Monday, January 23, 2006

Researching Early English Law

If you should be so fortunate to do legal research in merry o’l England (1100s-600s), there are a couple of things you should be aware of.

First, know when the various monarchs ruled because that is how citations will appear. For example, 1 H7 28, indicates the (year of reign) H7 (name of monarch – in this case Henry VII) 28 (page number of where the case appeared that year). In case you are unsure when various monarchs reigned, this page, will be most helpful.

Second, page number in this case literally means that page. For example what we modernly count as page 3 would have been considered page 2 during those times.

Also reprints maybe the only place to find some material, though these reprints will also be considered worthy of being a rare book collection, as well as the originals, because the publication dates can vary from 1600s-1800s.

Finally, some of these materials have been scanned in as PDF’s or typed into electronic formats. To find what selection there is, go the OSU catalog, and on the left is “Find articles by: Research Databases”, click on the link and then type in the box “Early English Books. ” You will have two choices. Please be aware that the search engine is not designed to search for cases as per a citation and will assume you know the title of the reprint or text you are looking for. If you do not know these titles you will have to run very broad searches in order to determine if they have what you need.

[Post written by Rachael Smith]

[England, Foreign-International]