Spanning centuries, cultures and continents

The nice alliteration “a blog on this subject that spans centuries, cultures and continents” in my first post made me worry a bit to fall dreadfully short of my promise. However, when I saw the web presence of the Harvard Law School Library I guessed my confidence would be rewarded. In fact, one can select interesting subjects at random. Let’s make a short tour and restrict it to the digital collections. The partnership with the Ames Foundation for Bracton Online and the English Year Books is perhaps the best known digital activity of the HLSL. I was genuinely surprised by the twenty digitized scrolls from the Japanese manuscript collection that spans the period 1158-1591, acquired in 1936. Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. is present, too, of course. By far the greatest project here is the collection of documents of the Nuremberg Trials Project. Those looking for images will applaud Legal Portraits Online, a 4,000 picture collection of lawyers and political theorists. When I saw the link to the French coutumes I knew for sure my own interest in medieval history and law would be satisfied: the HLSL has 600 editions of coutumes and twenty manuscripts. The digitized manuscript from around 1300 of the Grand Coutumier de Normandie is wonderful indeed! British crime broadsides from the eighteenth and nineteenth century, materials on the American Red Cross at work after the First World War, old library catalogues and a series of HLS class photos from 1875 to 2007: one post is just too short! I am sure to return to the HLSL’s website, and I will use alliteration more carefully.


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