Beyond Case Reporters: Using Newspapers to Supplement the Legal-Historical Record
Drexel Law Review, Vol. 3, p. 539, 2011
22 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2010 Last revised: 16 May 2011
Date Written: June 16, 2010
Judicial opinions selected for inclusion in case law reporters are only a small fraction of the universe of legal materials that may provide insight into the history of how legal concepts work in practice. This article examines a neglected source of information: newspaper archives, many of which are becoming available in full-text electronic databases. This article argues that newspapers are a valuable supplement and corrective to legal research performed through traditional means. It includes a test case of how research on a discrete legal topic (Canada's prohibition on blasphemous libel) turns up very different results in newspaper archives compared to case reporters.
Keywords: Newspapers, Blasphemy, Blasphemous Libel, Case Reporters
JEL Classification: K10, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation