin Hough, Blackstone's Commentaries, and the Federalist Papers), U.S. Congressional Documents (e.g. Journals of the Continental Congress (1774-1789) and Territorial Papers of the United States (1787-1848)), and the U.S. Statutes at Large (1789-2006).
  • Searching: Basic, Field and Advanced (Search Guide available at

Making of Modern Law (MOML) Legal Treatises 1800-1926 and Making of Modern Law Trials: 1600-1926 (UCLA only)

  • The link above takes you to the Law Library Digital Collection page, which provides links for access from within the law school and links for access from the UCLA campus or for remote access via Bruin Online.
  • MOML Legal Treatises provides full text searching of more than 21,000 works from 19th and early 20th century British Commonwealth and American law. The collection includes casebooks, local practice manuals, books on legal form, works for lay readers, pamphlets, letters and speeches.
  • MOML Trials is the result of a partnership between Gale and the Harvard and Yale law libraries. This digital collection includes the well known trials of Dred Scott, Lizzie Borden, Leopold and Loeb, the impeachment of Andrew Johnson as well as lesser known cases. Comprised of thousands of books and pamphlets and includes English-language titles about trials in non-commonwealth jurisdictions such as France.
  • Searching: Basic, Advanced and "Fuzzy." May also browse authors and works.

U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs 1832-1978 (UCLA only)

  • Full-text searchable database of 11 million pages and more than 350,000 separate documents.
  • Document types include Appellant's Brief, Appellee's Brief, Application for Review, Application for Writ, Brief in Opposition, Oral Transcript, among others.
  • Searching: Basic, Advanced, or by Citation. Limit by Term Year, by Date, by Docket Number, by Document Type.
  • May also browse by author (counsel or organization) and case name.

Readex's U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980)  (UC only)

  • Beginning with Volume 1 in the first session of the 15th Congress (1817), this digital collection contains all the publications of the 15th Congress through the 96th Congresses.
  • Searching: Simple, Advanced, Publication Search, Bill Number Search. May use Boolean operators, proximity connectors (see "Help" under Search Operators).
  • Browse by Subject, Personal Name, Publication Category, Standing-Committee Author, and Congress (see tabs under Search Box).

Readex's American State Papers (1789-1838) (UC only)

  • A retrospective republication of approx. 6280 numbered publications, mostly Congressional but also containing Executive Department documents, the American State Paper volumes, issued from 1832-1861, were published in ten classes in a total of 38 folio volumes.
  • The classes include foreign relations, indian affairs, finance, commerce and navigation, military affairs, naval affairs, claims, and miscellaneous.
  • Searching: Simple, Advanced, Publication Search and Bill Number Search.
  • Browse by Subject, Publication Category, Standing-Committee Author, Document Class, and Congress (see tabs under the Search Box).

    Internet Sources

    Library of Congress' American Memory (25 Collections under Government, Law)

    • Broadsides and Printed Ephemera (~ca. 1600-2000)
    • Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention Documents (1774-1789)
    • U.S. Congress Documents (1774-1875)
    • Search selected collections (simple search) or click on collection and search by keyword, browse titles etc.

    The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

    • The Avalon Project provides unrestricted access to primary source materials in the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government.
    • Document categories: Pre 18th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, and 21st Century.
    • Simple search (provided by Google) or may browse the document collections.
    • The documents are presented in HTML format.

    The American Presidency Project (Document Archive)

    • Established in 1999 as a collaboration between John Woolley and Gerhard Peters at UCSB.
    • Contains over 78,600 documents related to the study of the Presidency.
    • Includes Messages and Papers of the Presidents (from Washington 1789 through Taft 1913), Inaugural Addresses (from Washington 1789 to GW Bush 2005), Executive Orders (from JQ Adams 1826 to GW Bush 2008), and National Political Party Platforms (of parties receiving electoral votes, 1840-2008).
    • Searching: keyword (limit by date, document category, and by president), by citation, or may browse.
    • Documents are in HTML format.

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      Other Internet sources

      The Legal History Project's Online Legal History Documents

      An alphabetical listing of legal history text resources available online.

      Boston University School of Law's Legal History: The Yearbooks

      Compiled by Prof. David J. Seipp, this database indexes all year book reports printed in the chronological series for all years between 1268 and 1535.

      May search using one of three quick searches or perform a custom search.

      Yale Law Library's Rare Books Blog 

      By Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian

      LSU Law's Civil Law Online

      A "unique collection of original Civil Law resources produced by the Center of Civil Law Studies and selected from the Law Library's original materials as well as links to the most valuable resources in the world of the Civil Law."

      The Supreme Court Historical Society

      385 CHARLES E. YOUNG DRIVE, EAST • LOS ANGELES, CA 90095-1458 • PHONE: 310.825.4743



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