The Ames Foundation

Index and Paraphrase of
All Printed Year Book Reports (1268–1535)


     The Ames Foundation is sponsoring a project to create a free, publicly-searchable database containing an index and paraphrase of all printed Year Book reports (cases argued and determined in English law courts between 1268 and 1535).  There are now 22,004 records in this database, which includes all case reports printed in the entire chronological series of Year Books.  All records in the database identify the opening line of text (incipit), the length of the report, a full citation, and a unique identifying number, and, where possible, the type of lawsuit (writ), the names of parties, names of other persons and places mentioned, cross-references to the Abridgements and to related cases, and statutes cited or quoted.  All cases before 1481 name every justice and lawyer who spoke or was mentioned in the report.  All cases before 1481 that have never before been translated from the original Anglo-Norman law French have been substantially paraphrased.  Full lists of keywords and descriptions of the process and pleading are given for all case reports from 1399 through 1481.  Some records index and paraphrase cases that are only printed in the Abridgements under alphabetical headings, and more of these Abridgement cases will be added over the coming years.
     The website also contains lists of all early printed editions of the Year Books and Abridgements, most of which may be consulted (by license) through Early English Books Online by searching by Short-Title Catalogue number.  In addition, the website contains a list of Year Book manuscripts (which will be updated this summer), and a bibliography of articles and books about these sources.  All records in the database that correspond to texts in the 1678–1680 Vulgate edition of the Year Books are linked to the images to which the records correspond.

     This database project is under the direction of (and largely the work of):
        Professor David J. Seipp
        Boston University School of Law
        765 Commonwealth Avenue
        Boston, MA 02215

     The database can be searched at:



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This page last modified:  09/06/12. Contact Rosemary Spang with comments.
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