Explore four centuries of legal history from a global, interdisciplinary perspective
The Making of Modern Law: Foreign, Comparative and International Law, 1600-1926 complements the award-winning The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800-1926. Foreign, Comparative and International Law provides researchers with instant, full-text access to primary source documents previously found only at the largest and oldest repositories. Coverage is primarily from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but there are also several hundred classics in European international law since the seventeenth century.
The Foreign Law component features foreign legal treatises from a variety of countries, covering the national and sub-national (e.g., provincial) laws or jurisdictions. Because the term "treatise" is more of a common-law category, the equivalent works in civil-law systems may have other names such as commentaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, monographs, or festschriften.
The Comparative Law component features books that compare more than one legal system. Comparative Law Scholars do not agree on how many types of legal systems exist in the world, but the major types are common law, civil law, Talmudic, Islamic, and indigenous legal systems. The archive also includes Roman and canon law in various languages. These documents showcase that the roots of English common law can be found in the deep recesses of European history.
This collection includes pre-1926 treatises and similar monographs in the following areas: International Law, Comparative Law, Foreign Law, Roman Law, Islamic Law, Jewish Law, and Ancient Law. The Foreign Law component covers dozens of countries; the principal ones included are: Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland.
The materials in this archive are drawn from three world-class American law libraries: the Yale Law Library, the George Washington University Law Library, and the Columbia Law Library.
Platform Features & Tools
Researchers can see the frequency of search terms within sets of content to begin identifying central themes and assessing how individuals, events, and ideas interact and develop over time.
By grouping commonly occurring themes, this tool reveals hidden connections within search terms—helping to shape research by integrating diverse content with relevant information.
Search across the content of complementary primary source products in one intuitive environment, enabling innovative new research connections.