Give me a C for Christmas

By | 2 December 2016

For the second post of our Christmas 2016 blog series we are going to take a look at an old and relatively unknown Christmas classic ‘Christmas Alphabet’ by Dickie Valentine (number one in 1955) and run through of some of the lesser known databases we subscribe to (or are free) in the Bodleian Law Library.


Having first thought that it was going to be the whole alphabet and worrying that we didn’t have anything in our list of legal databases for Q,X &Y, it was a little bit of a relief to hear that Dickie runs through just the letters in the word ‘Christmas’ highlighting his favourite parts of Christmas.  Of course that means that we couldn’t bring in Queen Victoria’s Journal and the fact that she did, at least on one occasion, read Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (Feb 13, 1836, pages 177-178). However it does mean a shorter blog post to read and so let’s carry on and have a look.


20100226-c-by-chris-plascikC is for Carilaw, our database for Caribbean primary materials but also for Current Legal Research Topics Database.  If you are interested in finding out what topics are currently being researched by M.Phil and D.Phil students in the UK then the CLRTD is the place to start.  It is a free database produced by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and ” aims to be a comprehensive listing of research for higher degrees in law”.  More information about the database can be found on the website.

h46-by-karyn-christnerH is for HeinOnline (subscription).  This is not one of the more unknown databases (as promised earlier) however you may be surprised with some of the collections it has on there (it is definitely more than journals, US primary materials, and UN material). There is the History of International Law collection, the Harvard Research In International Law (both of course beginning with ‘H’ as well). There is a  fairly new collection called Slavery in America and the World as well as Selden Society Publications.  To have a look at all the different collections if you go to the homepage of HeinOnline they are listed there.

r-by-duncan-cR is for Refworld.  Refworld is a collection of material collected by the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) to aid decisions on refugee status.  The site pulls together the laws, jurisprudence/case law and has information by country.  It also has the latest news which can be subscribed to via RSS feed and a special feature section which allows for thematic research.  The site is free and can be found at

letter-i-by-nsubI is for Investor State Law Guide (subscription).  As you would imagine there are a large number of databases that begin with ‘I’.  As the database itself says “Investor-State LawGuide enables you to utilize a methodical approach when researching investment treaty arbitration jurisprudence and provides an efficient means to improve the comprehensiveness of your research”.  It has the texts of the treaties and rules that allows you to browse, there are search facilities that allow you to search by word or phrase or full text and there are various citators and links to dispute documents.

s-by-karyn-christnerS is for Supreme Court Cases (India) a must if you are doing any Indian legal research. It also stands for Social Science Research Network.  This is a collection of research papers in the Social Sciences.  It includes the Legal Scholarship Network which has over 233,000 papers included within sub-series such as Law School Research Network  – Law & Economics, LSRN – Legal Studies, and LSRN – Public Law & Legal Theory.  It also has a blog you can subscribe to.

red-silk-alphabet-t-by-thorT is for Transnational Dispute Management (subscription).  This is a peer-reviewed online journal which publishes articles on international arbitration with a particular focus on investment.  As well as the journal itself there is also access to regulatory and legal documents from various jurisdictions and these can be browsed by country  or by category  (such as Cases, Contracts and Agreements, Guidelines, Codes & Standards).  There are parts of the database that are more restricted and so if you are interested contact us at the Library.

m-by-canadian-familyM is for Making of Modern Law (subscription) which looks at legal treatises from 1800-1926.  There are the usual options to search or browse as you would expect.  It has a whole range of interesting documents from Abraham Lincoln’s address in Edinburgh to The Sailor’s Log (1905), from the Sale of Good Act 1983 to a delightful commentary called Gallows and the Lash: An Enquiry into the Necessity of Capital and Corporal Punishment (1897).  The database itself is a little cumbersome to navigate and the scans of the documents can sometimes be quite hard on the eyes but still a useful and interesting resource.

a-by-tim-knapenA is for Armed Conflict Database (subscription). The ACD (from the International Institute for Strategic Studies) covers the world’s international, internal and terrorist conflicts, whether active, subject to a ceasefire, or halted by a peace accord. Users can generate reports and download data as well as browse year-by-year analyses and fact sheets.  It has a useful function which allows the user to look at the conflicts in a timeline as well as a list of non-state armed groups with information about how active each group is, what their strength is (number of members) and where they operate.

tile-s-by-nsub1S is for Sabinet Reference (or Law Collection) and Sabinet Netlaw.  Both cover South African Law but Reference has journals that cover the whole of Africa (not just South Africa) and Netlaw covers South African legislation including Acts, Rules and Legislation from 1910 to the present day with the exception of provincial legislation.  If you are interested in South African legal resources we also have the All South African Law Reports and we have a guide to South African legal resources.

If you are interested in seeing what other databases we have then you can look at our full list on our webpages and don’t forget if you are starting off your research you may find our guides useful.

Picture attribution

  1. C is 20100226-C by Chris Piascik used under the Creative Commons Licence
  2. H is h46 by Karyn Christner used under the Creative Commons Licence
  3. R is R by duncan c used under the Creative Commons Licence
  4. I  is  Letter I by nsub1 used under the Creative Commons Licence
  5. S  is S by Karyn Christner used under the Creative Commons Licence
  6. T  is Red Silk Alphabet T by THOR used under the Creative Commons Licence
  7. M is  M by Canadian Family used under the Creative Commons Licence
  8. A  is A by Tim Knapen used under the Creative Commons Licence
  9. S is Tile S by nsub1 under the Creative Commons Licence