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Statutes at Large: Home

A guide to using the Statutes at Large for law students, recent graduates, and members of the public

Overview


The United States Statutes at Large, typically referred to as the Statutes at Large, is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. The Statutes at Large is prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Every public and private law passed by Congress is published in the Statutes at Large in order of the date it was enacted into law. The laws are arranged by Public Law number and are cited by volume and page number. Also included in the United States Statutes at Large are concurrent resolutions, proclamations by the President, proposed and ratified amendments to the Constitution, and reorganization plans. Until 1948, treaties and international agreements approved by the Senate were also published in the Statutes at Large.

The private firm, Little, Brown, and Company, began publishing the Statutes at Large in 1845 under authority granted by a joint resolution of the 28th Congress. In 1874, the authority to publish was transferred to the U.S. Government Printing Office under the direction of the Secretary of State. In 1950, the Department of State's responsibility for publishing the Statutes at Large was transferred to the General Services Administration and the OFR. Upon the establishment of NARA in 1985, the Archivist of the United States was given the authority to publish the Statutes at Large, acting through the OFR and the Congressional Printing Management Division of GPO.

Under the provisions of 1 U.S.C. 112, the printed edition of the Statutes at Large is legal evidence of the laws, concurrent resolutions, proclamations by the President, and proposed and ratified amendments to the Constitution.

(Summary from Government Printing Office)      

Contents

Each volume of the Statutes at Large covers a single Congressional session.

  1. List of Bills Enacted into Public Law

A table cross-referencing bill numbers with the related public law number after enactment.

  1. List of Public Laws

A basic list of all public laws enacted during the session, showing public law number, full title, date, and page within the volume where the text of the law is contained.

  1. List of Bills Enacted into Private Law

A table cross-referencing bill numbers with the related private law number after enactment.

  1. List of Private Laws

A basic list of all private laws enacted during the session, showing private law number, full title, date, and page within the volume where the text of the law is contained.

  1. List of Concurrent Resolutions

A basic list of all concurrent resolutions enacted during the session, showing concurrent resolution number, full title, date, and page within the volume where the text of the resolution is contained.

  1. List of Proclamations

A basic list of all proclamations released during the session, showing proclamation number, full title, date, and page within the volume where the text of the proclamation is contained.

  1. Public Laws

Official full text of each public law enacted during the session.

  1. Private Laws

Official full text of each private law enacted during the session.

  1. Concurrent Resolutions

Official full text of each concurrent resolution enacted during the session.

  1. Proclamations

Official full text of each proclamation released during the session.

  1. Popular Name Index

Alphabetized list of the popular names of laws enacted during the session with a reference to the page within the volume where the text of the law can be found.

  1. Subject Index

Alphabetized subject index for all the contents of the volume.

Locating Statutes at Large in Print

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