Join the Osgoode Society

Established in 1979, the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History publishes books on Canadian legal history, and creates and preserves an oral history archive.

Since 1981 the Society has published  109 books,including our 2019 books, on a diverse range of topics in Canadian legal history and has recorded more than 600 oral histories from various members of the legal profession.

We have recently changed our categories of membership. First, we have added a new category of membership, responding to some of our members who tell us that they want to support the Osgoode Society but do not want our membership book. Members opting for this category will receive a charitable donation receipt for part of their subscription.

Second, we have established a new category of membership for those who wish to show their appreciation for our work and to go above and beyond in supporting us. Join the McMurtry Circle and receive a certificate of appreciation signed by our founder. Members opting for this category will receive a charitable donation receipt for most of their subscription. Society President Robert Sharpe and Editor-in-Chief Professor Jim Phillips are members of the McMurtry Circle, and encourage others to do so.

All categories of membership other than ‘Individual Member, No Book’ will continue to come with our members’ book for the year.


Our members’ book for 2019 was Harry Arthurs, Connecting the Dots: The Life of an Academic Lawyer. Professor Harry Arthurs has been a centrally important figure in Canadian legal education for more than fifty years. He came to national prominence as a legal scholar and educator with his seminal writing in the 1960s and 1970s on labour law. In the 1970s he was Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School, and in 1983 he was principally responsible for the seminal Law and Learning, the most important report on legal education in the past half century. From 1985 to 1992 he was President of York University. He has also served on many government commissions investigating various aspects of labour law, and as the President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. In addition to his labour law work he has written extensively on legal history, the legal profession and legal education, with a special emphasis on the effect of globalization on the latter two topics. This book, both a ‘life and times’ and an autobiography, is the memoir of a person who has lived his professional life to the full and rendered his country much meritorious service. It covers all aspects of his career, a compendium of trials, tribulations and triumphs, with frankness, perspicacity, and humour.  Readers will learn about the ‘blacks arts’ of academic administration as well as why Arthurs can call himself a ‘useful idiot!’

Our Optional Extra title for 2019 was Wounded Feelings : Litigating Emotions in Quebec , 1870- 1950 by Eric Reiter. The book analyses the law and litigation involving defamation, breach of promise of marriage, personality rights, and religious beliefs. These were all areas of ‘emotion’ in which Quebecers – lawyers and judges as well as litigants – dealt with the intersection between the subjective world of the emotions and the world of the law, through the idea of moral injury. The author The author uses published law reports and existing archival records of some of those cases, as well as a wide range of other sources, to offer fascinating vignettes that reveal much about day to day life, functional and dysfunctional families, and the dynamics of social and power relations of class, status, age, race and gender across an eighty year period of Quebec history. The discussion of the cases enables the author to demonstrate the complicated blending of the French civil law and the English common law as well as to chart major legal shifts over time.


Your membership in the Society helps us continue to promote and to preserve Canadian Legal History. Join us!

Renew or Join as a Student Member for 2019

Includes the member book Connecting the Dots: The Life of an Academic Lawyer 

Renew or Join as an Individual Member with book for 2019

Includes members' book Connecting the Dots: The Life of an Academic Lawyer by Harry Arthurs.

Renew or Join as an Individual Sustaining Member for 2019

Includes member's book Connecting the Dots: The Life of an Academic Lawyer, by Harry Arthurs.

Renew or Join as an Individual Member no book for 2019

Members' book is not included.

Renew or Join as a McMurtry Circle Member for 2019

Includes member's book Connecting the Dots: The Life of an Academic Lawyer, by Harry Arthurs.


A portion of the individual membership without book, individual sustaining and McMurtry Circle memberships entitle the member to a charitable receipt.