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Law: Books

This guide is a list of sources for legal research.

Reading Lists

Your reading list is your starting point for resources to support your studies. Search our reading list system to find the recommended reading for your modules.

Start your search for a reading list

Guidance for first time users of our reading lists system

Key Locations

The Hartley Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme for most subjects.  The books are arranged by codes called 'call numbers'.  Here's a brief guide to the main call numbers for Law:

Call Number     Subject     
K Law - General
KB - KD English Law
KH European Union Law
KR Australian Law
KS North American Law
KX Comparative Law
KY Computer Law
JX 2000 - International Law
HV 6000 -  Criminology

Call Numbers Explained

When you enter the details of the item that you want on the catalogue it will display a call number or code that tells you where the item is shelved.

The call number will usually look something like these examples:

TK 2380.45 GAR 

306.47 GEL 

B OCEAN (Physical) Kna 

Although the codes look different, they work in much the same way: the combinations of letters and numbers gives a location based on the subject content of the item. The items are arranged on the shelves using the call numbers.

The library floor plan will show you where items with particular call numbers are stored.

Library Search

Can't Find What You're Looking For?


  • If the University doesn't have the book you need, email us to suggest a book for the library
  • If the book is only available in print, email us to let us know and we will do our best to get hold of an ebook for you

Journal articles

  • To connect to library resources such as databases and journals you will need to use the University’s VPN service called Globalprotect. Advice on how to set your connection up can be found on the iSolutions page How do I set up VPN on my device? 

  • Unpaywall, Open Access Button and CORE Discovery are all Chrome and Firefox extensions that find legal open access copies. Open Access Helper works the same way for iOS and Safari

  • EndNote Click a Chrome extension that finds articles from our library subscriptions and open access versions
  • Google Scholar: if you find an article that is behind a paywall, try copy & pasting the article title into a search engine. If there is a copy in a repository it will often display on the first page of search results 

  • Still no luck? Try our inter-library loan service. We will try our best to get hold of articles for you, although it may not be possible or be delayed while libraries are closed

Some online reference works

Online dictionaries and encyclopaedias can be very useful places to start your research.  There are some general ones, e.g.. the Oxford Dictionary of Law which is part of Oxford Reference and Halsbury's Laws of England which is part of Lexis Library.  There are also subject-specific ones, for example:

Off-campus access to library resources

We subscribe to thousands of online resources and sometimes, you might be asked to input your university username and password before you can access them. Find our guide to accessing online Library resources off-campus.

Core Legal Skills

These books will help you gain knowledge and legal skills you'll find useful for all your law modules.

Theses and Dissertations

PhD/ MPhil theses

  • the library holds print copies of all University of Southampton doctoral level theses; these are listed on Library Search
  • many of these are now also available online from ePrints Soton

Undergraduate/ taught masters dissertations

  • The Library does not normally hold undergraduate or taught masters dissertations.  University of Southampton students should enquire at their Faculty Office regarding any local arrangements for access to previous students' dissertations or final year projects.