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Legal history: western Europe & Scandinavia: 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.
Note The Law Library's primary collection focus is on the history of the Anglo-American or common law legal tradition. Consequently SOLO searches may well direct you to Bodleian History Reading Rooms or offsite holdings.

Law  Europe  History
Law, Medieval
Justice, Administration of -- Europe -- History

Roman law  reception [followed by modern geographic area eg Spain]
Roman law  - influence

Law, Frankish
​Law, Germanic
Law, Lombard 
Law, Visigothic
​Ripuarian  law
Salic law


Canonists -- Europe -- History -- To 1500 ;
Canon law -- History -- To 1500 ;
Practice of law -- Europe -- History
Law -- Study and teaching -- Europe -- History

Libri feudorum
Feudal law - Europe
Feudalism - Europe

Power (Social sciences) -- Europe -- History -- To 1500 
Estates (Social orders) -- Europe -- History -- To 1500

Commercial law -- history
Commercial law -- Europe -- History
Commerce -- History -- Medieval, 500-1500
Europe -- Economic conditions -- To 1492
Europe -- Commerce -- History -- To 1500
Economic development -- Europe -- History -- To 1500

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

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

Level 3 
This is one floor above the entrance level to the library. Here you willl find the collection for the European jurisdictions. Old geographic entities (former kingdoms, city states etc) will be shelved in the collection of the successor state eg Normandy in France, Prussia in Germany etc.

There may be another page in this guide with more detailed guidance:

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 -- Europe -- History
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

The Law Bod shelves its current collection of public international law books on Level 3, one floor above the entrance level to the library.

For further guidance we recommend 

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 of British Isles?

Recommend a book

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the print or ebook you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).

Inter-library requests

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the book you are looking for, we may be able to source it through Oxford's inter-library request service.

Why are some books not available electronically?

There are a number of reasons why the Bodleian Libraries may be unable to provide electronic access to a resource. The ebooks guide explains some of these reasons: