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Indiana Legislature proceedings from 19th century now available online

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A joint project between the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Library and the IU Digital Library Program has digitized nearly 8,000 pages of General Assembly proceedings from the 1800s, creating an online repository that is accessible free of charge.

The Brevier Legislative Reports, published biennially from 1858 to 1887, offer a verbatim accounting of day-to-day activities in the Indiana Legislature. All sessions are covered, with the exception of the latter part of the 1875 Regular Session, the 1875 Special Session, and the 1877 Regular and Special Sessions.

The prosecution of the Civil War dominates discussion during the early years, but additional significant issues of the times were debated, including women’s suffrage, railroads, election of U.S. senators, temperance and prohibition, education and civil rights.

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard said the reports offer a glimpse into periods of sweeping legal change that followed the Civil War.

“The Brevier Legislative Reports will provide scholars and legal practitioners with a more fulsome and reliable view of the social and political story in one of the nation’s largest industrializing states,” Shepard said. “The Maurer School’s librarians and the Digital Library Program have rescued from virtual oblivion a rich legal treasure of national proportions.”

The digitization project was made possible by a Library Services and Technology grant under the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for libraries and museums. The grant – awarded in 2008 – was administered by the Indiana State Library. The project received a grant-in-aid from the IU vice-provost for research.

Access to the reports is available online.

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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