The research institution of the Law Sources Foundation of the Swiss Lawyers Society, set up over 100 years ago, provides a unique range of law sources from each of Switzerland’s linguistic regions in its «Collection of Swiss Law Sources» (Sammlung Schweizerischer Rechtsquellen).
From the start, this publication project has organized the sources by canton and then subdivided them by areas of jurisdiction such as towns, old regional entities and bailiwicks (municipal law, rural law). So far, almost 100 single or double volumes have been published containing material from the majority of Swiss cantons.
Normative and non-normative sources from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Age (up to 1798) throw light on a wide array of public and private law and legal practice. From the large quantity of sources available, the researcher responsible for a particular area selects such law sources that provide significant information on legal code and practice at a given time and place as well as insights into legal developments.
Reproducing source texts of frequently unknown origin as integrally as possible not only provides basic material for research into Swiss legal history. The publications also offer insights into cultural history and interfaces to other scientific disciplines, and are therefore a rich trove of information for those interested in legal, economic, social, ecclesiastic, local, and regional history as well as for cultural anthropologists and, of course, linguists.
This research project is sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation and by the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences and is supported by numerous public and private institutions. Research is currently being carried out in the cantons of Fribourg, Geneva, Grisons, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, Ticino, Thurgau, Valais and Vaud.