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Legal History Research

Supreme Court Library

The Supreme Court Library collection was established by Sir Redmond Barry in 1853 with the intention of creating a joint law library for judges and the legal profession of Victoria.

The Library is regarded as a library of national significance and the first port of call for legal scholars. It is one of the largest law collections in Victoria, containing over 120,000 volumes, including:

  • law reports from all Australian and some international jurisdictions
  • statutory material, textbooks, periodicals and reference materials
  • manuscripts, diaries, photographs and other forms of legal memorabilia. 

Victorian Reports

The Victorian Reports are the authorised law report series for Victoria. For more information about the Council of Law Reporting in Victoria, see this summary.


Other legal history research collections in Victoria

Below is a list of other legal history research collections in Victoria.

State Library of Victoria

The largest publicly accessible collection of Victorian and Australian government and law publications in Victoria. This includes legislation and law reports from Victoria and Australia, plain-language resources, reference materials and works that popularise aspects of the law such as descriptions of famous trials, biographies and  histories.

Public Record Office Victoria

The Public Record Office holds a vast array of records created by Victorian Government departments and authorities including the State’s courts, local councils, schools, public hospitals and other public offices. Records date from the establishment of the Port Phillip District in the mid-1830s right through to today.

Royal Historical Society of Victoria

One of Australia’s most significant historical collections focusing on the Victorian experience in Australian history. Access by appointment.

Law Institute of Victoria

Available to Law Institute members, legal professionals and the community. The LIV archives can be used to locate legal records or documents from legal practices and solicitors that are no longer operating.