Some Canadian Law Books on Google

I’ve done a quick search of Google Books (“Canada” + “law”)(“canadian” + “law”) and have created a library of some of the resulting material. I chose books published in this century that had a limited preview available and came up with 57 volumes. As you’ll know, I’m sure, Google Books has four degrees of accessibility online: no preview available, snippet view, limited preview and full preview. Those in the last category tended to be the oldest material, typically published in the 19th century.

The books I’ve identified have what I believe is a substantial proportion of their text readable and searchable online; and many have a table of contents or an index that is hotlinked to the text.

You’ll find an eclectic mix: some practioner books; some scholarly tomes; some teaching materials for law school, undergraduate study or high school; and some books of general interest.

I’m working on an easy way to move the “collection” over to a site that’s not personal to me and that all of us can add to, ideally not one locked within Google so that books available online outside Google Books can be added to the library. (At the moment I have an xml file that Google uses for export, and I’m examining it like an anthropologist looking at a foreign object. If anyone has a suggestion, I’d be most grateful.)


  1. Here is one you’re missing, by one of our profs at UWO who was cited in the recent BCE decision (no preview on that specific text cited).
    I’m using this text, both print and e-version, on a daily basis this month.

  2. Hi Simon,

    Thank you posting the library collection. It is especially useful for lay litigants given how expensive and difficult it is to find legal textbooks. I have included a link to this post in a new blog entry on the topic at


  3. Mine wasn’t included – perhaps because there is no preview of it.

  4. @Omar, @David I omitted books without previews. The notion is to do the (little bit of) work of finding online texts that might be useful to those without access to a budget. Books without previews can be easily found using the simple search terms I used.

  5. There is also the topic of Forms (Law) Canada, which included the O’Brien’s Encylopedia of Forms, with limited preview.

  6. On a roll:

    The Statutes of the Province of Upper Canada (1792-1831) (full view)

    And a search on <“upper canada” statutes> on full view suggests there may be a fairly complete historical collection of materials here that presumably could be listed and linked to individually by someone who had sufficient time (not me, for now)

  7. Thanks Ted. I was restricting myself to material published in this century. There’s a plenitude of historical material that would be good to include if we tagged items by the year of pub or decade of pub, say.

  8. Fair enough – re comment 7 – Your efforts inspired me to check in terms of my regular complaints about why historical legislation is not more widely digitized in Canada (as in Alberta) and this might be a partial solution. For those Canadian law libraries that have the really old statutes our volumes are disintegrating on the shelves so it would be nice to have free, online alternatives.

  9. The first book does have a limited preview. I wouldn’t have mentioned it otherwise.

    I have noted that my preview can differ, for example, from another user’s preview, even using the same link. I’m not sure exactly how the previews are structured, but I’ve been able to get the complete text using different accounts.

  10. Interesting, Omar, about the differing “blackouts” from different accounts. I’ll have to give it a try.

    The Nichols book, if that’s the one you meant, is in my library.