The most recent chapter of my portfolio dissertation, Beyond Case Reporters: Using Newspapers to Supplement the Legal-Historical Record, is now available on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Judicial opinions selected for inclusion in case law reporters are only a small fraction of the universe of legal materials that may provide insight into the history of how legal concepts work in practice. This article examines a neglected source of information: newspaper archives, many of which are becoming available in full-text electronic databases. This article argues that newspapers are a valuable supplement and corrective to legal research performed through traditional means. It includes a test case of how research on a discrete legal topic (Canada's prohibition on blasphemous libel) turns up very different results in newspaper archives compared to case reporters.
In related news, a previous chapter, Blasphemy in Pre-Criminal Code Canada: Two Sketches, has now been published by the Saint Thomas Law Review and can be downloaded here.