Monday, March 2, 2009

Seipp's Abridgement of the Year Books

David J. Seipp, Boston University School of Law, has published his on-line database, Medieval English Legal History: An Index and Paraphrase of Printed Year Book Reports, 1268-1535, or "Seipp's Abridgement" for short. As the website explains:
Year Books are the law reports of medieval England. The earliest examples date from about 1268, and the last in the printed series are for the year 1535. The Year Books are our principal source materials for the development of legal doctrines, concepts, and methods from 1290 to 1535, a period during which the common law developed into recognizable form. More than 22,000 individual reports or 'pleas' have been printed, and others remain in manuscript.

This database indexes all Year Book reports printed in the chronological series for all years between 1268 and 1535, and many of the year book reports printed only in alphabetical abridgements. Of these reports, almost 6,000 from 1399 forward have been fully indexed and paraphrased in this database.
The search page for the database is here.

Hat tip: Robert Richards