Pamphlets are important sources for the history of contemporary views on subjects touching upon law and society. Both governments and individuals used and use pamphlets as a medium. Following a definition created by the UNESCO a pamphlet is a printed publication with upto 48 pages, but sometimes the length is much greater. Judging by their form one can look at ordinances and government announcements as a form of pamphlets. During the last decades a number of pamphlet collections has been digitized separatedly. This page gives an overview organized by country in alphabetical order. Some collections contain other materials as well. Whenever possible a further chronological order has been applied. This overview is surely not complete or exhaustive. Any information about more digitized collections with pamphlets concerning law and justice is welcome.

Many digital libraries contain pamphlets, too. Digitized pamphlets can be found also using large international portals such as Europeana and the European Library. The portal European History Primary Sources, too, leads you to a number of collections with pamphlets. Generally subscribers-only collections have been excluded here, with some clearly indicated exceptions. On the other hand, there is special attention for broadside ballads and chapbooks.




  • Digitized prints, Royal Library, Brussels – some 19,000 ephemeral prints from the Ancien Régime and the nineteenth century





  • Chinese Pamphlets, Center for Research Libraries – pamphlets from China and Hongkong published between 1947 and 1954


  • The J. Léon Helguera Collection of Colombiana, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee – mainly pamphlets and broadsides, some of them pertaining to law and government
  • Folletos, Patrimonio Documental, Repositiorio Institucional, Universidad EAFIT, Medellin – 320 pamphlets




  • Renaissance Festival Books, British Library – some 250 of the 2,000 books at the BL documenting festivals and ceremonies in Europe between 1475 and 1700; these books are often prtinted as pamphlets
  • Die Fuggerzeitungen: Ein frühneuzeitliches Informationsmedium und seine Erschließung, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek and Universität Wien – a project around the nearly 40,000 newsletters sent by the Fugger banking family between 1568 and 1605; interface German and English
  • Poor Sinners’ Pamphlets, College of Arts & Letters, Michigan State University – a project with 101 pamphlets from France, Germany and the United Kingdom concerning the executions of criminals, to be compared with Harvard’s collection Dying Speeches and Bloody Murders


Currently a NEH-project has started for an overview of digitized French pamphlets with a project website hosted by the University of Florida Libraries, with also quick access to digitized items. You can consult online the summary catalogue by Laura Monti (Gainesville, FL, 1971) and in a database for 2,800 pamphlets.


For the bibliographical projects VD17 and VD18 many pamphlets have been digitized. The 800 Lutherflugschriften at Eisenach, digitized by the Thüringische Staats- und Landesbibliothek Jena, also avalable at this library and in the Reformationsportal, are also included in VD16, but they are more easily found here. The Katalog der Wolfenbütteler Lutherdrucke 1513 bis 1546, Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, is the tool for searching and finding early editions of Luther’s works.




  • La Repubblica Romana del 1849 – pamphlets are included among the documents in this digital collection
  • Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection, Duke University, Durham, NC – an online exhibit with some examples from this vast Italian collection with 50,000 pamphlets on a wide variety of subjects
  • Italian Pamphlets, Fordham University Libraries, New York – Internet Archive – some 500 pamphlets around the period of Italy’s unification (1815-1871)
  • Volantini, Toscana Novecento – some 1,200 pamphlets from the twentieth centuries kept at the Istituto Storico della Resistenza in Toscana, Florence
  • Manifesti, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, Florence – some ninety mainly political pamphlets from the twentieth century
  • Manifesti Politici, Fondazione Gramsci Emilia-Romagna, Bologna – thousands of digitized twentieth-century pamphlets and posters; interface Italian and English
  • Manifesti e vogli folanti, Collezioni digitali, Biblioteca Franco Serantini, Pisa – the digital collections of this library contain nearly 1,300 pamphlets and posters from the Italian unity onwards (go at Tipo di oggetto for “Manifesti e vogli folanti”)
  • Garibaldi / Risorgimento Digital Archive, Brown University – a rich digital collection with also some 200 pamphlets
  • Italian Jewish Community Regulations, Columbia University Libraries, New York – some 40 Early Modern ordinances from Italian cities

Latin America



  • The Early Modern Pamphlets Online – Brill – digitized pamphlets from three collections:: the Knuttel collection in the Dutch Royal Library, the Van Alphen collection at Groningen, and the Flugschriften des 16. Jahrhunderts, pamphlets from the German Holy Roman Empire; at least 400 pamphlets concern law (search with subject Law); full access only for subscribing libraries, but you can search the catalogue
  • Early European Books – Chadwyck – within the Netherlands one can freely access in this subscribing collection books from the Dutch Royal Library, including also pamphlets
  • Early Dutch Books Online, Royal Library, The Hague – a collection with 10,000 books from the period 1780-1800; some pamphlets have been included, and a few hundred ordinances
  • England and the Netherlands: The ties between two nations, The Memory of the Netherlands – in this digital collection with items from the Dutch Royal Library and the British Library many pamphlets are present
  • Tulipomania, Wageningen University Library – a digital collection with in particular pamphlets concerning the first large scale speculation (“bubble”) in tulips during the first quarter of the seventeenth century
  • Ursicula: Pamfletten, Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde and Bibliotheca Thysiana, Leiden – a nice selection of some fourty pamphlets, many of them concern law or politics from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries
  • Sammlung Alff, Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek, Cologne – some 600 pamphlets on the revolutions in Brabant and Liège around 1800 (1781-1825)
  • Pamfletten rond de herinvoering van de bisschoppelijke hiërarchie in Nederland, 1853 – Katholiek Documentatiecentrum, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen – some 300 pamphlets concerning the return of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands in 1853
  • Pamphlets and offprints from the Multatuli Museum, Amsterdam, The Memory of the Netherlands – some 600 pamphlets by and on Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887), himself a very productive author and pamphleteer
  • Illegal pamphlets and brochures – NIOD, Amsterdam, The Memory of the Netherlands – some 1,200 pamphlets published illegally during the Second World War
  • Broadsheet collection: government publications, maps, prints and occasional poetry, The Memory of the Netherlands – 2600 broadsides (plano’s) from the collection of the Dutch Royal Library, many of them color prints


  • Folletos, Digital Library, Miguel de Benavides Library, University of Santo Tomas, Manila – a collection with some 200 pamphlets from the seventeenth to the twentieth century


Russia and Soviet-Union

  • Soviet Pamphlets, University of Texas at Austin – three thematic collections, around education, women and rural life; there are also 600 pamphlets in the Tobenkin Collection



  • Wickiana, Zentralbibliothek Zürich – 430 popular prints with (illustrated) news from the sixteenth century collected by Johann Jacob Wick
  • Feuilles volantes, e-rara – a subset at the Swiss platfrom e-rara with some 750 Early Modern pamphlets
  • Sachdokumentation, Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv – digital access to some 160,000 itmes with all kinds of grey literature, and some 1,2 million newspaper clippings

United Kingdom

The project 19th Century Briitish Pamphlets Online gives access at subscribing libraries, and through JSTOR, to some 23,000 pamphlets

United States of America

In the digital collection Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law (HeinOnline) you can access after registration among other things a digitized version of the series Slavery, Race and the American Legal System, 1700-1872: The Pamphlet Literature, edited by Paul Finkelman (16 vol., Clark, NJ, 2007).

Other collections and subjects

A number of collections with digitized pamphlets from the First World War are presented at my blog Digital1418.

A number digital collection is solely or largely devoted to broadside ballads, ballads printed as broadsides, often with telling illustrations

You can find some 900 digitized British ballads in the digital collections of Trinity College, Dublin.

There is a number of digital collections for chapbooks, another genre showing often popular perspectives on law and justice: