Civil Society: Legal and Governmental Resources

Fall 2012 | Volume 32, Number 1 | Download PDF

Civil Society: Legal and Governmental Resources

In This Issue

Comments from CRL President Bernard Reilly

Documenting Colonial and Indigenous History: the Central American Archives, 1544–1821

In 2012, CRL libraries voted to acquire the complete set of the Archivo General de Centroamérica, 1544–1821. This acquisition, approved through CRL’s Purchase Proposal Program, makes accessible more than six million pages of original primary source documents chronicling Spanish rule in Central America and parts of Mexico.

Historical Puerto Rican Court Documents

LAMP, formerly the Latin American Microform Project, has supported the digitization of approximately 5,000 documents dated between 1844 and 1900. These consist of legal court cases, mostly civil, from the Corte de Primera Instancia (Apellate Court) of the district of Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Primary Sources at a Distance: Researching Indian Colonial Law

In November 1745, Damuljee Undeker was charged with theft and came before an English criminal court in Bombay; the English sheriff called twelve men forward for the jury: six Englishmen and six “natives of the country.” While researching India and Britain for a dissertation on legal culture in 18th-century British India, author Mitch Fraas discovered a range and diversity of primary sources to help understand these mixed juries.

Using Legislative Journals to Explore Lawmaking

In democratic societies, major policies are shaped in legislature, and policy implementation, through monetary appropriations or their denial, begins there. Scholars in many disciplines need to monitor legislative processes relevant to their field. Author Jerry Dupont explores how legislative journals provide essential maps to explore the murky turf of lawmaking.

Document from Puerto Rican Civil Court Documents Collection. Courtesy of University of Connecticut Libraries.