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” Every day the urge grow stronger to get hold of an object at very close range by way of its likeness, its reproduction. ” Walter Benjamin , “The Work of Art in the age of Mechanical Reproduction”

This site is intended as a hub for the exchange of archival materials about Modern Law in South Asia. I’ve uploaded over 550 documents to the PDF Library – amounting to over 24 Gb of data. Most of the material on this website was sourced from Google Books, the Digital Library of India and  I don’t have the means to scan documents on my own. My attempt here is only to provide a curated catalog of these materials for use by researchers in India and the sub-continent.

Click here for a single-page listing of all documents on this website. Or, if you prefer a more gradual stroll through the archive, enter the PDF Library  and browse your way to the document you need.

Some of the key documents you’ll find on this website:

  1. Classic Textbooks on some 14 areas of law including Family Law, Contracts, Civil Procedure and Criminal law, Constitutional Law etc. In this section you’ll also find original translations of Hindu and Mohammedan Law by Baillee, Halhed, Colebrooke, Charles Hamilton etc.
  2. Books about Indian legal history written at various intervals dating as far back as 1772 right up to the 1950s. This collection includes rare classics such as BK. Acharya’s Tagore Law Lecture on Codification in British India and Rankin’s Background to Indian Law.
  3. Old Law Reports including 41 volumes out of the first 50 Indian Law Reports of Allahabad, numerous volumes of ILRs of Bombay. Calcutta and Madras, the complete 14 Volumes of Moore’s Indian Appeals, and 35 volumes of the Law Reports Indian Appeals, a complete 25 Volume set of Sutherland’s Weekly Reporter (Calcutta) and a number of reports from the ‘Sudder’ Courts between 1791-1860. You’ll also find a full 6 Volume Digest of Indian Cases from 1836 to 1909 – an invaluable research tool for anyone interested in the history of law in India.
  4. Full copies of some 70 of the 90 acclaimed ‘Tagore Law Lectures’. (scattered across the different categories)
  5. Law Commission and Statutory Commission Reports including from 3 of the 4 pre-independence Law Commissions.
  6. Collections of statutes through the 18th-19th century including such prizes as N.B. Halhed’s Code of Gentoo Laws, and Whitley Stokes’ two-volume Anglo Indian Codes.

This website is very much a work in progress and I intend to upload as much historical material here as I can plunder from online sources.

Please email me if you have any documents you’d like to share.

Have fun!