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Obligations law: Books : Tort

Subjects: Law

Tort law: 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.

To find comprehensive works on all aspects of English tort law use the subject search terms

Torts -- England
Torts -- Great Britain
Once you understand the terminology, then more specific subject searches would be worth trying also eg Negligence, Contributory  or Nuisances - England etc

If you are interested in the history and developement of torts within the common law tradition you may find a section of our guide to Legal History helpful.

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


Normal searches in SOLO will find both ebooks (where available) and physical or print books automatically. However we strongly recommend that all holders of an Oxford SSO log into both Westlaw Books and LexisLibrary (go to Commentary section) and have a look at their content separately, and not rely on SOLO searches alone.

When you are studying English tort law, most of the print books of interest to you will be shelved on Level 2, the entrance level to the Law Bod.

Are you looking for a Reading List title?

If yes does the SOLO search result indicate that it is the location called the Law Reserve? If SOLO says the book is in the Law Reserve, please come to the Law Library's Enquiry Desk on Level 2 with your University or Bodleian Reader's Card and ask for it there.  It will be wanded out to you but must still be read in the Law Library. Please return the book to the Enquiry Desk when you have finished with it.
Note.  The books in the Reserve Collection are available to all categories of readers (not just those on the particular course).

Reading List titles in the Law Reserve include

The majority of books will be on open shelf. For our home jurisdiction they are on Level 2.

Law Commission of England and Wales

For fuller guidance on foreign law studies please consult the appropriate Law Bod guide for your particular interest. Below the link is a basic guide to where to find the collections of print books for foreign jurisdictions in the Law Bod.

Which jurisdiction are you interested in?

Level 2 (the entrance level to the law library) In addition to the law of England & Wales, and also in the KN section, are books relating to the common law/Anglo-American legal tradition countries listed below.

Please note. Texts relating to contract law in other common law jurisdictions are also shelved in this sequence: the third line of the shelf mark indicates the jurisdiction by the addition of the appropriate (see list below) geographic code.  For example KN30.U4.HYL 2016 is the shelf mark for Tort Law : A Modern Perspective which is about USA law. This addition to the shelf mark also means the books from each foreign jurisdiction are shelved together.

  • A8 Australia
  • C1 Canada
  • I5 Ireland
  • N4 New Zealand
  • S3 Scotland.
  • U4 United States of America

Level 3 (one floor above the entrance level to the law library) 
         Here you will find books on the contract law of individual European jurisdictions (eg France, Germany) and the contract law of the European Union. (EU law books have shelf marks beginning Euro Comm.)

Level 1 (one floor below the entrance level to the law library)
         Here you will find the books of the remaining jurisdictions of the world (eg China, India, South Africa)

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. 

If all the countries being compared are (or were) members of the Commonwealth, the book should have a shelf mark beginning Cw Gen. This collection is also on Level 2, but separate from General.

Note If a comparative law book is on an Oxford Reading List it might have been added to the Law Reserve Collection. The indicators will be that the shelf mark begins KB and the Location will mention Reserve Collection. These books are shelved on a separate bookcase on Level 2.

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

Related Law Bod guide

The majority of books on European Union law are on Level 3, one floor above the entrance level to the Law Library. These books have shelf marks beginning Euro Comm.

Are you looking for a Reading List title?

If the book on European Union law you are interested in has a shelf mark beginning KW and the location mentions the Law Reserve Collection you will find it on Level 2, the level at which you enter the library.

For further guidance on European Union law generally, there is a separate Law Bod online guide available

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.

However do pay attention to SOLO results as there may be others shelved with the books on the law of torts (ie with KN shelf mark) or with comparative studies (ie with General or Cw Gen shelf mark.) These collections are also shelved on Level 2.

Potentially useful title shelved in KN collection on Level 2

Potentially useful book shelved in the General collection on Level 2

The Moys (K shelf mark) system is a subject classification. 
The law of torts is handled first on the level of the following categories
KN30 Torts
KN33 Liability
KN34 Parties, capacity
KN37 Remedies, damages
KN38-39 Particular torts
Within these categories there can be more specific collections eg KN33.32 for books looking at Contributory Negligence, KN38.8 Nuisance; KN39.E3 Economic torts

In the KN collection in the Law Bod, books on the law of England & Wales/UK are shelved first - with shelf marks made up of a subject indicator, followed by author/editor and publication date elements.

After the books on the English law, come book titles on the law in certain (foreign) jurisdictions shelved country by country. The shelf marks of these books have a special element in the third line as shown in table below.

A8  Australia
C1 Canada
I5   Ireland
N4  New Zealand
S3  Scotland
U4  United States of America

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: