HeinOnline, the online platform of legal publisher William S. Hein & Co. Inc., is based on a series of collections that provide access to digital facsimiles of a wide range of printed primary sources on the history of Anglo-American law. HeinOnline’s core subscription package provides access to over 5,000 titles (in more than 92,000 volumes) related to the history and practice of law. The Hein core collection includes several constituent libraries: Canada Supreme Court Reports, English Reports Full Reprint (1220–1867), Federal Register/Code of Federal Regulations, Law Journal Library, Legal Classics, Pentagon Papers, Treaties and Agreements Library, U.S. Supreme Court Library, U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Presidential Library, U.S. Federal Legislative History Library, U.S. Attorney General Opinions, and the United States Code (U.S.C.). The documents represented in the collection span a wide swath of time and many countries but primarily concern 19th- and 20th-century North America and the United Kingdom. These documents cluster around the following core areas:
United States Federal and Administrative Law
HeinOnline contains several collections that provide excellent coverage of U.S. federal law, including the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, Treaties and Agreements Library, U.S. Supreme Court Library, U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Presidential Library, U.S. Federal Legislative History Library, U.S. Attorney General Opinions, and the United States Code (U.S.C.). These combined collections total more than 12 million page images and cover the history of the governmental apparatus of the United States from its founding to the present. Among a wealth of material, scholars can find the following in these collections:
- All published treaties and international agreements entered into by the United States from its founding
- All published reports of the United States Supreme Court
- The published papers and speeches of the Presidents of the United States (1789–2009)
- All published opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States (1791–1982)
- The laws of the United States from 1789 to the present including the full text of the U.S. Code from 1925
- The entire run of both the Federal Register (1936–present) and Code of Federal Regulations (1938–present). Both of these important compilations of federal administrative process are not commonly available elsewhere online for dates before 1980.
For most of these document collections, Hein provides specialized interfaces that allow scholars to search by known citation and full-text keyword, as well as locating pertinent parts of documents by year, title, section, or document number. Many of the government publications included here are available through other online sources, notably LexisNexis and Westlaw. However, researchers may prefer Hein’s interface, which allows a granular search by printed volume that other databases lack.
Canada Supreme Court Reports
This collection includes page images of all 211 volumes of Canada’s published Supreme Court Decisions from 1876 to 2010. The collection is searchable by known case citation (e.g., 15 S.C.R. 120) or full-text keyword, and can be browsed by year and volume. Users can also conduct advanced searches by date or search only the tables of cases for a particular named action (e.g., Smith v. Jones). Though these reports are available through other online databases, Hein’s interface makes this collection one of the easiest to search.
English Reports Full Reprint (1220–1867)
A staple for all scholars working in English legal history, this early 20th-century reprinting of the most important English case reports covers 600 years of judicial proceeding in 176 volumes. Hein provides several different modes of access to this often-confusing collection. Researchers can search by a named party in a case, the case citation from either the original or in the reprint, a free-text keyword, or restrict their search to cases from a particular court (e.g., King’s Bench, Chancery, etc.). This platform should be the first stop for those doing research in the English Reports.
Law Journal Library
One of the most important scholarly resources available in the Hein core package, this collection includes full runs of over 1,600 law journals. These journals, largely published in the U.S. and U.K., range in date from 1838 to the present though the majority are from the 20th and early 21st centuries. Hein provides a search interface that allows users to enter citations or perform advanced full text searching. For those without institutional access to LexisNexis or Westlaw law journals, Hein offers one of the only options for finding full-text law articles, with the broadest coverage. In addition, HeinOnline provides page-images of journal articles and includes older issues not included in LexisNexis or Westlaw.
HeinOnline’s legal classics library, conceived originally around Morris Cohen’s Bibliography of Early American Law, contains around 2,500 titles written about the law and its practice, including treatises, manuals, and scholarly monographs from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The majority of these texts date from the 19th and 20th centuries and were published in the United States and United Kingdom. A good amount of overlap exists between Gale’s Making of Modern Law: Treatises database and LLMC-Digital’s collection. Hein’s legal classics library includes more than 500 titles also found in Gale’s similar database. In addition, nearly all of these texts are out of copyright and are freely available online.
See Appendix A for a full list of the HeinOnline collections ("libraries"), with descriptions taken from the Hein website.