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American Legal History

A guide to help researchers begin finding primary law and secondary sources on American Legal History

About This Guide

This guide is intended to help NSU College of Law students research American Legal History by locating primary and secondary resources. This guide will focus on finding electronic resources that students can access through the law library.

American Legal History Research

Legal historical research consists largely of reviewing both primary and secondary sources:

Primary Source: a record created by a person with firsthand knowledge of the event or person reported on, or that were created contemporary with the events described.

 Examples: audio/visual recordings, contemporary newspapers/magazine articles, journals, letters and diary entries, transcripts of speeches, research data, artifacts. 

Secondary Sources: Sources that are one step removed from primary material. These often analyze or interpret a historical event and use primary resources to do so. 

Examples: Law review articles, data analysis, documentaries, scholarly articles, academic textbooks, reviews.

Getting Started

Search Engines and Library Catalogs