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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides


Law & History

Welcome to your online guide to finding resources for law.

Law & History

This page of the Law Subject Guide provides information about law and history resources. Links are provided to useful online resources for this topic.

Reference Materials

When approaching a law and history topic the first step in the research process should be to consult reference materials to gain a basic understanding of the topic and the terminology used.


Online sources of historic legislation.


Collections of historical law reports and cases.

Print Government Publications

The Library’s print collection of historical Government Publications located in Compact Store 2 and is reference only. The print collection includes sessional papers, parliamentary debates – debates, diaries & proceedings and periodicals, 1711-18.94. For more information about the Library’s Government Publications collection web page.

Law and History Journals

The Library subscribes to a number of journal that will contain useful article to support your academic studies relating to law and history. Some of the key titles are listed below.

Electronic Journal Collections

Journal articles often provide useful commentary, comments and interpretations of primary source material.  The Library subscribes to a number of full-text e-journal collections. E-journal collections are useful if you wish to search across an e-journal package for relevant material on a particular topic. Here is a selection of e-journal collections most likely to provide relevant material on law and history topics:

Government Publications

Historical government publications will provide you with information about the decisions of parliament and the sovereign from the period you are studying. They offer an account of major actions, political reasoning and records of events.

The List below provides links to some of the freely accessible and subscription online archives of historical government publications:


The Library has an extensive collection of newspapers dating back to the 16th Century. Newspapers are a useful primary source of historical information and will provide insight into the social, political and economic opinions of the period you are researching. For detail information about the individual titles that the university holds see the Newspapers web page.  In addition to the single titles, the Library, also provides access to the following online collections:

Legal History Resources

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Online Collections of Historical Material

The following databases provide access to the full-text of books, pamphlets, letters, diaries, personal papers and other documents from 1475 to the present day.

Bibliographic Databases

The following list of bibliographic databases are subject specific history resources. You will also find useful references for your research on the specialist legal databases as well, so don't overlook these when you are doing your research.

Additional resources