Microsoft’s Live Search has a “Books” section that lets you search for and within the books that Microsoft is scanning for those libraries with which it is partnering. Material in the public domain is 100% searchable, readable on line and, typically, capable of being downloaded in PDF.
I did a very crude search (Canada and Canada AND law) — there doesn’t seem to be an advanced search feature in Live Search Books — and came up with hundreds and hundreds of hits. There is truly a treasure trove here for legal historians and historians of law. I’ve pulled out twenty or so titles, linked back to the documents, and ranging in date from 1876 to 1922, which you can peruse below.
Of note, I think, is the quirky and light-hearted Law of the Road, by Rogers (1876) and the full (over 800 pages) Law of Mortgages (1919) by Falconbridge. Although, nearly every book holds some charm, even if it only serves to show that our current preoccupations with the United States, our constitution and Western Canada are, evidently, perpetual.
- The Law of the Road by Robert Vashon Rogers 1876
- Leading Cases in Constitutional Law Briefly Stated by Ernest Chester Thomas 1885
- The Law of the Canadian Constitution
by William Henry Pope Clement 1892
- A Manual of the Constitutional History of Canada by John George Bourinot 1901
- The First Legislators of Upper Canada by Charles Canniff James 1902
- The Law and Regulations of Canada Respecting Immigration and Immigrants Issued by the Superintendent of Immigration 1911
- Laws of Business for All the States and Territories of the Union and the Dominion of Canada by Theophilus Parsons 1911
- The Prevention of the Pollution of Canadian Surface Waters by T. Aird Murray 1912
- Taxation of Land Values in Western Canada by Archibald Stalker 1914
- A Brief Introduction to Austin’s Theory of Positive Law and Sovereignty by Reginald Allen Eastwood 1916
- The Constitution of Canada in Its History and Practical Working by William Renwick Riddell 1917
- Compensation for Injuries to Canadian Workmen by Percy Roy Hayward 1918
- A Short Treatise On Canadian Constitutional Law by Augustus Henry Frazer Lefroy 1918
- International Mining Law by Theodore Francis Van Wagenen 1918
- The Law of Mortgages of Real Estate by John Delatre Falconbridge 1919
- Canada ‘s Suzerainty Over the West by Bram Thompson 1919
- A Digest of Canadian Cases Relating to Railway, Telegraph, Telephone and Express Companies by Arthur Henry O’Brien 1920
- The Constitution of Canada by William Paul McClure Kennedy 1922
- The Law of City Planning and Zoning by Frank Backus Williams 1922