Something for historians, legal & otherwise

By | 9 November 2016

HeinOnline has now made available a database called Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture, & Law
& holders of an Oxford Single Sign On will now see it listed as part of our general HeinOnline subscription. But it also accessible to anyone separately: after registration and voluntary donation: more details here.

The publisher’s claim is that it brings together (in electronic form) “all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world.”

This means that it “includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery.”

The collection is not limited to specifically legal materials. It also   “has hundreds of pamphlets and books written about slavery—defending it, attacking it or simply analyzing it, including an expansive slavery collection from Buffalo Erie County Public Library. The cooperation of this institution was central to developing this collection. We have also gathered every English-language legal commentary on slavery published before 1920, which includes many essays and articles in obscure, hard-to-find journals in the United States and elsewhere. We have provided more than a thousand pamphlets and books on slavery from the 19th century.”

Full text access to commentary from the 21st century is also included. And not just articles from recent issues of law journals. The University of North Carolina Press has generously agreed that 50 of its current titles related to slavery should be included in the database.

A unique discovery tool has been developed by Paul Finkelman, in collaboration with Hein’s editorial staff, through careful tagging of the content. Called Slavery Quick Finder it is available via the All Titles tab. Four routes (and combinations of the four) can be used to get speedily to exactly that section of the collection which interests you most! The options are position on slavery (eg anti- or pro-slavery – or both or neither) document type (use the drop down menu as there is a wide range from eg cases to poems & songs), jurisdiction, and topic (again explore the extensive drop down menu). See snap shot below


Finally, HeinOnline promise that the database “will continue to grow, not only from new scholarship but also from historical material that [they] continue to locate and add to the collection.”

An image from collection