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Legal history: England & common law tradition: Books

Finding ebooks and books in the Bodleian Law Library

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.

Law  - England - History
Law - Great Britian - History
Law, Medieval
Justice, Administration of -- Great Britain -- History

Roman law  reception England
Law - Great Britain - Roman influences

For those wishing to learn more about using searches, we recommend the following:

Level 2, the entrance at which you enter the Law Library, is where you will find the current book collection for most aspects of this topic.
The relevant shelf marks on this floor begin:

Legal Hist
Cw Gen


Note if there is (sec coll) at the end of the shelf mark this indicates a superseded edition. It also means that, should you wish to read this edition, you need to go to the ground floor, where the majority of our 'secondary collection' is kept on open shelf.
If you have any difficulty finding things, please ask at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2.

Please use the other tabs in this box for more detailed guidance. The links in the right hand column may have a topic of interest to you.

On the ground floor of the Bodleian Law Library is the secondary collection of superseded editions. These are discoverable by ordinary SOLO searches - but have (sec coll) added to their shelf marks.
The Law Library has some pre 19th century edition on site but these are kept in a rare book room and are not immediately accessible to readers. These books will have (Locked) or (Staff SR) after their shelf marks. Most will be available via one or more of the following platforms of digitised early works and we would ask readers to try these first.We are of course very happy to fetch the physical copies when there is genuine need.

Holders of an Oxford SSO have access to the following:

Freely available to all with access to the internet

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. 

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

Some top level subject searches to help you find overviews & introductions in SOLO 

Law  Europe  History

Law, Medieval

Law -- Europe -- Roman influences -- History

Roman law -- reception -- Europe

Justice, Administration of -- Europe -- History

Online resources available to anyone with access to the internet

The principal collection of legal philosophy/jurisprudence books are also shelved 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.  Within this section the books are arranged by the last name of author or editor.

As the Law Library moves to the Moys Classification Scheme, you may find legal philosophy books with shelf marks beginning KA .
KA titles are probably described on SOLO as being in the Law Reserve Collection. Please ask for these books at the Law Enquiry Desk - and remember to bring your University or Bodleian Reader's card with you, as these heavily used titles are issued to you for use in the Library. You can keep reading them for the rest of day if you like - but we do ask that you return them to the Enquiry Desk as soon as possible after you have finished consulting them. 
KA books not held in the Law Reserve collection are on Level 2 - but a few shelves away from those with shelf marks beginning Jurisp.

Some subject searches to try in SOLO 
Law -- Philosophy -- History
Law -- Philosophy -- Early works to 1800
Jurisprudence -- History
Law - interpretation and construction - History
Law - moral and ethical aspects - History

Also names of individual jurists/philosophers
and/or schools of thought eg Natural law

To keep track of what is being published by general history publishers

As all parts of the Bodleian use SOLO you may find the results of your searches point you to libraries beyond the Law Bod. 

And don't be put off if a book is described as being in Closed Stack, please make use of the online request option on SOLO

Legal history topics

Some topics are considered in other pages in this guide, while others are included in separate or different guides. Please use the links below to navigate your way to whatever might help!