The Digital Library Center has been working on getting legal materials online for the Caribbean and from other areas in our collections. Most recently, we’ve added to our law collection with Hansard’s British Parliamentary Debates, which are one of the best sources of the political record for the United Kingdom [1803-1891]. We’re almost done digitizing the 2nd series [1820-1830, 25 volumes] of the Debates, and later projects will digitize the rest provided they’re still in need. The University of Southampton is also working on Parliamentary Publications and related materials.
In addition to Hansard’s, the University of Florida Digital Collections includes Florida Law, with publications from the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Water Law, a cooperative project to develop and maintain a history of water management in Florida.
The Digital Collections also include law and legal materials from many Caribbean countries and organizations:
- Diario de sesiones del Congreso de la Republica de Cuba (Journal of Sessions of the Congress of the Republic of Cuba), with the cumulation of the sessions as well, Gaceta oficial de la Republica de Cuba (the Offical Gazette of the Republic of Cuba), and Diario de sesiones de la Comision consultiva de la republica de Cuba bajo la administracion provisional de los Estados Unido (Journal of meetings of the Advisory Commission of the Republic of Cuba under the interim administration of the United States)
- Trinidad and Tobago revised ordinances (1950) which “contains the ordinances of the colony in force on the 31st day of December, 1950, exclusive of those reserved by ordinance no. 23 of 1949 and by subsequent proclamations”
- Materials from CARICOM (the Caribbean Community Secretariat)
- Belize Weekly Newsletter, published by the Government Information Services
- Revue de la Société de législation (Legislative Journal of Haiti), La Constitution hatienne de 1889 et sa re?vision (a work on constitutional law in Haiti), and Proclamation par Toussaint Louverture, General en Chef de l’armee de Saint-Domingue, aux Administrations Municipales de la Colonie et a ses Concitoyen (Proclamation by Toussaint Louverture, General-in-Chief of the army in Santo Domingo, the Municipal Government of the Colony and its Concitoyen)
- Official Gazette of Barbados which is especially interesting when read along with newspapers, including the earlier Royal Gazette and Colonist Daily and the much earlier Royal Gazette: Bermuda Commercial and General Advertiser and Recorder because it shows how some of the laws and concerns developed over time
Along with the legal materials for the Caribbean, the Digital Library of the Caribbean includes newspapers (with historical newspapers like The Mid-Ocean from Hamilton, Bermuda in 1899, more recent news with Unite published in English and French from the Haitian Unity Council and the Dominica Star, and recent newspapers as well), audio, video, and all sorts of other materials like Annales du Conseil Souverain de la Martinique (Annals of the Sovereign Council of Martinique) and Nouvelliste, a daily journal for Haitian commercial, agricultural, and literary information.
Even with all of these materials, we’re actively much, much more including British Caribbean materials for countries when they were British Colonies. As we load more materials, it’s really interesting to see how the law is influenced by and impacts everyday life in the newspapers and art in the literature of the time and after.