Author Archives: elizabethw

Health to the world

Pandemic is  a whole series  of board games where players work as a team to save the world In later editions new characters have been included  – such as The Contingency Planner and The Quarantine Specialist. What worries us is that none of them yet seem to include a character called The Legislator or The Norm Maker … Could this

In Law Bod at KL34.1.XAN 2014

possibly imply that the drafting of statutes is not seen as either heroic or glamorous??? Perhaps board game developers need to wake up their ideas: in a book published by Hart,  Helen Xanthaki used the “paradigm of Flyvberg’s phronetic social sciences, [to offer] a novel approach which breaks the tradition of unimaginative past descriptive reiterations of drafting conventions.”

Certainly historians of medicine would seem to agree with us that The Legislator would be a useful addition:|”Legislation, in the form of direct prescriptions or proscriptions on behaviour, is perhaps the most powerful tool available to the public health policymaker” (Abstract to R Pawson, L Owen, & G Wong, ‘Legislating for health: Locating the evidence’ (2010) 31 J Public Health Pol  164.

The connection between the epidemics of cholera – a lot of lobbying from heroes such as Edwin Chadwick – and the ancestor of “modern” health legislation, the 1848 Public Health Act (11 & 12 Vict c 63), possibly qualifies as common knowledge. The free online Hansard lets you follow the passage of the Bill.

But there had been two Baths and Washhouse Acts passed in Westminster prior to 1848 – crucial steps in the battle against transmission of diseases. The first of 1846 (9 & 10 Vict c 74) thought in terms of local authorities provision of basic public facilities for the poor as a whole. The House of Lords cannot but have been impressed by the fact that “9,000 [users of a privately funded pay as you enter establishment bath in London] had walked from three to five miles to obtain that advantage .” In their Lordships’ lives the wherewithal for bathing for basic cleanliness usually came to them! The second of 1847 (10 & 11 Vict c 61) recognised that the lower classes were not without pride … or class consciousness of their own: it allowed local authorities to extra facilities at a slightly higher rate so that the tradesman was not having did have to use the exactly the same facilities as his servant … or the labouring poor. HL Deb 29 June 1847, vol  93, cols  1052-7 (It is a shock to read that the East Oxford public slipper baths did not close until as recently as 1978 – well within the lifetime of the Law Bod.)

The heraldic achievement on Welsh National authority legislation: anaw

Currently, England is considering changing of the existing law on consent to organ donation ( Human Tissue Act 2004  ) Indeed Department of Health launched their public consultation on 11 December 2017. It will close on 18 March 2018. Read about it & have your say here!

In this England may be following the lead of Wales, where the statute introducing presumed (or the opting in of) consent was the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013

You win or you die. There is no middle ground.

George R.R. Martin  neatly encapsulates the precariousness of being a character in  A Game of Thrones, the televised version & extension to his books. A game  built on such an ethos is clearly what anyone’s Christmas needs!
Games producers have been quick to translate the, err, cut and thrust of the TV series into coloured cardboard and plastic tokens, so please be specific in your letter to Santa.There is a Cluedo version (was it Sansa Stark in Qyburn’s Laboratory with a Catspaw Blade?), a monopoly version ( Free Parking in Westeros!? Just imagine the local traffic wardens …),  a Risk version (“escalates … the classic game of strategic conquest, to an epic level of chaos and war”), a Trivia Game (“your mind is your weapon”), more than one Card Game (with POD extensions) as well as simply A Game of Thrones: the board game (2nd edition). Anything with an edition statement has to win the votes of  librarians.

But librarians do find it hard to put books down … . If you have developed the law student’s basic skill of speed reading, you still have time to gird up your loins by getting through some background reading, starting with the published novels in the series A Song of Ice and Fire. The length of Reading Lists in law are the stuff of fable – but Martin admits in his Preface to Inside HBO’s Game of thrones “Just one of my volumes was as long as all three of Professor Tolkien’s” – so don’t delay!

Holders of Oxford SSO can read this online

Indeed, the opportunities to learn before getting down to playing keep on coming! How about Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords? (Online for holders of Oxford SSO)  Not entirely convinced by the validity of the subtitle, but we happily note that Chapter 4 is The War in Westeros and Just War Theory – great stuff to entice more people into the study of a vital topic of public international law! Useful background reading for this chapter could start with the Just War Theory article in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) (ISSN 2161-0002). This online resource has been live since 1995 “to provide open access to detailed, scholarly information on key topics and philosophers in all areas of philosophy…. The IEP articles are written by experts … The submission and review process of articles is the same as that with printed philosophy journals, books and reference works.’

But don’t limit your  Flipped Learning  experience to just reading – there are online tutorials on the board game, starting with this introduction of 20 mins The leaders of the rival houses won’t stand a chance!

But please excuse me from the players’ table! The correct assembly of an educational jigsaw (such as the one below) is about the limit of my intellectual capacity during holidays … Once that is I have remembered that old mnemonic verse Willy, Willy, Harry, Ste, Harry, Dick, John, Harry 3, ..

Victorian Kings & Queens of England Jigsaw in Bodleian collection












Don’t break the ice

Let’s start with a game for 3 to 4 year olds – and doting older relatives, happy for an excuse to sit comfortably and engage in minimal mental activity for the writer knows into which category she falls!

The object of  this Don’t break the ice is to help Phillip the Penguin chop out blocks of ice so that he can build himself a new igloo.

Christmas Penguin By LiesdeR

(How Philip’s relatives had managed to hide this remarkable activity from the BBC Frozen Planet team was initially confounding,  but having done a mental review of all that Happy Feet & Madagascar franchises had taught me, I know there is a lot more to penguins than they ever let on to documentary makers.)
The problem is that your effort to chop a new block of ice may cause poor Phillip to fall … in which case you lose.

Adelie penguin chick, Cape Bird Northern rookery by Wei-Hang Chua. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works Antarctica NZ Digital Asset Manager

Penguins certainly have a good PR team working for them – and it is probably just as well for the polar regions seem to be particularly under stress. 2017 was a terrible breeding season for the Adelie penguin – as reported in an article in The Telegraph of 27 October 2017 the 18,000 strong colony in one part of the Antarctic had only managed to raise 2 chicks.

The impact of the breaking up & melting of the ice sheets may have been a contributory factor in this population crash. NASA’s operation IceBridge  & its 9th Antarctic mapping project should provide solid data. The CCAMLR or Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (established under Convention) is charged with looking after “all Antarctic populations of finfish, molluscs, crustacean and sea birds” – “to  protect  core  foraging  areas  for  land-based top  predators  or  those  that  may  experience direct trophic competition from fisheries” (If concerned, remember whales and seals are the subject of distinct conventions.) Under the CCAMLR some international  agreements have already been reached giving some areas special protection, such as the Ross Sea Region Marine Protection Area let us hope more will follow.


But the breaking news about ice – or the lack of it – relates to the North Pole, thousands of miles from any penguin’s igloo, but closer to Father Christmas’s!

Polar Bear’s Accident  Tolkein imagined Father Christmas having to move house, thanks to this overly helpful, clumsy bear! A Christmas Card on sale to support Bodleian Libraries…

Changes in the quality & permanence of the ice sheets in the Arctic has meant the opening of an enticing “donut hole”- over a million square-miles of “new” water outside any national jurisdiction, so potentially open to a free-for-all exploitation. However a draft Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean has just been concluded by Canada, Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands),Norway, Russia, USA & the Inuit Circumpolar Council together with the major arctic fishing entities – Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China and the EU. It could usher in a 16 year moratorium on fishing. But lawyers know that this is but the first step – “Before the Agreement will be open for signature, the delegations must first undertake a legal and technical review of its provisions, which will occur in the near future, and prepare the texts in the other languages in which it will be signed. During that time, delegations will also seek final approval within their respective governments to sign the Agreement.” The Chairman’s statement dated 30 November 2017 is rather an ice-bucket of legal realism. But we can all hope that there will be no slip ups in the progress towards this agreement entering into force…



International Women’s Day

“On International Women’s Day, let us all pledge to do everything we can to overcome entrenched prejudice, support engagement and activism, and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.” UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

This year, the UN’s chosen theme is  “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” and women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work will be the focus of the CSW’s 61st session (CSW 61) from 13-24 March in NY. (Here is a library of the UN Documents already drawn up in preparation.) CSW is the abbreviation for Commission on the Status of Women which has been working since 1946 as “the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”
Progress of the World’s Women is the related occasional series, also available free online.

Click on image & do a simple quiz on women & the economy!


Looking at women in the legal profession and starting on our own doorstep (so to speak), there is Oxford Women in Law (OWL), a “network established by the Law Faculty to provide women working in the legal profession with a neutral environment where they can meet with like-minded people and share their experiences.” OWL is having its next  meeting in London in April 2017.

Staying with women in law but widening the focus to the UK, we trust many of the members of OWL have been or will be contributing to
First 100 Years :celebrating the past to shape the future for women in law

“… a ground-breaking history project, supported by the Law Society and the Bar Council, charting the journey of women in law since 1919. The project is powered by Spark21, a charity founded to celebrate, inform and inspire future generation of women in the profession. … Work is now under way to produce a new digital museum made up of 100 video stories that tell the story of women in law. The digital museum will be donated to the British Library in 2019. The project’s legacy will be the creation for the first time of positive role models for women in law, a deep understanding of the past combined with a celebration of today, a cross-sector platform for intelligent debate and change and a valuable archive accessible to everyone from law students to High Court Judges. Our aim is to ensure a strong and equal future for all women in the legal profession.”

Dr Ivy Williams

Certainly there is already one face which those of us who have waited outside The Cube in the St Cross Building                                                                                 will recognize – but had to wait for the passing of the  Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 – and Oxford’s gracious decision to play by its rules!

See Lady Justice Hallett’s reasoning why Dr Williams deserves to be considered a Legal Hero.





Thoughts of Wales

St David’s day!  Perhaps it is because we are nearing the end of term, but memories of happy childhood holidays in Wales are bubbling to the surface …

The good news is that for the would-be legal historian there is a professional requirement for us to schedule a return visit to the principality soon!

For holders of an Oxford Single Sign interested in a good refresher & overview on this topic, we recommend the entry for Welsh law by Thomas Glyn Watkin in the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History  If you can visit the Law Bod Our print copy is on Floor 2 at Ref 103.

KL401.5.HYW 1986

If you hadn’t already made his acquaintance, you will encounter the important 10th century King, Hywel Dda & the Cyfraith Hywel.

The Law Bod can then provide you with modern translations in The law of Hywel Dda : law texts from medieval Wales at KL401.5.HYW 1986

So clearly, we all really do need to go to the Heritage Centre (Whitland, Carmarthenshire) celebrating his life and works. One of its intriguing features is that claims to have “the only garden in Europe dedicated to law.” Not one garden in fact, but a series “Each is themed to reflect a separate division of the Law – Society, Kindred and Status; Crime and Tort; Women; Contract; Property; King and Court. Each garden has its own distinct character, and features enamel slate plaques that depict the laws in action.” So the Willow Garden (dealing with Women and the law) has a plaque listing the three reasons a woman could leave her husband according to the Cyfraith Hywel:
“1. If he was a leper
2. For not being able to fulfil his duties as a husband
3. For having bad breath.”

The National Library of Wales has digitized one of the earliest (mid-thirteenth century) surviving manuscript compilations of Welsh laws, Peniarth 28 – as it has some appealing pen & ink illustrations. Folio 4r (which we reproduce below) has an illustration of a judge in his chair, a law book in his hand. Finger pointing was obviously a gesture associated with people of power and authority!
Peniarth 28 f. 4r.








LGBT History Month

For an academic law library – below is what passes as a veritable rainbow of colourful book covers in celebration!  There is a specific LawBod Libguide on LGBT law resources at Oxford. The focus is on the development & experience in the UK – but both the Libguide and the LawBod’s collections do have works looking at both the ongoing international human rights dimension, as well as the civil law developments within other jurisdictions. The works in Jurisp (Jurisprudence) consider the relationship of law & sexuality from a philosophical/theoretical standpoint.

Law Bod Legal Hist G624a

Law Bod KM208.23.BAM 1997

Law Bod Jurisp 510 S531a

LawBod Reserve KB181.BAM 2014









Many of our readers are active in the examination, criticism, and improvement of the current state of LGBTQI rights & legal status. Look out for their Blog posts under such categories as Relationship Rights, Gender Based Violence, and Children’s Rights

Libel and love but definitely not together

Not one but two reasons why law students really should get away from their books – or small screens –  & into the cinemas for some legal education courtesy of the big screen.

KB66.ENG.IRV 2006

Denial (2016, Mick Jackson & David Hare) is based on Deborah Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier (A copy is in the Law Bod at KB66.ENG.IRV 2006.) Her day came about in 2000 when she found herself in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court  as second defendant in the libel case, Irving v Penguin Books Ltd.  The defendants’ legal team had to produce such a strategy and argument that there could be no possibility that denial of historical facts could win. The film gives an excellent insight into the team work involving both lawyers (led by Richard Rampton QCHeather Rogers , &  Anthony Julius) and expert witnesses behind the successful establishment of justification – as then defined by s.5 Defamation Act 1952 c66.

This law librarian greatly appreciated the film – having her own routemaster moment as her attention was briefly fixated on the books (allegedly) in Mr Julius’s office, inwardly cheering the detail which showed the importance of having your court bundle duly tagged etc etc …. So perhaps make due allowances for her being a bit of a geek!

It is distressing that holocaust denial manages to continue – such is the curious world of alternative facts.

What nobody can deny is that the judgment handed down in the film is available via BAILII, Westlaw UK & LexisLibrary. (Mr Justice Gray had directed (pursuant to CPR Part 39 P.D. 6.1.)” that no official shorthand note shall be taken of this judgment” – suddenly a section of the film makes greater sense!) [2001] EWCA Civ 1197, the official transcript of the refusal of a subsequent request for permission to appeal is also available on BAILII & the subscription databases above.

For all would-be libel lawyers, please note the subsequent passing of the Defamation Act 2013 c 26. Para 17 of the Explanatory notes say that sub-ss 2(2) & (3) replace the s 5 of the older act – but are intended to have the same effect.
Read about the current law in Duncan and Neill on defamation KN38.2.DUN 2015 (online via LexisLibrary) two of the heroes of the hour – barristers Rampton & Rogers are among the names behind this current edition! or Gatley on Libel and Slander  KN38.2.GAT 2013 (online Westlaw UK) or Collins on defamation KN38.2.COL 2014. What am I saying “or” “or” “or”?!? – one of the clearest lessons of Denial is the importance of thorough, painstacking, preparation: for or read and. Then you will have begun…

Anthony Julius has since written a work related to the case Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (2010). Copies of this are in the Bodleian History Faculty Library or can be Requested from the Closed Stack (how to guide here) to be read in the Law Bod.

Sir Charles Gray (as he had become by 2011) can be heard in the role of witness to the BBC’s PM Privacy Commission Day 3 (For other sessions & final report, see index page)

The second film is not something I have seen yet – but the reviews suggest it warrants direct research!

Loving (2016, Jeff Nichols) is about the back story to the US case Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 18 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1967). (Holders of an Oxford SSO can also get US case law via Fastcase, the International Materials collection of Westlaw UK (remember to click Services first to get the right search screens) and LexisLibrary (International Cases are a link on the Case search screen – change drop down menu).)

The US Supreme Court had to consider whether a statutory scheme adopted by the State of Virginia to prevent marriages between persons solely on the basis of racial classifications [miscegenation] violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Between us, the Bodleian Libraries can provide the curious with over 50 books with Fourteenth Amendment in their title – before turning to those less specific but still on the United States Constitution or the history of race relations. Not all will necessarily deal at length with this particular case … but I know it is at least mentioned in Michael J. Perry’s We the people : the Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court (Bodleian Law Library     USA 510 P463.5d  or Social Science Library   KF4558.PER or Vere Harmsworth Library     KF 4558 14th .P47 1999)(I cheated a bit &  searched the online version! Remote access requires logging in)

1980 Sentimentally valid

On first listening to the strains of There is no one quite like Grandma, this writer’s inner Scrooge leapt out unbidden: initial reaction was “A sugar tax cannot come soon enough!” (It remains to be seen whether the 2016 Budget‘s proposal of a new Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SIDL consultation) from April 2018 will survive subsequent events – or whether hoped for nudge will be strong enough to have the desired effect Sugar reduction: from evidence into action (2015)) To stress how out of character this response was I assure all that I intend to have my Christmas cake and eat it ….   not to mention some mince pies, the odd chocolate ….

So starting afresh: the 1980 Christmas Number One was a winsomely sweet, sincere rendition of a wonderfully inspiring sentiment.

The Bodleian KeepCup is a specially designed reusable cup for hot or cold beverages which allows you to enjoy a drink while studying in some Bodleian libraries including Law Bod (except for Official Papers Collection Floor 0) and the SSL.

Indeed, the Law Bod celebrated its own fiftieth a couple of years ago so our latest cohort of readers might well have begun to find us a bit quaint. Fortunately the St Cross Building is just coming out the other side of a major restructuring & refurbishment project – the architectural equivalent of surgical rejuvenation! From 2017 we will (we trust) present Generation Y with fewer distressing “wrinkles” than before – and yes there will be a proper café in the same building as the Library & the Faculty.

Tuneful reminders about the older generation are necessary: while the Law Bod’s Libguides include, eg  Medical law and ethics  and Labour & employment law both of which would encompass aspects of grandma’s experience with the law, there is no Libguide specifically relating to the legal status, rights etc of those who are young –  at heart! This despite the fact we do have both Children and the law in the UK and Children in international and transnational law. Could the initially hostile reaction mentioned above have been in part the guilty recognition of unintended ageism? Work is underway to redress the balance, those further down life’s course are not going to be invisible for much longer! In the meantime some tips …

KN151.6.HER 2009 Holders of Oxford SSO can read this online too. Click cover!

KN151.6.HER 2009 Holders of Oxford SSO can read this online too. Click cover!

To find books in SOLO using subject search you could use (to find general works)  Older people — Legal status, laws, etc or  Older people – civil rights.  As our UK collection has been converted to the Moys Classification system, if you are in the Law Bod, just browse the shelf mark KN151.6 on Floor 2. You may have to consider other subject searches, such as Age   discrimination  in employment   Law and legislation (shelved at KN191.2 on the same Floor.)

Internat 570 M379.4a

Internat 570 M379.4a


Nor is this just of domestic interest – if, as in the title to the right, the shelf mark
begins Internat you need to go up to Floor 3.

As far as specialist journals are concerned, users of SOLO should take special note of the place of publication. Since 2011, there has been a UK law quarterly called Elder law journal  (As it is a Jordans (LexisNexis) title it is not available via either Westlaw UK nor LexisLibrary it is available to those with an Oxford SSO via a separate platform.) Unfortunately, this title is very close indeed to The Elder Law Journal, which has been published by The College of Law at the University of Illinois since 1993. According to the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations Eld LJ is the abbreviation for the UK title, Elder LJ for the US – so pay attention to the citation you are following up!
When the promised Law Bod Libguide is published, it is going to have the title Older people and the law, with a friendly url ending opl ( because Eld – or  eLD – in the Bodleian context – can only mean one thing Electronic Legal Deposit.
We would encourage our readers – of all ages! – to read and understand the implications of this development in the long history of our copyright library status. Currently, it means there may be some online versions of books with View Online links in SOLO will only work when you are logged on to a Bodleian Library PC. The title below is an example from this very subject area.

KN67.FOX 2012 The e-version of this title is E-LD so cannot be read remotely...

KN67.FOX 2012 The e-version of this title is E-LD so cannot be read remotely… so come into the Law Bod & enjoy!

1968 swinging with The Scaffold


Around 1968 Project Image

1968 may have been the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  but the year’s events had given scant scope for celebration: the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the end of the Prague Spring, assassinations in the US (Martin Luther King Jr in April, Robert F Kennedy in June), anti-terrorism legislation in South Africa strengthened the apartheid government’s control on dissent, while the UK’s own immigration legislation was passed in an atmosphere of racial tension, etc. Little wonder then that ’68 would become synonymous with revolting youth! In fact, members of Oxford’s History Faculty are part of an “international project [which] reconsiders 1968 as a historic moment in the shadow of the Second World War, Cold War and wars of decolonisation, and in the glare of the Swinging Sixties, when a generation of young activists believed that they could change the world and at the same time change themselves” Around 1968: Activists, Networks and Trajectories.

Oxford University (as everywhere) had members of every shade of political belief and conviction. Holders of an Oxford Single Sign On can see brief snapshots of specifically Oxford student activism  – for example storming the Proctors’ Office in defence of their right to distribute political leaflets to the Cowley workers (24 May & 4 June 1968)  in The Times Digital Archive 1785-2010   Nor was it just junior members defending rights: William Wade (then inaugural Professor of English Law at Oxford) spoke up on the individual’s right to freedom to travel, challenging whether the then government’s position over passports was “consistent either with the rule of law or with the principles of administrative fair play.” (The Times 7 August 1968) (Mention of Prof Wade in the current climate makes one’s mind strays inevitably to his analysis (1996) 112 LQR 568 of the second Factorame case [1991] 1 A.C. 603 – and subsequent developments! Holders of an Oxford SSO can read both report and article in Westlaw UK But we digress…)

KB15.ENG.HAR 2004

KB15.ENG.HAR 2004

Oxford University’s Hebdomadal Council (how sonorously nineteenth century)  was (in 1968) already reviewing its dealings with those in statu pupillari (sorry it’s catchy!). Another committee was instigated – under the chairmanship of HLA Hart, then Oxford Professor of Jurisprudence (legal philosophy). “University discipline, like all other forms of punishment, should certainly be approached with the moral equivalent of Occam’s razor in hand : punishments are not to be multiplied beyond necessity. But Occam’s razor was not designed for suicide …” says para 88 of the resulting Report of the Committee on Relations with Junior Members (1969)

Dissent Magazine was prepared to award the Professor’s work a respectable β+ ?α -. Among the Hart Report’s recommendations was one that a panel of equal numbers of Senior & Junior Members should make all disciplinary rules – except for a couple of areas, including conduct in the Bodleian! (Would the neque fumo nicotiano clause in the Reader’s Oath have survived?)

According again to The Times (8 October 1968),  the latest edition of the Proctors’ handbook on student conduct had already got “with it,” having silently dropped the prohibition on leaflet distribution. Moreover, undergraduates would henceforth be able to “entertain” members of the opposite sex in their rooms – up to midnight!

By the time Christmas came along in this fractious year it seems the British public was in the mood for a laugh – and a song which could bring all generations & political persuasions together in the harmony of a silly, but catchy, chorus!

The Scaffold in action!

The Scaffold in action click image & then scroll down for recording of Lily! Image from Liverpool

“We’ll drink a drink a drink
To Lily the pink the pink the pink
The saviour of our human race
For she invented, medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case”

Lily the Pink was a rather sanitized version of an older drinking song – & a veiled reflection on the remarkable success of an American peddler of patent medicine, one Lydia E Pinkham (1819 – 1883). Lydia now features as a Notable in part of Harvard’s fascinating Open Collections Program called Women Working 1819-1883  for she (and her family) had transformed a homemade concoction of roots, barks & leaves into a commercial triumph. Her Vegetable Compound claimed to be “a positive cure For all those painful Complaints and Weaknesses so common to our best female population.”  A fuller listing of its astonishing powers can be seen on a surviving Advertisement Card : and given the state of “proper” medicine back in the 1870s who can blame our sisters for buying in hope? (A wider collection of company puffs Pinkham Pamphlets 1921-1934 has also been digitized, thanks to a large company archive preserved at Radcliffe College, Harvard University. Finding aid here)

It is very probable that the Compound did give some “relief” – we are not just talking placebo effect here – for under the regime of the Pure Food and Drug Act 1906  (aka the “Wiley Act” PL 59-384) it was revealed that it contained up to 20 % alcohol!
The Law Bod’s subscription to HeinOnline includes access to the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library. In the Hearings before a Senate Sub-Committee in 1972 (considering Criminal Code Revision) there is an opinion suggesting that there may also have been a few coca leaves in the brew:  “Obviously, what we had in 1914[ before the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act] were several hundred thousand addicts in the country. They were, as  you said, females who lived in the rural parts of our country and hooked on patent medicines, like Lydia Pinkham. They did not know at the time what they were doing, and it was not considered illegal.”

Incidentally, you could still self-medicate with modern version of Lydia’s compound   should you so wish – 10% alcohol now & only with the leaf of the motherwart!- but strong in iron, calcium, and vitamins c and e …

Request from Closed Stacks if you so desire!

Includes more about Lydia & her kind – request from Closed Stacks if you so desire!

Lydia Pinkham House in Lynn, Mass. National Register of Historic Places in the USA. 12000818

Lydia Pinkham House in festive dress! Lynn, Mass. National Register of Historic Places in the USA. 12000818 Image from Wikipedia











Something for historians, legal & otherwise

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