The following indexes are useful for historical work on law. For expertise in the law literature, contact the Langdell Reference Desk, (495-4516) for Anglo-American law or International Legal Studies Reference (495-9001) at the Law School.
Additional sources in Library Research Guide for History 97g "What is Legal History?"
Criminal Justice Abstracts (1968- ) covers U.S. and international criminal justice literature including scholarly journals, books, dissertations, governmental and non-governmental studies and reports, unpublished papers, magazines, newsletters, etc. and other materials.
Hein Online Legal Journal Collection offers full-text of many law reviews and journals, most starting with volume 1 and extending in some cases to the present. Book reviews, notices, advertisements, etc., are included.
Index to periodical articles related to law (1958- ) indexes law-related articles in general and other non-law journals not covered by the legal indexes.
Index to legal periodical literature (1786-1937). (ed. by Jones and Chipman, 6 v.) indexes general and legal periodicals and law reports.
-- v. 1. Prior to Jan. 1887.--v. 2. 1887-1899 [i.e. 1898]--v. 3. 1898-1908 [i.e. 1907]--v. 4. 1908-1922.--v. 5. 1923-1927.
HathiTrust Online Version (vols 1-3 only)
Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective (1908-1981).
LegalTrac (1980- ) indexes the contents of nearly 1000 English-language legal periodicals, including academic law journals, bar association publications, and legal newspapers, and law-related articles from business and general interest titles.
Nexis Uni (1970- ) includes federal and state case law, statues, secondary sources such as law reviews, and state legal materials.
When you have a Nexis Uni record for a case, note "More Like This" at Next Steps on upper right of the case record. Adjust this to "Shepardize". Hitting this link yields citations of your case by subsequent cases, in the upper portion of the results, and, below, in the law review literature.
NCJRS abstracts database (National Criminal Justice Reference Service abstracts database, 1970- ) covers Federal, state, and local government reports, books, research reports, journal articles, and unpublished research.
Finding Court Cases (U.S.)
Transcripts of trial court cases are ordinarily not published. But when a case is appealed to a state appelate court, the opinion is often published and always published when appealed to the state supreme court. All US Supreme Court opinions are published. The full text of court opinions is available via LexisNexis Academic
Select Search by Content Type: Legal - Federal and State Cases. Choosing Advanced Options allows Federal/State and date limitation, and allows searching by segments, that is, by a part of the case record, say partry names. This is a vast database, and searching Everywhere often yields too many hits. Limiting to (Party) Names often is best. Cite refers to the technical legal citation form and is not useful unless you happen to have it.
The first part of the Case comprises secondary material added by LEXISNEXIS, and, further down, by the state court. The actual opinion begins:
OPINION BY: ...
Subject terms for additional searches may be drawn from the preliminary secondary material. Note Core Terms. You can limit the search to Legal Topics.
If you choose Landmark Cases instead of Federal & State Cases, you get a list of selected major cases under topics, including: Civil Rights, Racial Discrimination and Civil Rights, School Desegregation.
Note "More Like This" at Next Steps on upper right of each case record. Adjust this to "Shepardize". Hitting this link yields citations of your case by subsequent cases, in the upper portion of the results, and, below, in the law review literature.
Note that you can search the law reviews directly by selecting "Law Reviews", instead of "Federal & State Cases".
Briefs are the lawyers' arguments presented to the court in written form:
U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs 1832-1978
Research Guide: Finding Records, Briefs & Court Filings (Harvard Law School)
HeinOnline Subject Compilations of State Laws database provides detailed bibliographic information for thousands of articles, books, government documents, loose-leaf services, court opinions and websites that compare or survey state laws. Searchable by topic.