A Message from the Editor in Chief

The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History was established in 1979 to promote the publication of work on the history of Canadian law, and to create and preserve an oral history archive.

We have been very successful at both of these. As of 2017 we have published exactly 105 books, in a wide variety of areas. In the fall of 2018 we will add 2 more to that total. Our books have ranged from biographies of Supreme Court of Canada judges Bora Laskin, Brian Dickson, Bertha Wilson, Emmett Hall, and Ivan Rand to historical studies of the law relating to women and ethnic and racial minorities, to histories of courts, the legal profession and legal education. Our full range of titles is available here.

Osgoode Hall, Toronto, 1987. Image courtesy of the Hon. R. Roy McMurtry, Former Chief Justice of Ontario.

Our other principal activity is the Osgoode Society Oral History Programme. We run the world’s largest oral history programme dedicated to legal history. We have completed interviews with more than 600 people and deposited over 90,000 pages of transcript in the Archives of Ontario. Our full list of interviews is available here.

The Osgoode Society carries out a range of related programmes, including administering Fellowships and Awards and providing Research Support for students and others. It also sponsors a bi-weekly legal history discussion group, the Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop.

We are a membership organization, open to all. For the modest annual fee of $60 ($25 for students) members receive the annual members’ book at no extra cost. We are also supported by patrons, sustaining members, special friends who are Members of the McMurtry Circle, the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Jim Phillips

Editor in Chief Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History

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William Osgoode

The Osgoode Society is named for William Osgoode, the first Chief Justice of Upper Canada, who later also became Chief Justice of Lower Canada.