Hidden Gem: Legal Classics

With so many resources at the library, it’s impossible to know about all the awesome and unique collections available. So, we’re highlighting some of our favorite lesser known collections in our Hidden Gems series.  These are collections that are tucked away in larger library resources that you may not know exist.   

The HeinOnline legal database has a Legal Classics collection contains a wealth of classical legal information and original primary source literature of interest to legal historians and legal scholars. There is a wealth of information for anyone wanting to know the history of a topic such as accounting, education, political science, etc.  For example, “Ye Olden Blue Laws” is a book containing historical background on many Blue laws or Sunday laws. Laws that restrict things like travel on Sundays, may seem outdated, but in some instances are still on the books while being unenforced.  

To access these works, go to the HeinOnline database, and choose “Legal Classics” under the Browse Database by Name menu.  Then click “All Titles” and you can search or browse by author, title, or subject.   

Screenshot of HeinOnline database indicating the list of collections under the Browse Databases by Name category.

This hidden gem of more than 13,000 books with over 8 million pages includes thousands of works from some of the greatest legal minds in history including Joseph Story, Jeremy Bentham, Louis Brandise, Edward Coke, William Blackstone, William Holdsworth, Henry Maine, Federick William Maitland, Frederick Pollock, Benjamin N. Cardozo, and many more. In addition to many classic treatises, this collection also includes rare items that are found in only a handful of libraries around the world.  Subjects include constitutional history, comparative law, and political science.   

For scholars of Abraham Lincoln there are over 30 works including: 

  • Abe Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories – A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes that Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller 
  • Abraham Lincoln, and Other Addresses in England 
  • Abraham Lincoln, Defendant: Lincoln’s Most Interesting Lawsuit 
  • Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings 
  • Abraham Lincoln: The Lawyer-Statesman 
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln 
  • Herndon’s Life of Lincoln: The History and Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 
  • Lincoln the Lawyer 
  • Lincoln the Litigant 
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 
  • Reminiscences of the Illinois Bar Forty Years Ago: Lincoln and Douglas as Orators and Lawyers 
  • Site of Lincoln’s Inn.   

If you need assistance in accessing or searching library resources, please contact a librarian

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