Friday, September 17, 2010

World Constitutions

Today is the day we celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution, but the U.S. isn't the only country with a constitution. How can you find others? Here are some resources.

First, an exciting new library from HeinOnline: World Constitutions Illustrated. It already (and will grow in the years to come). The editors explain:
This collection will contain the current constitution of every country in the world in its original language. For countries where multiple original-language versions exist, we will provide each one. Also included will be at least one English translation. Since translations depend on and reveal the preferences of their makers and their time, HeinOnline is providing you with multiple vantage points. This is something you won't find anywhere else!

We are working to identify and acquire the source documents for every historical constitution for every country. As historical documents are identified, they will be added to the constitutional timeline for each country. Documents identified but not yet acquired will be listed to provide a documentary history of the constitution's development. For every constitutional document, researchers will find the original text, amending laws, consolidated text, and important related texts. We will also link you to scholarly articles and commentary, and provide a bibliography of select constitutional books available elsewhere.
To use this collection, choose HeinOnline from the Find Legal Databases menu on our homepage. (If you're off campus, be sure to click the "Off-Campus Access" button in the upper right corner of the screen first.)

In print, check out Constitutions of the Countries of the World, K3157.A2 B58 1971 at Reference Area.

And to find constitutions available on free websites, use the Constitution Finder, maintained by the University of Richmond School of Law.

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