The Making of Modern Law: Trials, 1600-1926

Admit it – one of the reasons you came to Law School is that, at some point in your educational career, you read a really interesting account of an actual case. And you were hooked. A secret of Law School: reading cases can be–actually–fun.  

If this describes you, we have an electronic resource that will guarantee many happy hours of reading and research. Gale’s Making of Modern Law: Trials, 1600-1926 “…describes the courtroom dramas that rocked society in America, the British Empire and the world.”  Drawing on collections from the Harvard and Yale Law Libraries as well as The Library of the Bar of the City of New York, “Many of the narratives cover ordinary people caught in situations that generated publicity while others raise interesting questions about celebrity and crime. Still others are precedent-setting trials associated with important constitutional and historic issues, including the Dred Scott Case and the Scopes Monkey Trial.” Accounts of over 10,000 trials illuminate societal relations, gender conventions, law, history and government. Who could resist the “Whole of the Proceedings” of the case of the Hon. Mrs. Catherine Weld, daughter to Lord Aston, for a divorce on the grounds of impotency, in a 48 page pamphlet originally sold for the sum of One Shilling in 1732? Or 320 pages worth of the scandalous conduct of Princess Caroline, consort to the future William IV, which caused a constitutional crisis in 1813? Closer to our time, there is the Application of the City of New York to open W. 231st St. from Bailey St. to Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx in 1914.    These case reports, actual pleadings and writings about famous as well as mundane trials and appeals are a gold mine for historical and legal research, literally at your fingertips.  Enjoy!

About Margaret Schilt

Margaret Schilt, Associate Law Librarian for User Services, has been with the D'Angelo Law Library since 2000.
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