Sometimes by browsing the stacks in a particular area, you can find something better than what you were originally looking for! Here are some selected subject headings for American legal history:
Sometimes helpful research sources for a particular area of the law have already been pulled together by someone else. Examples of print and electronic research guides and bibliographies on legal history include:
Encyclopedias: Legal encyclopedias provide general overviews of legal topics and references to other research materials. These encyclopedias will have a subject index to help you find entries by topic. For example, if you wanted to look up the topic “Affirmative Action” in the index, it might lead you to the encyclopedia’s article entitled “Schools and Education,” which you could then look up in the appropriate encyclopedia volume.
A.L.R. Annotations: Experts in a particular area of the law write the annotations, or articles, found in American Law Reports. They usually focus on a very narrow area of the law and can provide case citations and references to other secondary sources. Annotations can be found topically using the index or from citations found in other secondary sources. Looking up the topic “Fourteenth Amendment” in the index, for example, would lead you to an annotation titled “Disenfranchisement,” 10 A.L.R.6th 31.