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International law: origins & history: Home

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers studying of the history and development public international law at the University of Oxford, although students and researchers from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out about sources and commentary for public international law before 1945, including ebooks, ejournals, and databases.

The (pre-) history of public international law

Online resources available to anyone with access to the internet:

The Law Bod has a separate collection of public international law materials - treaties, court decisions, journals, monographs & text books. They are all distinguished by having shelf marks beginning Internat (short for international).

The books are subdivided into subjects as below. Although there is a shelf mark Internat 510 History do not assume everything you might need will be there. Early authorities on, or works on the history of a specific topic within international law will be at that topic's shelf mark. Thus, a reproduction & translation of the 1563 work De re militari et bello tractatus  by Pierino Belli (1502-1575) is shelved with works on War & armed conflict  at Internat 750 B443

Internat 500  General and theory
Internat 510 History
Internat 520 Title to territory
Internat 530 The state (as a legal entity)
Internat 535 Dependent states and special regimes
Internat 540 State succession
Internat 545 Recognition
Internat 550 Servitudes
Internat 555 State responsibility
Internat 560 Jurisdiction of states
Internat 565 Nationality
Internat 570 Human rights
Internat 575 European Court of Human Rights: literature
Internat 580 International crimes
Internat 590 Economic law
Internat 600 Atomic energy
Internat 610 Social legislation and organisation
Internat 620 Transport and communications (except sea, air and space)
Internat 630 Law of the sea and waterways
Internat 640 Air law
Internat 650 Space law
Internat 660 International relations
Internat 670 Treaties (theory etc.)
Internat 680 History and general
Internat 681 General and regional political organisations
Internat 685 League of Nations: texts about the LN
Internat 687 United Nations: texts about about the UN
Internat 700 Peace and disarmament 
Internat 710 General and theory
Internat 720 International courts and tribunals: general
Internat 725 Permanent Court of International Justice, International Court of Justice
Internat 730 Permanent court of Arbitration: literature
Internat 740 Individual arbitration tribunals: literature
Internat 750 War and armed conflict
Internat 760 Termination of war (including specific peace treaties)

SOLO searches may well reveal lots of useful titles held in other parts of the Bodleian.
​Chief among them will probably be our near neighbour the Social Science Library, which collections (among other topics) Politics and International Relations.

The Bodleian's history collections are extensive, consequently deployed across various reading rooms.

but there well may be others - such as those with an area focus, China, Latin America, United States...
Consult their web pages for details like opening hours & services, and check to see if one of their specialists has written a guide which could help.

Related Bodleian guides

Key libraries