Bibliography of the History of International Law

The Bibliography of the History of International Law is a current bibliography of primary sources and secondary works on the history of international law. The Bibliography is constantly expanded and updated on a 3-monthly basis (on the first Monday of January, April, July and October).

On this site, the Bibliography is available in a PDF-file, which is an alphabetical list by author. There is also an Endnote version, which can be obtained via the download link below.

The endnote version is searchable through ‘keywords’. For each item there are at least three keywords, one for the period, one for the continent and one for subject matter. The keyword ‘source’ indicates that it is a primary source; ‘sources’ indicates that the subject matter is sources of international law. When a publication covers more than two periods, it is classified as ‘all ages’; for more than two continents it is classified as ‘global’.

The Bibliography considers all writings on international law, which pre-date 1919, as primary sources. So the first edition of Oppenheim’s International Law (1905) is listed as a primary source, but the 3rd and later editions, which are dated after 1919, are not included. The Bibliography will thus include as many doctrinal writings on international law, written before 1919, as possible. For publications that are dated from 1919 or later, only historical source editions or scholarly works are included.

Sources for the Bibliography as it stands now include among others:

  • Peter Macalister-Smith and Joachim Schwietzke, ‘Literature and Documentary Sources relating to the History of Public International Law: A Bibliographic Survey’, Journal of the History of International Law 1 (1999) 136-212.
  • Peter Macalister-Smith and Joachim Schwietzke, ‘Bibliography of the Textbooks and Comprehensive Treatise on Positive International Law of the 19th Century’, Journal of the History of International Law 3 (2001) 75-142.
  • The bibliographies of collections of historical treaties by Peter Macalister-Smith and Joachim Schwietzke, published in Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History, as off 1 (2016).
  • The bibliography by Michael Byers and James Crawford made in the 1990s for the course on ‘History and Theory of International Law’, taught at the University of Cambridge.


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