The Ames Foundation Digital Collection of Legal History

Ames Projects

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The Harvard Law Library is partnering with the Ames Foundation to create a publicly-available digital library of important materials in legal history. Projects currently available on this site are listed below. The Foundation's massive index of the English Year Books is linked here. A project to index and produce digital images of colonial appeals to the Privy Council is in full development. Plans are also afoot to digitize the Corpus Iuris Civilis with its gloss. In addition to providing the capital for these projects, the Foundation also creates finding aids and tools for accessing texts that cannot be searched by normal scanning methods.

One of the Library's earliest digitization projects, conducted in partnership with the Ames Foundation, Bracton Online is an example of a re-keying project in which the text of a document (in this case, a book that is considered one of the canonical works in English legal history) is re-typed using word-processing software that results in a searchable text. The online version of Bracton is presented in the original Latin as well as an English translation, both of which are searchable.

An abridgement of English law, attributed to Nicholas Statham and hence frequently referred to as "Statham's Abridgement," was printed in 1490. Copies are, needless to say, rare. The Ames Foundation has had one of the Library's copies digitized. An introduction and table of contents may be viewed here with links to the online images.

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This page last updated 05/21/11. Contact Rosemary Spang with comments. URL: /digital/index.html.

© 2009 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and The Ames Foundation. All rights reserved.