Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

English Legal History Research Guide

Contents of this guide include print, micro-media and Internet resources available to facilitate research in legal history at Georgetown Law.

Newspapers & Journals Resources

Early British newspapers, such as the London Times or the Observer include much legal information that is useful in research. Many of these printed sources are available on microfilm, and a few are starting to be digitized online. The Library of Congress Periodical Reading Room is a very good place to go for indices to obscure early newspapers, and for many of the microfilm editions of these papers. Check online resources for those newspapers now available online, such as the London Times.Current and historical journals are also very important sources of information.

A. English Newspapers

  • The Aberdeen Magazine, Or, Universal Repository. 3 vols. Aberdeen: Printed by and for Burnett and Rettie, 1796-1798. AP3 .M52 Micro
  • The Adventurer. London: Printed for J. Payne, 1753-1754. 3 vols. Semiweekly. AP3 .M52 Micro
  • Annual Register, Or, a View of the History, Politics, and Literature for the Year... 140 vols. London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1758-1898. D2 .A7 1758
    • Also available in Media, but microfilm set is incomplete, from 1791 to 1837.
  • The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine. 35 vols. London : J. Whittle, 1799-1810. AP3 .M52 Micro
    • Continued by the Anti-Jacobin Review and True Churchman's Magazine
  • The British Journal. 277 issues. Weekly. London: T. Warner, 1722-1728. AP3 .M52 Micro
    • Continued by the British Journal, Or, The Censor
  • The Gentleman's Magazine, Or, Monthly Intelligencer. 5 vols. London: R. Newton [i.e. E. Cave], 1731-1735. AP4 .G3 1731
  • Followed by:
  • The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle. 94 vols. London: E. Cave, 1736-1850. AP4 1731 .G3 1736
    • Both of these magazines are annual chronicles of everyday life in England, and include obituaries, book reviews, letters, birth announcements, news related to the Crown, politics, arts, literature and much more.
  • The London Times. London: Times newspapers, Ltd., 1788-.

B. Journals

The earliest American law journals are from the second half of the 19th century, but they are still very valuable as sources of English legal information. Most of the law journals are available in paper format, before 1980, on the first floor of the Law Library, though the collection is incomplete. Microfilm versions of most of the law journals are also available in the Law Library, on the 3rd floor, in Media. The easiest way to search them is through HeinOnline. Non-legal journals should not be neglected. Indices to both of these times of journals are available in the library and online. Most of the legal and non-legal journals are fully searchable online and available from a variety of databases.

  • HeinOnline has a digital collection of most, if not all, American law journals from their first issues to their current ones, under "Law Journal Library." The database is searchable, and can be printed or downloaded. You can only access it through the Library's database collection online.
  • Index to Legal Periodicals & Books. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1926-. 101 vols. KF8 .I4
  • An Index to Legal Periodical Literature. 6 vols. Boston : C.C. Soule, 1888-1939. KF8 .I39
  • Lexis and Westlaw provide access to journal literature published after 1985.