The Internet Archive’s Canadian Texts


The wonderful Internet Archive that tries to preserve some of the material that evanesces from the web is also in the business of acting as a repository for files of media in the public domain. I noticed for the first time that the initial category in text files is Canadian Libraries.

(The libraries involved in depositing texts into this repository are: University of Toronto, Library and Archives Canada, Memorial University of Newfoundland, McMaster University, Ryerson University, University of Ottawa, Toronto Public Library’s Research and Reference Libraries, and, oddly enough, St.Mary’s College of California in partnership with the University of Toronto.)

A search for “law” turned up 94 documents of a very eclectic nature, among which are William Riddell’s 1916 The Legal Profession in Upper Canada in its Early Periods, a 1758 translation of The Spirit of Laws by Montesquieu (orse M. de Secondat), and Volume 5 of the Canada Gazette – January to June 1872. There are various formats offered to the reader, sometimes pdf, seemingly always a format known as DjVu (deja vu?), and occasionally a new “flip book” format that is really lovely to use.

The image at the top, by the way, is a piece of the charming endpaper in Riddell’s book. The one below is s.543 of the Criminal Code as found in the 1916 version of The constables’ manual : containg a summary of the law relating to the duties of constables, being a revision of Jones’ Constables’ manual.

Poke around in this trove and you’re bound to come up with treasures.

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