Tag Archives: International law

A temple of peace: 100 years Peace Palace in The Hague

The Peace Palace in The Hague - image Tha Hague Academic Coalition, http://www.haguecoalition.org/

The Peace Palace in The Hague – image The Hague Academic Coalition, http://www.haguecoalition.org/

In several posts on this blog you can find information from or about the Peace Palace Library. The Peace Palace in The Hague opened its doors on August 28, 1913, yet another anniversary calling this year for attention. Its role and place in the history of international law are surely interesting. On a special website you can find more on the activities around this centenary. One of these activities is a congress on The Art of Peace Making where the tercentenary of the Peace of Utrecht (1713), too, will be commemorated, a theme that figured here earlier this year.

The Peace Palace is home to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), since 1945 the highest judicial organ of the United Nations. On its website the second name, Cour Internationale de Justice, reminds you of the fact that French was and still is an important language in international affairs. You can consult the website of the Peace Palace in Dutch, English or French. The Permanent Court of Arbitration, too, was founded in 1899 with a French name, Cour Permanente d’Arbitrage. Since 1923 the The Hague Academy for International Law has its premises also at the Peace Palace.

At the blog of the Peace Palace Library R. Steenhard wrote in April a fine post on the founding of the Peace Palace. In The Hague two peace conferences had been held in 1899 and 1907. Among the most substantial results in 1907 were the Laws and Customs of War on Land. At Yale’s Avalon portal you can quickly find other laws of war, where the two Hague Conventions hold a substantial place. The contacts of lawyers with Andrew Carnegie proved in the end invaluable to get this philanthropic millionaire to donate a very substantial sum for the new building from his Carnegie Foundation. Among the special collections of the Peace Palace Library is a major collection on the peace movement between 1900 and 1940. Many items in it have been digitized, but they have no yet been published online as a digital collection. The variety of subjects on which the Peace Palace Library collects books is reflected in a great series of some fifty (!) nutshell research guides. They guide you not only to the courts at the Peace Palace, but to international law in a very wide sense, including guides on legal history, comparative law, Islamic law, international watercourses, and for example the League of Nations. The collection of works on and by Hugo Grotius at the Peace Palace Library has often been noted here.

The building itself of the Peace Palace is a marvel. Its architecture is remarkable for the combination of influences from many countries and periods. In my opinion the tower and the main building remind you foremost of a large European medieval town hall. The tower looks like the belfry of a Dutch or Flemish town hall. Inside the building you will find elements from all over the world. Many countries contributed gifts to enhance the building. Margriet van Eikema Hommes studied the four large-scale paintings by Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680) in Art and Allegiance in the Dutch Golden Age. The Ambitions of a Wealthy Widow in a Painted Chamber by Ferdinand Bol (Amsterdam 2012).

No doubt the presence of the Peace Palace helped the city of The Hague to become a capital of international law. At the The Hague Justice Portal you could find until January 2013 the courts at the Peace Palace, the International Criminal Court and other UN special courts, but this website is no longer updated. The website of the The Hague Academic Coalition guides you to academic institutions in the field of international law in the city which is the residence of the Dutch king. The links section helps you to find quickly the most important international courts in The Hague. By the way, the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden, the modern Dutch Supreme Court, is also at home in The Hague.

Today I read by chance on Iurisdictio-Lex Malacitana, the blog of José Calvo González (Malaga), a notice about the yearly international itinerant seminar on the architecture of justice organized by the Institut des Hautes Études sur la Justice in Paris. This year’s seminar focuses on courts in two cities, Montreal and New York. The international courts in The Hague and their very different buildings would be an excellent subject for another edition of this program.

The tercentenary of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713)

Logo Vrede van Utrecht - Peace of Utrecht

In 2012 I wrote twice about the Peace of Utrecht, the series of treaties which ended the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713). The first post looked in great detail at the textual tradition of the Westphalian Peace of 1648, the Peace of Utrecht and the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748). The post contains an overview of treaty collections and relevant websites for historical treaties. In my second post I looked at Early Modern peace treaties more generally and I tried to summarize the results of my first post and to bring together some elements for a search strategy. One of my main points was these peace treaties are indeed treaties in the plural. The Peace of Utrecht consists of 22 treaties, counting also the treaties concluded at Baden (1714) and Rastatt (1715). On April 11, 1713 seven separate treaties were concluded. Last week it was exactly 300 years ago that Utrecht was at the center of contemporary international politics.

For the commemoration in 2013 some 150 events will take place in Utrecht. In this post I want to inform you briefly about the more scholarly events such as congresses, lectures and exhibitions. It seemed useful and sensible not to present information on a number of related congresses only in a chronological order at the congress calendar of this blog. I will skip the publicity in the media which incidentally had to battle against other Dutch festivities, such as 125 years Concertgebouw and Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the re-opening of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam after ten years of renovation. In this post I will benefit from a posting in Dutch on the Treaty of Utrecht at the website of the Foundation for the History of Old Dutch Law.

A scholarly approach of the Peace of Utrecht

The peace treaty between France and the Dutch Republic - The Hague, National Archives

The peace treaty between France and the Dutch Republic, signed in Utrecht, April 11, 1713 – The Hague, National Archives

Among the festivities in 2013 surrounding the commemoration scholarly events are not absent, but it took quite some time before one could notice them at the official website for the tercentenary, and eventually they are somewhat tucked away between concerts and other artistic events. A kind of filter would make it more easy to select particular events. The choice of one of the related themes, the commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Suriname in 1863, can be discussed. The treaty between Great Britain and Spain in which the Asiento de Negros, the concession for the Atlantic slave trade, was transferred to Great Britain, has conspicuously been signed March 26, 1713 in Madrid. However, the first major commemorating congress is called Performances of Peace: Utrecht 1713-2013 (Utrecht, March 24-26, 2013). The second main congress includes the history of slavery by focusing on colonial history, The Colonial Legacy: The Treaty of Utrecht 1713-1863-2013 (Utrecht, June 21-22, 2013). A one-day conference – which I normally would not include on my blog’s event calendar – looks at the long time influence and consequences of 1713, The 1713 Peace of Utrecht and its enduring effects (Utrecht, September 19, 2013).

Not only in Utrecht scholars will meet to discuss aspects of the Peace of Utrecht. The Peace Palace in The Hague and the University of Utrecht will organize a two-day conference The Art of Peace Making: Lessons Learned from Peace Treaties (September 19-20, 2013). In Paris the conference Une paix pour le monde: Utrecht 1713 will take place from October 24 to 26, 2013. In Canada a conference will be held in Montreal, 300 years of collective security since the treaty of Utrecht (1713-2013) (November 22, 2013). On November 29, 2013 the city archive of Ypres will host a one-day conference on the history of the Franco-Belgian border.

Some scholarly events have already been held. In Baden scholars met in November 2012 to study the efforts in the field of translation in diplomacy and publicity concerning the treaties of Utrecht, Baden and Rastatt. The German calendar website for the humanities H-Soz-u-Kult provides a report on this congress. In Madrid a three-day conference was hosted from June 7 to 9, 2012, on the theme 1713-2013: The Peace of Utrecht revisited. Historiographical Debate and Comparative Studies. A preparatory workshop on Rethinking the Peace of Utrecht 1713 for the conference in Madrid took place in Osnabrück on May 5-7, 2011. Two scholars participating in Madrid, Ana Crespo Solana and David Onnekink, will lecture together in Utrecht on April 23, 2013 on Los españoles, Europa y los Tratados de Utrecht.

Museums and the Peace of Utrecht

Some of the events commemorating the Peace of Utrecht enlist the services of modern art to bring home the importance of this peace treaty today. This year museums in Utrecht organize a number of activities, for which they have developed a special website, alas only in Dutch. For people who like to stick to history the safest choice is to visit the main exhibition In Vredesnaam [In the Name of Peace] at the Centraal Museum (April 12 to September 22, 2013). The archives at Utrecht have created an exhibition with the title Hoge pruiken, plat vermaak [High wigs, mean pleasure] at the visitor center located in the old provincial court, the building from which the header image of my blog stems. Clearly the imagery of the peace conference and the boost to city life for Utrecht in the early eighteenth century is at the heart of this exhibition (March 16 to September 25, 2013).

It was only by chance that I found information about another small exhibition at Utrecht – not mentioned at the special museum website – which documents in its own way the history and impact of the Peace of Utrecht. At the former guild hall of the blacksmiths, the St. Eloyengasthuis, an exhibition focuses on eighteenth century damask with images celebrating the peace treaty (April 24 to May 23, 2013).

New publications concerning the Peace of Utrecht

The peace negociations at the city hall of Utrecht, 1712 - Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - image from  The Memory of the Netherlands, Historical Engravings from the Frederik Muller Collection

The peace negotiations at the city hall of Utrecht, 1712 – Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – image from The Memory of the Netherlands, Historical Prints from the Frederik Muller Collection

As for recent scholarly publications concerning the Peace of Utrecht I have looked for them, but the harvest until now is meagre, and their language is mainly Dutch. In my contribution in Dutch I have listed also a few less recent publications. David Onnekink and Renger de Bruin have published De Vrede van Utrecht (1713) [The Peace of Utrecht (1713)] (Hilversum 2013), a very concise book which explains in its short compass successfully the importance of the peace that ended eleven years of war. Even the earlier commemorations in 1813 and 1913 are not forgotten. Scholars will take advantage from the list of pamphlets, printed correspondences and a up-to-date overview of the main relevant scholarly literature. I enjoyed the splendid choice of illustrations in this book. Onnekink and De Bruin do not forget to tackle the question why Utrecht was chosen. Several reasons have been mentioned, but none of them was mentioned by contemporaries. Surely the reception of the French king in 1672 by the city of Utrecht was quite favorable, and the States of Utrecht had advocated a peaceful solution against opposition from other Dutch provinces, but other cities could have hosted the negotiating parties, too. The two steps at the front of the old city hall did indeed nicely solve the problem of precedence among diplomats. The story of the streets and squares of Utrecht offering plenty space to coaches is a just a story. The city of Utrecht still lacks large squares!

In his new book historian Donald Haks studies the theme of publicity in the Dutch Republic during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, with a particular focus on pamphlets, Vaderland en vrede, 1672-1713. Publiciteit over de Nederlandse Republiek in oorlog [Fatherland and peace. Publicity about the Dutch Republic at war] (Hilversum 2013). Haks offers a broad perspective at all cultural aspects and forms of communication and information about the period of war which marked the slow decline of the Dutch Republic as an European power. Daan Bronkhorst looks at the early Enlightenment, political theory, colonial history and the role of monarchies in his volume of essays with the title Vrijdenkers, vorsten, slaven. Een nieuwe blik op de Vrede van Utrecht [Free minds, princes, slaves. A new look at the Peace of Utrecht] (Breda 2013).

Stefan Smid (Universität Kiel) wrote Der Spanische Erbfolgekrieg : Geschichte eines vergessenen Weltkriegs (1701-1714) [The War of the Spanish Succession. The history of a forgotten world war [1701-1714)] (Cologne 2011). At H-Soz-u-Kult Axel Flügel criticized the old-fashioned treatment of the subject by Smid who failed to put events and developments in broad perspectives, and at Sehepunkte Josef Johannes Schmid had even heavier remarks for Smid’s book. Hopefully other scholars will this year succeed in creating convincing, interesting and fitting new views of a war ended by a series of landmark peace treaties at Utrecht, Baden, Rastatt and Madrid.

A postscript

At The Memory of the Netherlands I found a slightly augmented version of the print showing the city hall of Utrecht in 1712 from the collection of the Atlas Van Stolk in Rotterdam, with below the picture a list of all negotiators and the houses where they were lodged.

Peace by legal means: The League of Nations

Around Christmas people worldwide hope to find some comfort and hope for peace for all mankind. In the face of oppressive governments and institutions this hope can easily seem an illusion. Yet even lawyers aware of the struggle to bring effective justice have dedicated and still dedicate their forces to the works of peace. One of the international organizations often criticized for its apparent or real shortcomings and failures are the United Nations. However, as a historian I would hesitate to issue such quick verdicts. The League of Nations (1919-1945), the predecessor of the United Nations, seems a much more unsuccessful attempt to bring peace and an easy target for negative comments. A comparison of both organizations is made easier by a number of online guides to digital materials concerning the League of Nations. In fact, the number of online guides is surprisingly large. This post offers a tour of some of the relevant websites for researching the history of the League of Nations.

Visions for peace

The origin of the idea for a worldwide peace in which the rule of law is an essential element is often associated with the essay by Immanuel Kant on eternal peace, Zum ewigen Frieden (1795). You can find on the web several good websites concerning this text. One of the more recent research projects is the Perpetual Peace Project. An English translations can be found for example at Early Modern Texts. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is helpful in sketching the context of Kant’s vision.

The foundation of the League of Nations was not a creation ex nihilo or an isolated attempt only prompted by the disasters and bloodshed of the First World War. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century a number of peace conferences had been organized, some of them in The Hague, which had already led to some international agreements and treaties concerning warfare, prisoners of war, and the protection of civilians against violence in times of war. The role of the United States of America in ending the First World War and proposing the idea for a League of Nations invites a comparison with the start of the United Nations in 1945. A primary distinction between both organizations is the membership of the United States which not become a full member of the League of Nations. American influence and a distinctive vision became famously visible in the Fourteen Points of president Woodrow Wilson (1918), but it is not correct to view it as the only decisive document leading to the creation of the League of Nations. Legal pacifism has a history that started already much earlier. A post by Cécile Formaglio at the blog of the Bibliothèque nationale de France alerts to the proposal for eternal peace written by the Abbé Saint-Pierre, one of the people active in negotiating the Peace of Utrecht (1713).

When I looked at the online guide at GlobaLex created by Gabriela Femenia for researching League of Nations documents I was impressed with its quality. Apart from the guide on Scottish legal history by Yasmoin Morais her guide is the only legal history guide at GlobaLex. The guide ends with a string of similar guides created by other universities, among them Harvard, Princeton and Oxford. The main online resource for treaties is the League of Nations Treaties database made available by the United Nations. The English text of the Covenant of the League of Nations is most conveniently found online in Yale’s Avalon Project. The Universität Heidelberg has created the LONSEA website, the League of Nations Search Engine where you can also find a useful online bibliography.

Among the most important online resources are the guide to the archives of the League of Nations held by the library of the United Nations Office at Geneva and the historical information on the League of Nations offered at this organization’s website. In its digital library the Northwestern University in Chicago has created space for the statistical and disarmament documents of the League of Nations. Indiana University presents the public an online League of Nations Photo Archive. The history of the League of Nations is also the subject of the website of a network for researching this subject.

Earlier I wrote for my blog about the nutshell guide to legal history at the website of the Peace Palace Library (PPL) in The Hague. In passing I noted in that post the presence at the PPL’s website of similar guides for a number of specific historical subjects. For the League of Nations the PPL has created a nutshell guide well worth looking at. In a succinct manner you get information about the main special bibliographies for publications concerning the League of Nations, a selection of links to some of the websites I mention here, and the librarian gives his choice of recent books on the subject. Using the catalogue of the PPL will help you to become aware of other relevant publications in its rich holdings. In my view it is most helpful to look carefully at the resources offered by the PPL. Another online guide worth special attention is the pocket guide to archival records at the website of the British National Archives (Kew) which offers a basic bibliography, too.

The roads towards peace

Comparing the League of Nations and the United Nations can help to bring contemporary judgments on international organizations into a more balanced perspective. Not every attempt of the League of Nations for peaceful problem solutions failed. Some of its creations, for example the International Labour Organization, and even the building in Geneva of the League of Nations, were taken over in its entirety by the United Nations. The sheer wealth of guides at GlobaLex concerning international law and elsewhere shows in itself already how great the role of international cooperation has become in many fields of contemporary society and law around the world.

Creating peace for all world is surely the most difficult and ultimate goal to achieve, but the work done internationally at so many levels does in the end help paving the roads towards more peace around the world. Of course the role of law in creating peace can be deceptive and at its worst downright destructive, but it shares this quality with many other human efforts. Hopefully the failures to bring peace effectively will not stop people and organizations to keep striving for an aim that rightfully is at the heart of so many dreams, visions and actions. Insight into and understanding of the history of attempts to create peace serve both as necessary reminders and powerful motivations to continue the eternal search for peace, a search aiming at making the earth a safe place to live for all mankind. Charles Péguy coined the proverbial saying of hope leading its sisters faith and love. Let’s hope that despair in the face of failures on the road towards peace will not get the better of mankind!

A short guide and a portal to legal history

Peace Palace Library
Lately the Peace Palace Library, the library of the International Court of Justice and other institutions in the field of international law in The Hague – all present at The Hague Justice Portal – has restyled its website. The Peace Palace Library (PPL) had a separate blog which has now been integrated into the new website. One of the strengths of the PPL’s website were and are the research guides, a feature which now comes more to the front. The website offers more than fifty guides in ten sections. Among the new guides is a short guide to legal history, the subject of this post. Apart from the new website the PPL is also present online with numerous tweets (@peacepalace). Last year I presented here a comparison of several portals to legal history. The PPL’s legal history guide points to a portal that somehow was not included in this comparison, even though I had spotted it and noticed some of its qualities. In this post I want to make up for this omission.

Legal history at the Peace Palace Library

The history of international law is the main reason for the PPL to devote time, space and attention to this subject. Thus the field of international law is not entirely absent in the new short guide to legal history, but it does not figure too prominently in it. The presence of Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) in the guide is only natural for the PPL with its rich holdings in editions of Grotius’ works. The Grotius collection is now substantially better shown on the website, with an updated version of the guide on Grotius.

The guide to legal history of the PPL is a guide in a nutshell. Before I will comment on this guide I want to express my admiration for the courage to create a short guide, because in a way it is easier to write a more ample guide. Its five sections present an introduction, a short bibliography, a presentation of a number of selected books as a librarian’s choice, a short links section with at present only six links, including the portal covered in the second part of this post, and a section with links to a number of related research guides, and a nifty link to all items in the category “Legal history” of the PPL’s catalogue. In this guide and in other guides as well the PPL has added consistently links to social media, a print button and a link to a PDF version of the guides. For the legal history guide the PDF function gives you only the librarian’s choice, certainly a bug but one without grave consequences. More awkward is the fact that the French version of this guide on this bilingual website is only partially in French.

The librarian’s choice at the moment of writing this post shows three books, including their covers. The first book is the collection of essays edited by Tracy A. Thomas and Tracey Joan Boisseau, Feminist legal history: essays on women and law (New York 2011). The second item is the chapter by Randall Lesaffer on ‘The classic law of nations, 1500-1800′ in the Research handbook on the theory and history of international law (Cheltenham 2011) 408-440. The third book shown is Law codes in dynastic China : a synopsis of Chinese legal history in the thirty centuries from Zhou to Qing by John W. Head and Yanping Wang (Durham, N.C., 2005).

The very brief introduction on legal history stresses the many sides of legal history. The two paragraphs can be summarized in two sentences. Laws, institutions, individuals and the relation of law to society are all aspects of legal history. Law both reacts to developments in society, but also actively shapes society. The French version tells you only that legal history is concerned with the development of law in history and the question why it changed. The French version continues with the explanation of the aim of the guide, to introduce people to the subject and to the holdings of the PPL in this field.

The bibliography is substantial, but some elements do raise an eyebrow. In particular the choice in the section with reference works is just that, a choice. Thoughtfully all titles have been directly linked to the library catalogue. Three books – with as a nice feature again their covers – are mentioned. I have no problems with the Oxford international encyclopedia of legal history, Stanley N. Katz et alii (eds.) (Oxford 2009), but the two other books have been chosen more arbitrarily. John Hamilton Baker’s An introduction to English legal history (4th ed., London 2002) is certainly a classic, but it inevitably focuses on England. The third book is a collection of essays by William Morrison Gordon, Roman law, Scots law and legal history. Selected essays (Edinburgh 2007), and this choice alerts to the existence of mixed legal systems. However, these choices center around the United Kingdom. Adding a book on for example the European legal tradition or about legal history in one of the world’s major countries or continents would be most helpful.

I cannot help pointing to some other defects in the selection of titles. Why just one issue of the ‘Bibliography of Irish and British legal history’ from the Cambrian Law Review? The link to the online version of the Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis brings you to the journal Legal History, the sequel to the Australian Journal of Legal History. The choice of books is more balanced, but it is odd to find here again Gordon’s volume of essays and the Oxford encyclopedia of legal history, both already present in the reference section. The other titles are concerned with the legal history of Europe, the United States, China and Rome, with sources for English legal history and with women’s legal history. Under “Documents” only one title is given. Far better is the choice of recent articles and papers about legal history, which range from a discussion of research methods, Islamic jurisprudence and thoughts about the legal history of the twentieth century to a comparison of legal history and comparative law, and the history of the law of nations. Of course it is difficult to create such lists as presented here, but with a relatively small number of corrections and additions it can become more useful. The list of journals on legal history is short and excludes e-journals.

For any wishes and remarks on the quality of the bibliography the links section and the section with other guides go some way to fulfill them. The links show not only some portals – including the portal in the spotlight of this post – but also a blog, the website of a society for legal history, and the research guide for legal history of an American university. This guide at the University of Minnesota Law Library neatly shows the imbalances in the PPL’s guide. However, the PPL redeems the deficiencies of its legal history guide by its own guides in related fields. You will be pressed hard to find any website which features guides on all these subjects: diplomacy, Antarctica, comparative law, Islamic law, philosophy of law and the use of force, not to mention Hugo Grotius. A number of websites do offer links on these subjects, but not similar guides. More extensive guides certainly exist, and in fact you will find them often using these research guides at the PPL. It might seem that in view of the sheer number of research guides provided by the PPL only some tuning – and translating – of the website is needed. Part of the tuning will be adding the research guide for the League of Nations to the related fields section of the guides.

A portal for legal history?

History of Law website

The portal for legal history I want to discuss here briefly is History of Law. Looking at it again in 2012 some reasons why this website can only in a restricted sense be called a portal are immediately clear. The website lacks links sections, presents no sources or articles, nor is there an events calendar or an overview of research institutions. Yet the PPL alerts to this website in its short guide to legal history. The most obvious reason for the inclusion is the page at History of Law on Hugo Grotius. When I first read it I was charmed by the narrative of Grotius’ life, and only somewhat amazed by the retelling of his escape from the Loevenstein prison in 1621, a story belonging to the heart of the canon of Dutch history. No sources are indicated for this story. A quick search using for once the eponymous search tool which conjures its results by unfathomable stratagems and axioms leaves no doubt which source has been used, Charles Butler’s The Life of Hugo Grotius (…) (London 1826). You can check the book online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library, and even choose which digitized copy you are going to look at.

Not only at the Grotius’ page of History of Law the original source is not acknowledged, the same is true for other pages. The text on the page on the history of Greek law comes from Martin Ferdinand Morris (1834-1909), An introduction to the history of the development of law (Washington, D.C., 1909). A reprint from 1911 of this work has been digitized for the Hathi Trust. The title “Roman canon law” for another webpage at History of Law should ring a bell with its anachronistic title, if not already the URL http://www.historyoflaw.info. I will not spoil the game of tracking the sources of the other pages of this website which is a nice exercise in source criticism for which you can use facilities available online. If you read the page on testamentary law it is worthwhile to establish who originally attacked the views of Blackstone on the introduction of testaments in England. For tracing the source of the page on Greek legal history I used deliberately the following phrase: “thousand other improvements and inventions of our wonderfully inventive age”!

At History of Law no name can be detected, but in the banner of this website a young man gazes at you. I mailed to him asking for his name, but he has not yet identified himself. Anyway, be it a student hoax or just a fruit of plundering the Internet, it has little to do with modern research on legal history, apart from pointing to the laziness of those thinking you can rely on old works without any consideration, as if the facts of – and the views on – legal history are immutable. The History of Law website is a plain case of plagiarism. Its chief merit is alerting to the works of Butler and Morris. Instead of writing about the views on legal history of Morris, one of the founders of the Georgetown Law School and at the end of his career associate Justice of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, our anonymous could only copy and paste from this book. Charles Butler (1750-1832) was an English conveyor and lawyer, the first Roman Catholic since 1688 to practise in England as a barrister. In fact he prepared the very legislation making this possible, the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1791 (31 George III. c. 32). It is yet another subject worth real study instead of mock history.

A few conclusions

Instead of spending more time with this portal it is better to return to the research guides of the Peace Palace Library. Luckily the authors of the online guide on Grotius do not mention the History of Law website. The authors at the Peace Palace Library of the short guide to legal history should not hesitate to repair things as quickly as possible, and create a guide that is as trustworthy as the other guides of this important library. Was it the wish to include a website with the story of Grotius in English that misguided the creators of this guide when they added a link to History of Law? Whatever the answer is, it pinpoints the need to approach websites carefully. It is easy to find guides for evaluating web pages.

I feel lucky I did not include the History of Law website in last year’s comparison of legal history portals. With pages on Phoenician law and the laws of Pythagoras a portal on legal history can certainly attract attention, but it should make you wonder when you find also the history of maritime law and Egyptian legal history, too much of a good thing! It is more rewarding to go to the sources, to use and indicate them carefully, to struggle with them honestly and to report your findings in your own words and to put your name at the end. You will not find any legal history portal with a full coverage of all main subjects, nor a website with full-length research guides about each separate subject in legal history.

From an orphanage to a house for children

The former Weeshuis in LeidenAfter a long absence on my blog the walking historian has returned! Lately I visited Leiden, in particular for making pictures of several buildings in the old city. This post is about a very particular building, the former Weeshuis (orphanage) at the Hooglandse Kerkgracht. In this house orphans lived for many centuries. After extensive restoration between 2007 and 2010 this large building has not lost the historic connection with children. Law is the link between the old and the new use of the premises. Later this year I will write more about Leiden.

Protecting orphans

In 1403 the Our Lady’s Hospital in Leiden was founded. After the coming of the Reformation this hospital became in 1583 an orphanage, the Heilige Geestweeshuis [Holy Spirit Orphanage]. The buildings of the orphanage occupied a quite large spot in the heart of the city. In 1961 the last orphans left. Afterwards the Museum for Natural History, now Naturalis, found its home here until 1990. In that year a period of insecurity started. A number of plans was launched, but none of them was adopted by the city council. The orphanage had been owned by the national government. For the removal of the Naturalis it had been exchanged with the city for another building. In 2007 a foundation could buy the buildings for just € 13,000,- under the condition of starting large-scale restoration which costed 14 million. It is interesting to note the regents of the former orphanage still exist and even hold the keys to the lavishly decorated board room.

The foundation buying the buildings in 2007 was the Stichting Utopa, a chartered foundation funded by a number of transport packaging companies. The name Utopa deliberately evokes Thomas More and his Utopia (1516). The foundation supports a number of cultural and social initiatives in the Netherlands. For the former orphanage it was decided to create space both for the archeological center of the city of Leiden, which actually had already used part of the buildings between 1990 and 2007, and for an initiative linked with children, the Kinderrechtenhuis [Children's Rights House].

Children’s rights in a historical perspective

Do the rights of children find indeed a home in modern society? In 1989 the general assembly of the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This UN treaty stands out among modern international treaties for a number of reasons. Its preamble states that one should recognize “that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding”. Probably no other treaty in vigor mentions love. The CRC was preceded by the Minimum Age Convention from 1973 in which member states are called upon to protect children from work, and followed by two optional protocols, on child traffic and abuse, and on child soldiers and the position of children during armed conflicts. In 1999 the general assembly voted for the Worst Forms of Labor Convention. A third optional protocol enabling children to file complaints with the UN Committee for the Rights of Children was adopted by the United Nations in December 2011, and ratified by twenty countries in Geneva on February 28, 2012.

The CRC has been signed by more than 190 countries. No other UN treaty has been ratified so many countries, even when a number of them has done this with restrictions and interpretations.On totally different grounds two countries have not adopted the CRC. The United States of America has signed, but not ratified the CRC. Several explanations have been offered for this fact, among them a tradition of cautiousness in ratifying international treaties, but also the possibility in a number of U.S. states – at least until 2005 – to condemn youths to the death penalty. Somalia simply cannot yet ratify the treaty because of the lack of state institutions. A third country that has not yet signed or ratified the CRC is probably South Sudan.

Countries ratifying the CRC have to report regularly to the United Nations about the protection of children’s rights. Nongovernmental institutions accredited at new York or Geneva and civil society organizations, too, publish reports about the compliance of countries with the CRC.

The entrance to the former orphanage in Leiden

Civil society and children

When contemplating the former orphanage at Leiden and thinking about modern protection of children it struck me that in this context the word institution has very much changed in meaning. In Western Europe hospitals and orphanages were often already founded during the Middle Ages. Both city councils and religious institutions founded and governed them. In the field of medieval canon law one can point in particular to studies by Gisela Drossbach, her monograph Christliche caritas als Rechtsinstitut: Hospital und Orden von Santo Spirito in Sassia (1198-1378) (Paderborn 2005) and a volume of essays edited by her, Hospitäler in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit. Frankreich, Deutschland und Italien. Eine vergleichende Geschichte (Munich 2007). She prepares an edition of a number of statutes of medieval hospitals. The care for orphans in these institutions was institutional care which could vary very much depending on the persons actually charged with daily care for them. The facade of the Leiden orphanage show a relief with children looking up to a dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Among the texts at the top of the facade are words from the Bible, “God is der weesen helper” [Thou art the helper of the fatherless] (Ps. 10,14) .

In the field of children’s history the role of law has not always received due attention. Among studies which take into account the differences between England and continental Europe, between cities and rural surroundings, and do take notice of the impact of law are the fine books by Barbara Hanawalt,The Ties that Bound. Peasant Families in Medieval England (Oxford, etc., 1986) and Growing Up in Medieval London. The Experience of Childhood in History (Oxford, etc, 1993). For The Ties that Bound Hanawalt used medieval coroner’s inquests as a major source. In her book on children in London she is well aware of the typical situation of this city. Hanawalt does not close her eyes for example for abuses of guardianship. She dispels the myth that ordinary medieval people did not care for children. Institutional care for children does not get much space in these studies, because in medieval England orphanages were exceptional.

Let’s return briefly to the Leiden orphanage. Its archive is kept at the Regional Archives Leiden. Two years ago a book about the history of the orphanage appeared, Dit kint hiet Willem : de Heilige Geest in Leiden, 700 jaar vondelingen, wezen en jeugdzorg [This child is called Willem: the Holy Spirit in Leiden, 700 years foundlings, orphans and youth care], edited by Kees van der Wiel and others (Leiden 2010). Antoinette Frijns has published a series of articles in several historical journals, which can be tracked using the online bibliography for Dutch history.

Applying children’s rights

The presence of a Children’s Rights House in the Netherlands might cause some amazement. After all this country is already blessed with a plethora of organizations for the protection of children, such as Defence for Children, now also located at the Kinderrechtenhuis, and the Kinderrechtencollectief [Children's Rights Collective], not to mention the host of supporting organizations behind this collective. Alas it is common knowledge that for instance for children who need to be protected against their parents the very large number of institutions, agencies and ministries involved with child care can cause much delay in deciding and applying the right solution, in particular since it is not clear which institution, not even the judge deciding a case at court, is responsible for creating and holding an overview of all necessary actions and steps. The central role of the Bureau Jeugdzorg (Youth Work) can be a blessing, but also a bane when this office fails to do proper research and to take real responsibility for the welfare of children. Instead of ensuring institutional care this situation is first and foremost a bureaucracy, the main obstacle to the purpose for which it is meant to work.

More fundamental at the level of the rule of law is the question in the Netherlands and elsewhere about the desirability of the superior position of international treaties to national law. Some politicians see this as an infringement upon sovereignty. One has to take into account here the possibility of judicial review in the sense of comparison with a constitution. Under Dutch law this not possible (article 120 of the Dutch constitution). Since 2002 a proposal accepted by the Dutch parliament for making some exceptions to this rule awaits the long route necessary for any change of the Dutch constitution. In a situation of economic crisis in which countries are affected by forces coming from beyond their borders a tendency to close off from external pressure might seem natural, yet the same economic forces are working to unify economic life and the organization of society. Reports on the actual appliance of and compliance of the CRC, the earlier treaties and the optional protocols will continue to show that these rights do not descend automatically from a heaven of law and justice upon those most entitled to it. When you pass the entrance of the former Leiden orphanage you can read an inscription with a text by Janusz Korczak (1872-1942): “Children are not the humanity of the future, but today’s people”.

Bridging the gap between lofty aspirations of law, be it international or national law, and day-to-day reality will remain a perennial task, a duty and a challenge. Even when not actually actively supporting this aim historians can at the very least ask the right questions about law, its blessings and pitfalls, and document its manifold history. Surely this post does not more than just bring together some matters from past and present. A blog might be just the place to offer a look on the long road between some more or less casual observations and a more substantial treatment of issues and questions. No doubt others can tell you more about the history of orphanages and the history of children’s rights, and I hope to have made at least some of my readers more curious about these themes.

Celebrating the Utrecht peace treaty of 1713

Many ways lead to the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) is the translated title of a recent post by Klaus Graf. The post is an example of Graf’s approach to answer a seemingly simple question, to find an electronic version, either a e-text or a digitized version, of the peace treaty signed at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) in 1748. The website Europäische Friedensverträge der Vormoderne (Early Modern European Peace Treaties) of the University of Mainz brings you to manuscript versions of several peace treaties, to separate printed versions and to printed versions in one specific treaty collection, the Theatrum Europaeum. In order to find a printed version, and preferably the one scholars normally use, Graf used both Google Books and Wikipedia to find what he was looking for. Fairly early in his posting Graf points to my weblog for a search strategy when looking for digitized early editions. However, you will not find there immediately a set of neat directions to find digitized editions of peace treaties, but you can certainly use some of the portals and gateways described and used to search for them.

In today’s post I will try to follow-up my rejoinder to Graf’s post at the blog of the AGFNZ in which I point to a number of treaty collections in print, and to create a kind of short guide to digital editions of historical peace treaties. Graf looked for a treaty from 1748, but as we approach the commemoration of the Peace of Utrecht (1713) the overview I propose here might be useful, too. At the end of this rather long post I will try to create an overview of the several online versions of the 1648, 1713 and 1748 peace treaties, and an overview of a number of digitized early modern treaty collections.

One of the things I am arguing in my post is that peace treaties in Early Modern Europe encompassed both multilateral and bilateral treaties. You leave out a lot when you talk about the treaty of Münster, Utrecht or Aix-la-Chapelle, and in fact you are unclear about which specific treaty you are talking. I have included a discussion of the Utrecht peace treaties – the plural is really justifiable – because it ushered a period of almost 25 years with a relatively stable balance of powers. In fact it is the first and classic example of the balance of powers or concert of nations, a contemporary expression. In this rather long post you will also notice the importance of French. The Peace of 1713 definitely established French as the main language for diplomacy well into the twentieth century. For the Dutch Republic the treaties concluded at Utrecht implied a setback in European politics from a major role to a more modest position. In 1713 the French coined the proverbial phrase de vous, chez vous, sans vous: about you, in your place, but without you…

Peace treaties in print and online

Anyone more familiar with Early Modern Europe than I will soon notice when reading my rejoinder in German that I have overlooked a number of websites with online guides to digitized historic materials. Just mentioning the Multilaterals Project of the Fletcher School, Tufts University, the few relevant links given in the Electronic Information System for International Law of the American Society for International Law and their own treaties links collection – however fine it is for modern history and contemporary law – is indeed not enough. Here I will try to make up for my oversight. In particular the German portal historicum.net and the links collection Frühe Neuzeit Digital of the Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, form very useful gateways in this field.

The Peace of Westphalia

The Westphalian Peace of 1648 is perhaps the most important early modern peace treaty, and maybe also the one best served in contemporary and critical editions. In my comment at the AGFNZ I used a guide by Winfried Baumgart, Bücherverzeichnis zur deutschen Geschichte. Hilfsmittel-Handbücher-Quellen (12th ed., Munich 1997). Baumgart provides you not just with the titles of major source collections but gives information about the contents of individual volumes of these sometimes vast collections. Thus you can search more quickly in the six volumes edited by Johann Gotttfrid von Meiern of the Acta pacis Westphalicae publica oder Westphälische Friedens-Handlungen und Geschichte (…) (Hannover 1734-1736; reprint 1969). Even the firm which has led to a new verb for searching the web does not provide an online version of this edition. The Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog, the EMTO at Hagen, the Zentralverzeichnis Digitalisierter Drucke, the Europeana and Hispana gateways to digital collection all splendidly overlook the digitized version pointed at by the portal at Wolfenbüttel: the Universitätsbibliothek Augsburg has not only digitized the six volumes of Von Meiern, but also the Theatrum Europaeum by Johann Philipp Abelinus and others (21 vol., Frankfurt am Main 1646-1738), a major work on European and German political history, and the major treaty collection edited by Johann Christian Lünig (ed.), Das Teutsche Reichs-Archiv (23 volumes and index, Leipzig 1710-1722), the latter is still being digitized, one has reached the twelfth volume. The engravings of the Theatrum Europaeum have also been digitized separately in a higher resolution. How thoughtful, too, of the Universitätsbibliothek Augsburg to create a modern PDF version of the pioneer study on the Theatrum Europaeum by Hermann Bingel, Das Theatrum Europaeum. Ein Beitrag zur Publizistik des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts (Lübeck 1919; reprint Liechtenstein 1982)!

Since 1962 the Arbeitsstelle Westfälischer Frieden von 1648 has published an ongoing series of critical source editions of not only the treaties, but also correspondences, protocols and diaries under the title Acta Pacis Westphalicae (APW). At their website you can consult the various versions of the main peace treaties of Münster and Osnabrück, the Instrumentum Pacis Monasteriensis (IPM) and the Instrumentum Pacis Osnabrugensis (IMO), together with a number of early translations. To my surprise a Dutch contemporary version is missing, but on second thought no Dutch version was ever ratified, and therefore it has been excluded from the APW. The Short Title Catalogue Netherlands (STCN) records at least ten editions. Together with a facsimile of a German and a Latin version a contemporary Dutch version – with a title page different from the titles mentioned in the STCN – has been published in the volume Der Frieden von Münster / De Vrede van Munster 1648 (…), Gerd Dethlefs (ed.) (Münster 1998). Earlier on a Dutch edition of the Münster treaty was published by C. Smit (ed.), Het vredesverdrag van Munster, 30 januari 1648 (Leiden 1948). When searching for a digital version of the Hannover edition at BASE, the Bielefeld Search Engine, it appears that almost all volumes of the APW, the modern critical edition, have been digitized at Munich for the Digitale Sammlungen, but one can only use this digitized version within the rare book room of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Better than lingering too long at this state of affairs is pointing to the German portal Westfälische Geschichte which brings you to the history of the region Westfalen, with several databases and among much else transcriptions of some of the treaty documents of 1648.

A few questions halfway…

Is it possible to indicate a quicker road to reliable texts of peace treaties? In this post I focus on treaties from the Early Modern Period (1500-1800). Treaties were concluded in Latin, French. German and other languages, English being only the original language for a relative minority of cases. The first port of call for legal historians searching for English versions of peace treaties is probably the Avalon Project of Yale Law School. Starting maybe with the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 870 you can find a number of translated peace treaties, with references to the translations used, but alas no page numbers. The Avalon version of the Westphalian Treaty of 1648 sadly lacks even a reference to the source of the translation. However useful the translation is in itself, this falls short of its own standard, but worse is the fact that the 1648 treaty is the last seventeenth century treaty present. In the section for the eighteenth century you will search in vain for the 1713 Peace of Utrecht and the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. For later periods Avalon serves a good choice of treaties with a focus on treaties with the United States as one of the parties involved.

A perfectly sensible search strategy is checking the Eurodocs website of the Brigham Young University. For the Netherlands this does not bring you immediately to any peace treaty. Regelgeving in de Nederlanden, one of the websites mentioned is concerned with all kinds of regulations from the Low Countries, but it contains only the peace treaty of 1654 after the First Anglo-Dutch War, and a peace treaty from 1666 with the bishop of Münster from 1666. Luckily Eurodocs has a page with links for Europe as a supranational region, and we will meet a few of the sites and texts indicated later in this post. Some links do not function – no text of the Westphalian treaty at the Fletcher School of Tufts University – and many links point to the versions at Avalon, and in the end the number of peace treaties is restricted. I hoped to find more at the Internet Modern History Source Book of Paul Halsall (Fordham University), but it looks more like I have hit upon one of its few weaknesses. The European Historical Institute at Florence has built a useful directory of websites with primary sources for European history, but it offered me small help for this search. Due to a drastic cut in funding Intute, the wonderful British database service for the humanities, has since July of this year no longer been updated. I did not find much for today’s quest, but I should at least mention the digital collections of the United States Institute of Peace with a Peace Agreements Digital Collection for treaties since 1989, documents of truth commissions and oral history projects in conflict areas.

Much as I would have liked to find a quick road or even several gateways to peace treaties from the Early Modern period the websites that one might readily expect to contain relevant materials do this only in a very restricted sense. At this point I would like to stress the fact that today’s quest is initially for digitized old editions, not for online versions (e-texts), modern translations or for archival records of peace treaties, both perfectly sensible resources when looking for peace treaties.

In a variety of qualities are the texts available at the several national versions of Wikisource. The German Wikisource has more than 200 treaties, among them a transcription of the German text of the Westphalian Treaties of 1648 taken from a contemporary edition digitized at the University of Münster. The English Wikisource contains 36 texts within the category of peace treaties. If you check the category for treaties you can find more peace treaties if you know the years in which they were concluded, and thus – to cut a long road short – you will find in the English Wikisource versions of the two main peace treaties of the Peace of Utrecht of 1713, one between France and Britain, and the other between Spain and Great Britain, without a clear indication of the sources used.

When talking about a peace treaty you simply have to be aware that it can actually consist of several treaties. Unfortunately the exact source of these English translation has not been indicated. You could remain blissfully unaware of the fact that you are dealing with a translation. It is the historian’s trade to distinguish between the original version, be it a handwritten record, a typescript or whatever medium involved, and a changed version, between drafts and definitive versions, between ratified and unratified versions, between official editions, official translations, contemporary officious and other translations. Just telling you saw a version at a particular URL will not do. More is needed and can be done.

The Digithèque des matériaux juridiques et politiques is a website maintained by Jean-Pierre Maury (Université de Perpignan). The section on historical and modern treaties presents a nice choice. For the Peace of Westphalia Maury distinguishes neatly between the two main treaties signed at Münster and Osnabrück, he indicates even that the originals are in Latin and French, but he omits any reference to the sources he used for establishing the text. The 1748 peace treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle did not make it into his selection, the peace treaties of Nijmegen (1678) and Rijswijk (1697) were found fit for inclusion, but all these texts lack references.

The Peace of Utrecht, 1713

From 1701 the War of Spanish Succession involved Spain, Portugal, France, Savoy, the Dutch Republic, the German Holy Roman Empire and Great Britain. Within the Dutch Republic in particular the States of Utrecht favoured a negotiated peace. They even bypassed the Dutch States General and opened secret negotiations with France. This is probably one of the unspoken reasons why Utrecht was chosen in 1712 as the city for official peace negotiations. The coming of the delegations were a boost for the local economy. Indeed the memory of lavish feasts seems to be thus strong that it inspired the committee for the commemoration of the peace of 1713 to support numerous cultural events in Utrecht years ahead of 2013. On the special website you find barely any mention of the peace treaty and its context. The Peace of Utrecht did not deal with all issues at stake. Some matters were dealt with in the Peace of Rastatt (1714).

At Europäische Friedensverträge you will find not just the several treaties concluded on April 11, 1713, but also the earlier truces, 22 texts in all, among them even the first later annulled version of the treaty between Savoy and Spain. To British readers the Peace of Utrecht holds its interest from an article in the peace treaty concluded on July 2, 1713. In article 10 the Spanish king ceded all its rights on Gibraltar to Great Britain. The Theatrum Europaeum gives a text version in German (XX,436-). The website at Mainz points to the website for Legislación Histórica de España with a link to the digitized image of a printed edition (Madrid 1713) with the official Spanish text.

When I read Graf’s post I was at first very surprised, in fact short of alarmed, that he had tried to find a text using Google Books and Wikipedia, two devices which he has often scorned, but I realized maybe he wanted to give them a second chance, and if they could help him to (reliable) texts of the 1748 peace treaty his goal would be achieved. Per aspera ad astra! Thanks to Wikipedia I found the website Heraldica of François Velde where scans of the treaties of both the peace of Utrecht and Rastatt have been put together; the scans were originally made for Gallica from Henri Vast (ed.), Les grands traités du règne de Louis XV (3 vol., Paris 1893-1899) and from George Chalmers (ed.), A collection of treaties between Great Britain and other powers (2 vol., London 1790). The Dutch Wikipedia has a link to a French edition printed at Rochelle in 1713 digitized for Canadiana, a website for digitizing Canadian history and heritage.

One of the things I worried about was and is finding a Dutch text of the Peace of Utrecht. You can find all kind of treaties and ordinances in the nine volumes of the Groot placaet-boeck (…) (The Hague 1658-1796) for which Johannes van der Linden made a repertory (Repertorium of generaal register (…) (Amsterdam 1796). The volumes have been digitized by the department for Special Collections of Utrecht University Library. You will find in volume V the earlier guarantees (V, 444-449 – in French), the April 11 treaty between the Dutch States General and France (V, 456-467 – in Dutch) , a commercial treaty (V, 476-492 – in Dutch) and a new alliance signed June 17 (V, 492 -495 – in French). GPB V, 495-506 gives a Dutch version of the Rastatt treaty between the Holy German Empire and France (March 6, 1714). In view of the number and variety of treaties and their impact on the Dutch Republic the selection in the Groot placaet-boeck is rather meagre.

The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)

It would be tedious to repeat and translate here everything brought together in the post Klaus Graf published. Here I will just expand his references and add a few things. Graf found an English version of the main peace treaty concluded on October 18, 1748 (London 1749) and the reprint of it by Chalmers, A collection of treaties I, 424-450. A Dutch version is printed in Martinus Stuart (ed.), Jaarboeken van het koningrijk der Nederlanden 2 (Amsterdam 1815) 1065-1082. The text edition favored by Graf is the one by Alfred Francis Pribram (ed.), Österreichische Staatsverträge I, England I, 1526-1748 (Innsbruck 1907) 789-807. The edition by Rousset is in his Recueil historique d’actes (…) XX, 179-204. I will discuss this treaty collection in the next paragraph. In fact Rousset has devoted the pages 147 to 348 to acts concerning this peace treaty. I can only add a Dutch version in the Groot placaet-boeck, volume VIII, 246-253.

Treaty collections

The website in Mainz offers a mer à boire, but the Theatrum Europaeum offers only German translations. Can more be found? At historicum.net is a page with a number of quick links to the major peace treaties between 1500 and 1800. By now you are aware that you will have to look out for several treaties under the denominator of a particular peace; on the page in question the links are to specific treaties, not to the general pages at Mainz with the relevant lists for each peace treaty. Historicum.net has a broken link to the Base Choiseul, a database of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which you will find all French treaties signed before 1915. The Base Choiseul give you either a number of documents in PDF – which unfortunately do not open – or it points you to other relevant treaties with references to their appearance in major treaty collections. This list has been dressed very generously. It boils down to a very comprehensive list of pre-1950 treaty collections. The Base Choiseul gives you also a number of country bibliographies.

Gallica was already briefly mentioned as a possible place to find digitized treaty collections. The scan quality at Gallica can be indifferent to simply insufficient, and let’s therefore treat it as a kind of last line of defense if you cannot find it anywhere else within a reasonable time span.

The alphabetical list of works given at the Base Choiseul mentions a work by Friedrich August Wilhelm Wenck, Codex juris gentium recentissimi (…) (3 vol., Lipsiae 1781-795). It is concerned with treaties between 1735 and 1772. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) is found in the second volume for the years 1743-1753. Graf detected Wenck using the proverbial websearch machine and its subdomain for books. He guessed he would have found it earlier using Gallica, but in fact Graf was very happy with the version digitized at Ghent. I found it also digitized at the University of Michigan using the Hathi Trust Digital Library. By the way, Wenck translated Gibbon in German. To me this way of searching seems too hazardous. Surely there is a way to find Wenck and other major treaty collections using a few portals for digital collections , the Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog, BASE and the Hathi Trust. I will start with the titles I mentioned in my German comment to Graf’s post. If my strategy succeeds I will add a few other titles.

The Corps universel diplomatique du droit des gens (8 vol., Amsterdam-La Haye 1726-1731) was started by Jean Dumont and contains treaties from 800 to 1730. The very fact you are searching for a multivolume work makes the search for a digitized version of all eight volumes not easier. It appears that even the volumes digitized at Gallica still are not a complete set.

The sequel to the Corps universel diplomatique is J. Rousset de Missy and others (eds.), Recueil historique d’actes, négotiations, mémoires et traités (21 vol., La Haye-Amsterdam 1728-1755). Among the editors are Bernard Picart and Jean de Barbeyrac. This is the moment to underline the importance of a very significant turn in Graf’s search action, the decision not to stay with the digitized version of Rousset as presented by Google Books, but to go to the website of the original library where the digitized books stem from. In the catalogue of the Universiteitsbibliotheek Ghent you find a very clear listing of the volumes involved, digitized at the UCLA. In fact the online catalogue university library at Ghent does even guide you to digitized versions of books available at the Hathi Trust Digital Library. The Ghent partnership goes beyond Google Books. Other versions of Rousset accesible through the Hathi Trust are incomplete.

Graf wondered whether there is another work used as often or relied upon so much as Wenck’s for treaties of the mid-eighteenth century. The article on him in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie tells about the praise Wenck got from George Friedrich von Martens, the publisher of the [Nouveau] recueil des principaux traités conclus par les puissances de l’Europe dépuis 1761 (first series, 7 vol., Göttingen 1791-1801). The second edition appeared in Göttingen between 1817 and 1835 and has been digitized by the University of Michigan; the link is to the compact overview offered at Ghent University. The series nicknamed the Recueil Martens has known until 1943 several continuations and additional tables, all indicated in Baumgarts Bücherkunde and the bibliography of the Base Choiseul. Digitized versions of some of the newer series in the Recueil Martens, too, can quickly be found using the services of the university library at Ghent. For modern German translations of Early Modern treaties one can turn to the so-called Vertrags-Ploetz. The full title of the relevant volume is Konferenzen und Verträge, Vertrags-Ploetz : ein Handbuch geschichtlich bedeutsamer Zusammenkünfte und Vereinbarungen, 2,3: Neuere Zeit 1492-1914, Helmut K.G. Rönnefahrth and H. Euler (ed.) (2nd ed., Würzburg 1958).

The four volumes of the first editions of Fred L Israel and Emanuel Chill (eds.), Major peace treaties of modern history, 1648-1967) (4 vol., New York, etc., 1967) is not yet available online. The third edition appeared as Major peace treaties of modern history, 1648-2000 (5 vol., Philadelphia 2002). Perhaps this is the moment to point to the volume of essays edited by Randall Lesaffer, Peace Treaties and International Law in European History. From the Late Middle Ages to World War One (Cambridge, etc., 2004). Niels Fabian May deplored in his 2005 review for H-Soz-u-Kult the use of editions like Dumont and The Consolidated Treaty Series when many treaties are available in better editions, but this remains a tantalizing remark. May does overlook how Heinz Duchhardt points in his contribution for the 2004 volume to the collection edited by Henri Vast, and to contemporary document collections concerning major treaties such as Nijmegen, Rijswijk and Utrecht. For the Peace of Utrecht appeared the Actes, mémoires et autres pièces authentiques concernant la Paix d’Utrecht (6 vol., Utrecht 1714-1715), digitized at the Hathi Trust. Earlier Lesaffer published Europa, een zoektocht naar vrede? (1454-1763 en 1945-1997) [Europe, a search for peace? (1454-1763 and 1945-1997)] (Louvain 1999).

Searching a text of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle prompted Klaus Graf to write his post. The main edition turned out to be the one by Wenck (vol 2., 337-431). The Base Choiseul refers also to Alexandre and Jules le Clercq (eds.), Recueil des traités de la France (23 vol., Paris 1864-1907), vol. 1, 65-79 – digitized at Munich - and Christoph Guillaume de Koch (ed.), Abrégé de l’histoire des traités de paix entre les puissances de l’Europe depuis la paix de Westphalie (4 vol., Basle-Paris-Strasbourg 1796-1797), vol 1, 446-451, digitized at the New York Public Library. These editions offer clearly less than Wenck.

And there is more!

This post is the longest since I started my blog in December, 2009. If you are only familiar with English and your French and German, not to mention Spanish and Dutch, are weak or simply absent, you have been quite patient if you have come this far, but surely you have arrived here somewhat exasperated. Are there no English collections before The Consolidated Treaty Series, edited by Clive Parry (231 vol., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1969-1981)? I did mention the collection edited by George Chalmers, A collection of treaties between Great Britain and other powers (2 vol., London 1790) for which you can choose between three digitized versions available at the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

Much older is the collection of treaties in the work edited by Thomas Rymer and Robert Sanderson, Foedera, conventiones, literae et cujusque generis acta publica (…) (20 vol., London 1704-1735; 10 vol., Hagae Comitis, 1739-1745). I have not found a complete digitized set of the first edition available through open access. Only a number of volumes have been digitized for the public domain at Gallica and the Hathi Trust, partially from the first and partially from the second edition. In German research libraries you have access to a complete digitized set of Rymer’s Foedera, and in Eighteenth Century Collections Online those lucky enough to have access to it through a subscribing library can use the volumes of the second edition (20 vol., London 1726-1735) and also the index volumes.

The fact that many treaties were concluded in French is probably one of the reasons of the scarcity of British collections of treaties, but stronger is the view that such works were only useful and fit for print when they directly touched Great Britain. You can find several collections for particular subjects, such as treaties with India, with Malabar and commercial treaties. One of the first more general collections after Rymer is John Almon’s A Collection of all the treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce between Great Britain (…) (2 vol., London 1772), digitized at the Hathi Trust. In view of the sheer length of this post I leave it to the reader to look in this digital library or elsewhere to find digitized versions the more narrow scoped collections such as Hertslet’s commercial treaties (31 vol., London 1827-1925) or Charles Jenkinson’s work with the same title as Almon’s (2 vol., London 1785).

Less is more?

There is a vast difference between the text of a treaty as shown in a source book aimed at students, the same treaty in a general treaty collection, a contemporary archival record or edition, and a critical text edition with all due scholarly notes, commentaries and additional materials. Depending on the use you are going to make of a passing reference to a treaty or a direct quote from a treaty you are studying for its own sake you face a wealth of materials and a number of choices you have to make. In this post I have focused on treaties from Europe between 1500 and 1800, but treaties are extant from Antiquity to today. Special websites and guides are devoted to UN treaties and treaties of the European Union. It has not been easy to keep focus at just three peace treaties, from 1648, 1713 and 1748. Klaus Graf has dealt splendidly with the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) and here I could only summarize and corroborate his results. The following overview deals first with these three treaties, followed by a summary of the main general treaty collections and their digital presence in this century, and a list of a few useful link collections for quick orientation. I have skipped the online versions without any reference to the sources used.

1648: The Peace of Westphalia

  • Europäische Friedensverträge lists all documents and gives digitized versions of archival records and the German translation in the Theatrum Europaeum
  • The Acta Pacis Westphaliae edition (Münster 1962-) is the critical source edition; the text of the main treaties, the IPM and the IPO, are digitized at the APW website together with a number of early translations
  • On the German portal for the history of Westfalen is a special section with information on the context and quick links to the main treaties and some of the separate treaties
  • The German Wikisource has got a transcription of a contemporary German translation (Frankfurt am Main 1649) digitized at Münster
  • The Base Choiseul offers a quick guide to the treaties and refers to old editions, among them for the IPM Dumont, Corpus universel VI,1, 450-461; Vast, Les grands traités I,12-157; the IPO is not included
  • The Dutch Groot-Placaetboeck… (GPB) – digitized at Utrecht - contains only the separate treaty of January 30, 1648 between Spain and the Dutch Republic (I, col. 79-108); see for a Dutch version of the IPM the volume edited by Dethlefs in 1998 and Smit’s edition (1948).
  • Johann Gottfrid von Meiern, Acta pacis Westphalicae publica oder Westphälische Friedens-Handlungen und Geschichte (…) (6 vol., Hannover 1734-1736; reprint 1969) – a copy of the original version has been digitized at Augsburg

1713: The Peace of Utrecht

  • Europäische Friedensverträge gives a detailed list of all treaties involved, with a German translation in the Theatrum Europaeum, digitized archival records and printed contemporary versions
  • The Base Choiseul gives only the treaties where France was involved, but provides references to old editions: the treaty involving the Dutch Republic is in Dumont, Corps universel VIII,1, 366-377; the treaty with Great Britain is in Dumont, Corps universel VIII,1, 339-345; De Clercq, Recueil des traités I,1-10
  • At Heraldica you can find quick links to scans from Vast, Les grand traités and Chalmers, A collection of treaties, both digitized for Gallica
  • The Actes, mémoires et autres pièces authentiques concernant la Paix d’Utrecht (6 vol., Utrecht 1714-1715) have been digitized at the Hathi Trust Library
  • The GPB contains in volume V versions of the earlier guarantees (V, 444-449 – in French), the April 11 treaty between the Dutch States General and France (V, 456-467 – in Dutch) , a commercial treaty (V, 476-492 – in Dutch) and a new alliance signed June 17 (V, 492 -495 – in French)

1748: The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle

  • The Europäische Friedensverträge present all relevant treaties, give archival records or contemporary editions. The publication of the Theatrum Europaeum ended in 1738. Of the main treaty (October 18, 1748) no printed versions are indicated
  • The Base Choiseul points to three printed versions of the main treaty: Wenck, Codex iuris gentium II, 337-431; De Clercq, Les grands traités I, 65-79; Koch, Abrégé I, 446-451
  • Graf found an English version (London 1749) reprinted by Chalmers, A collection of treaties I, 424-450; a Dutch version is in Martinus Stuart (ed.), Jaarboeken van het koningrijk der Nederlanden 2 (Amsterdam 1815) 1065-1082. The text edition favored by Graf is the one by Alfred Francis Pribram (ed.), Österreichische Staatsverträge, I, England I, 1526-1748 (Innsbruck 1907) 789-807. The edition of the main treaty is in Rousset, Receuil historique d’actes XX, 179-204; the pages 147 to 348 deal with most of the treaties involved.
  • A Dutch version is printed in the GPB VIII, 246-253.
Digitized major treaty collections
  • Johann Christian Lünig (ed.), Das Teutsche Reichs-Archiv (23 volumes and index, Leipzig 1710-1722) – digitized at Augsburg
  • Johann Philipp Abelinus and others (eds.), Theatrum Europaeum (21 vol., Frankfurt am Main 1646-1738) – offers German translations; digitized at Augsburg
  • Thomas Rymer and Robert Sanderson, Foedera, conventiones, literae et cujusque generis acta publica (…) (20 vol., London 1704-1735; 10 vol., Hagae Comitis, 1739-1745) – a number of volumes has been digitized at Gallica and the Hathi Trust; a complete set is available through Eighteenth Century Collections Online
  • Jean Dumont (ed.), Corps universel diplomatique du droit des gens (8 vol., Amsterdam-La Haye 1726-1731) – covers the period 800-1730; there is no complete digitized set; Gallica has digitized four volumes
  • J. Rousset de Missy and others (eds.), Recueil historique d’actes, négotiations, mémoires et traités (21 vol., La Haye-Amsterdam 1728-1755) – covers the period 1714-1748; digitized at the Hathi Trust Digital Library
  • John Almon (ed.), A Collection of all the treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce between Great Britain (…) (2 vol., London 1772) – digitized at the Hathi Trust
  • Friedrich August Wilhelm Wenck (ed.), Codex juris gentium recentissimi (…) (3 vol., Lipsiae 1781-795) – covers the period 1735-1772; digitized at Ghent
  • George Chalmers (ed.), A collection of treaties between Great Britain and other powers (2 vol., London 1790) – digitized at the Hathi Trust
  • Christoph Guillaume de Koch (ed.), Abrégé de l’histoire des traités de paix entre les puissances de l’Europe depuis la paix de Westphalie (4 vol., Basle-Paris-Strasbourg 1796-1797) – digitized at the New York Public Library
  • Georg Friedrich von Martens (ed.), [Nouveau] recueil des principaux traités conclus par les puissances de l’Europe dépuis 1761 (first series, 7 vol., Göttingen 1791-1801) – the second edition (8 vol. and index, Göttingen 1817-1835) is available through the Hathi Trust; use the Ghent catalogue to find digitized version of later continuations
  • Alexandre and Jules le Clercq (eds.), Recueil des traités de la France (23 vol., Paris 1864-1907) – digitized at Munich
  • Henri Vast (ed.), Les grands traités du règne de Louis XV (3 vol., Paris 1893- 1899) – digitized at Gallica
Portals to Early Modern Europe and Germany; some websites for other sources

A postscript

On second thoughts I have written in September 2011 another post about Early Modern peace treaties to summarize some of the main arguments presented here.

For the iconography of the Peace of Utrecht one can search the marvellous collection of historical prints collected by Frederik Muller, since 1881 in the Printroom of the Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam. For The Memory of the Netherlands digital portal nearly 5,000 prints have been digitized. Searching for “Vrede van Utrecht (1713)” will bring you a very generous harvest.

Beyond the text

For me December 11, 2010 could have been a celebration day, the first anniversary of this blog. However, legal historians might remember there is another time measure in customary law, just a bit longer than one year. After a year and a day it is great to look back to the start of this blog. December 2009 saw a healthy start with a nice number of postings. I was not surprised that I could not maintain the stream of news I published in that month, but somehow I succeeded in posting at least a few items almost every month. This is far below the average number of blog items on other blogs, but this is also due to the start of www.rechtshistorie.nl.

Until now customary law has scarcely figured on this blog. For this posting I had in mind looking at the other end of the legal sphere. In the field of private law codifications tried to furnish among many other things more certainty than unwritten law and customs. Constitutions seem the very embodiment of guaranties for the rule of law in the public sphere. Searching for and editing old constitutions is a specific task for legal historians, but also lawyers searching for the present law have to be attentive to older versions of constitutions.

Many web guides for constitutional law point to websites presenting constitutions in force today. One of the best known sites with this aim is the Constitution Finder at the University of Richmond School of Law. This site has the advantage of not only containing links to (English versions of) constitutions, for some countries it even provides information about drafts or amendments. This website is maintained by law students. The list of National Constitutions of the Constitutional Society is of course impressive, and the gesture to create and indicate different formats is most welcome. I can sympathize with the makers of this site when I noticed that a rather large number of links does not function because of changed web addresses, a perennial concern for any webmaster. Relying on just one website is seldom possible and in fact not wise to do.

For Dutch history it is good to know that not only the constitution of 1848 is important, but also other versions to be found at the site for lawgiving in the Low Countries. The Institute for Dutch History in The Hague has digitized materials for the constitutions of 1815, and also the series of constitutions during the Batavian Republic (1796-1806) because one has also to be aware of the sources concerning the concept for the constitution of 1798. The Institute for Dutch History presents an online research guide for the Batavian-French period (1795-1813).

When comparing constitutions you have to cross national and linguistic frontiers. In my search for websites with constitutions it would not do to look only at texts in English. The German website Verfassungen der Welt is a portal to historical constitutions from Germany, Austria and Schweiz, and modern constitutions from Europe and worldwide in German translation. A project for international constitutional law at the University of Bern offers also overviews of the main event in constitutional history of the nations involved. The Archivio delle Costituzioni Storiche of the Dipertimento di Studi Giuridiche, Università di Torino, brings texts in English, French or Italian translation. The Université de Perpignan has a fine digithèque with many constitutions, often with their historical forerunners and useful weblinks, and also a nice list of major treaties. I have waited to mention The Rise of Modern Constitutionalism, 1776-1849,  a site with facsimiles of constitutions, because one can encounter more at this website only when you enter it from a subscribing library. This situation can help reminding you at least of the fact one cannot read and study constitutions in isolation. An example that has impressed me much is the creation and interpretation of the modern Japanese constitution which cannot be understood properly without bearing in mind the impact of the American constitution and American constitutional thought.

How can websites help you interpreting old constitutions, determining their ancestry and putting clauses and paragraphs into relief? The Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics is almost too famous. For Spanish history the site of the Biblioteca de Historia Constitucional Francisco Martínez Merina at the Universidad de Oviedo present a digital library with works on constitutional law, with also Spanish translations of foreign constitutions. I have to add here the Biblioteca Virtual Constitución 1812, a digital library which presents the Spanish constitution of 1812, and also the deliberations of the Córtes since 1810. Precious services are provided by the website for The Founders’ Constitution, a digitized and searchable version of the 1987 book by Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner. The five volumes of their study contain a wealth of documents which are not only important for the history of the constitution of the United States of America. The site was created by the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund which presents in its Online Library of Liberty also a substantial number of books concerning constitutional history.

Only comparing one constitution with another constitution is just the beginning. Its impact on legal institutions and legal life can be very different. Think only of the vast difference between a legal system in which laws can be reviewed in the light of a constitution, where a supreme court deals with law suits involving the constitution, and a legal system in countries with a constitution where this is not provided for in some way or another.  All this should not hold you from getting acquainted with or revisiting these online resources and make them useful for your research or your curiosity.

A rare edition of Grotius

On November 23, 2010, the Peace Palace Library in The Hague announced the acquisition of a copy of the very rare first Paris 1625 edition of De iure belli ac pacis libri tres by Hugo Grotius. This library has probably the largest and richest collection of Grotius editions in the world. The online exhibition for the centenary in 2004 gives a vivid introduction to the Peace Palace library. The announcement states that until now the only known copy of the Paris 1625 edition was at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Almost a year ago my first blog postings were on Hugo Grotius, and it seemed not bad to look at Grotius again. My aim here is mainly to bring some information together. In 2009 the Yale Law Library held an exhibition on Grotius’ Mare liberum. The Royal Library at The Hague created an online edition of Mare Liberum with both a digital version of the first edition from 1609 and a transcription. Robert Feenstra and Jeroen Vervliet published a new Latin-English edition, Hugo Grotius Mare Liberum 1609-2009 (Leiden 2009). Arthur Eyffinger published a Dutch translation with the Latin text, De vrije zee. Een uiteenzetting over het recht van de Nederlanders om handel te drijven in Oost-Indië (The Hague 2009), and an essay on Grotius and the 1609 truce between the Dutch Republic and Spain, Oorlog, vrede of bestand? 1609 gezien door de ogen van Hugo de Groot (The Hague 2009), with in an appendix translations of several documents.

The Peace Palace Library (PPL) has won a Dutch award for the best digital library of 2010. The PPL uses not only RSS-feeds on its site, but has also a Flickr image collection and a collection of digitized books reachable for subscribers through its own custom developed link system, and these are just a few of the services for library users. As library of the International Court of Justice the PPL participates in The Hague Justice Portal also by virtue of the The Hague Academy of International Law. The PPL presents an online research guide for Grotius, interestingly in the format of a Wikipedia page. In my search for digital libraries with collections on legal history I hoped the PPL would have its own collection of digitized old books, preferably in an open access version, but this is not the case.

No doubt the Digital Library for Dutch Literature (DBNL) has one of the largest online collection of digitized and scanned texts by Hugo Grotius, including the critical edition of De iure belli ac pacis by B.J.A. de Kanter-Hettinga Tromp (Leiden 1939; reprint Aalen 1993). Among the legal texts is the Inleidinge tot de Hollandsche rechts-geleerdheid, Grotius’ introduction to Dutch law and jurisprudence, written between 1619 and 1621 and first published in 1631. The scans are from the 1910 edition by S.J. Fockema Andreae, not from the 1965 edition with the additions and corrections from Grotius’ own copy of the 1636 edition now at Lund. Apart from being a lawyer, philosopher and theologian, Grotius was also a renown poet, a historian and a most active writer of letters. This correspondence can be found here, too. The Huygens Instituut of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW) has created a searchable database for Grotius’ correspondence. The PPL research guide for Grotius mentions a link to a new edition of De iure praedae (The law of booty, 1603) at the KNAW site for datasets, but this dataset has not yet arrived. You can find Grotius’ manuscript with a transcription as work in progress of a colloborative edition at the TextLaboratorium. It is great to have this beside the 2005 translation of De iure praedae by Martine Julia van Ittersum at The Online Library of Liberty. The 1868 edition of the Latin text by H.G. Hamaker is available online thanks to the services of the University of Michigan at the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

Is there somewhere on Internet a digital version of an old edition of De iure belli ac pacis? The first port of call is The Philological Museum, the initiative of Dana F. Sutton (University of California at Irvine) for a survey of digital editions of texts in Neo-Latin, lists three digital versions of editions printed in Paris in 1625 of De iure belli ac pacis, one at Gallica, the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, one at the Posner Memorial Collection of the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries in Pittsburgh, and one at Kyushu University, Fukuoka. In their Bibliographie des écrits imprimés de Hugo Grotius (The Hague 1950) Jacob ter Meulen and P.J.J. Diermanse listed at no. 565 three different versions of the first edition. The digitized books in Paris, Pittsburgh and Fukuoka are copies of version 565iii. The PPL has acquired a copy of no. 565i. Other digitized Grotius editions can be found for instance using the catalog of the Hathi Trust Digital Library, an initiative of several American scientific libraries, and the OPACplus of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. In particular the Europeana portal points to the rich collections for Grotius at Munich. It surprised me very much one cannot trace these digitized old editions at the Digitale Sammlungen. Clearly some tuning is needed between the two sites at Munich.

Writing today this posting about Hugo Grotius served for me also as a kind of test case for the use of digital libraries and digital library portals. The portals do not only offer a more or less rough indication of existing materials but present often also important things. When discussing Grotius’ view it matters urgently which old printed version, translation or critical edition one uses. Sometimes Grotius’ opinions were more known in a translated form, as for example Jean de Barbeyrac’s translation of De iure belli ac pacis. The information in the bibliography by Ter Meulen and Diermanse and the succinct guide to the Grotius’ editions at the PPL is therefore very helpful in determining whether to use the first version near at hand in your town or on Internet, or to be more diligent. Even in this posting which offers just a note on Grotius a succinct table of the main texts mentioned and their versions might be useful:

De iure belli ac pacis

  • the third version of the Paris 1625 edition is available online at Gallica and at Pittsburgh
  • several other old editions are available online at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the Hathi Trust Digital Library
  • the 1939 critical edition is online at the DBNL
  • the Online Library of Liberty presents both the 1814/1901 translation by Arthur Campbell and the translation by Richard Tuck (2005)
  • only the prolegomena and first book have been translated into Dutch, available online at the DBNL

Mare Liberum

  • the 1609 edition has been digitized alongside a modern Dutch translation at the Dutch Royal Library
  • the Leiden 1633 edition is available online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library and also at the SOMNI collection of the Universitat de Valencia
  • the 1916 translation by Magoffin – together with the Latin text - is available online at the Online Library of Liberty, as is Richard Hakluyt’s translation
  • the 1609 edition is available in print with an English translation and a facsimile (Feenstra and Vervliet 2009)
  • the 1609 edition has been translated into Dutch (Eyffinger 2009)

De iure praedae

  • photographs of the manuscript Leiden, University Library, BPL 917, are online at TextLaboratorium with a transcription
  • the 1868 edition by Hamaker is online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library
  • the English translation by Martine Julia van Ittersum is present at the Online Library of Liberty
  • Onno Damsté translated the text into Dutch: Verhandeling over het recht op buit (Leiden 1934)

Inleidinge tot de Hollandsche rechts-geleerdheid

  • the second impression ‘s-Graven-haghe, 1631 is online at the Digital Special Collections of Utrecht University Library
  • the 1910 critical edition is available at the DBNL and the Hathi Trust Digital Library
  • the 1965 critical edition is only available in printed form

The Index Translationum of the UNESCO did not bring me to an English version of the Inleidinge, but it mentions translations into several languages of other works. The guide to the PPL’s Grotius collection mentions several English translations of the Inleidinge.

An addendum: when revisiting the online exhibit on Grotius of the Yale Law Library Rare Book Room I noticed several titles mentioned here, too, with digitized title pages. Yale’s copy of the Mare Liberum edition Leiden 1633 is available in electronic form at Yale’s intranet, as is the copy at Harvard at their intranet. Obviously it is not quite feasible to have library cards or subscriptions to all these fine library services, and therefore I focused here on electronic resources in open access.

A postscript

A digitized copy of an early Dutch translation of Grotius’ Mare Liberum, entitled Vrye zeevaert, ofte bewiis van ‘t recht (..) (Leiden-Amsterdam 1614), can be viewed online in the Digital Special Collections of Utrecht University Library. Selections from De iure belli ac pacis have been translated into Dutch and commented on by Arthur Eyffinger and B.P. Vermeulen, Hugo de Groot, Denken over oorlog en vrede (Baarn 1991; Geschiedenis van de wijsbegeerte in Nederland, vol. 8). The Peace Palace Library has created a slideshow concerning editions of De iure belli ac pacis.

A facsimile of the French translation of De iure belli ac pacis by Jean Barbeyrac (Amsterdam 1724) has been published recently: Hugo Grotius, Le droit de la guerre et de la paix (2 vol., Caen 2011).