Sources for the United States Code

Avanced Google Search Tips
1. Office of the Law Revision Counsel, US House of Representatives (linked on
2. United States Government Printing Office (linked on
3. Cornell Legal Information Institute (linked on
4. The official publication by the US Gov't. United States Code published under the authority of 2 USC s. 285b by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel. Problem is the bound copy is several years out-of-date.
5. United Stated States Code Annotated (USCA). Thomson/West 1996-

6. Westlaw: (linked on
Database= USCA (United States Code Annotated)
Datebase= USC (United States Code without annotations)
Database= USCA-IDX (USCA General Index)
Database= USCA-POP (a hybrid of the print versions of the Popular Name Table and Tables)
Database= USCA-TABLES (USCA Tables)
Database= USCA90-USCA03 (USCA historical versions by year)
For State Statutes Annotated: two letter State Abbrev.- ST-ANN. e.g. NY-ST-ANN or MO-ST-ANN.

7. United States Code Service (USCS). Lexis Law Publ. 1998-
8. Lexis: (linked on
File=USCS (United States Code Service)
File=USNAME (Table of Acts by Popular Name. Offers all the functionality of the hardcopy USCS Popular Name Table plus click-through to cited statutes. But as of this note (Fall 2004) ignore the online instructions appearing at the beginning of the web page, which appear to have been copied over from the Lexis software version, and are irrelevant).
File=USSALT (USCS Statutes at Large Table)
File=USREVT (USCS Revised Title Table)
Files= US1992 - US2002 (Historical versions of the USCS).
9. Lois: United States Code, with Popular Name Table Quick Links
10. Westlaw tip: When searching under the USCA database, it's often helpful to use the Index to find items by subject.


Sources for United States Session Law

1. Lexis Online has Statutes at Large going back to the very beginning. xx PL xx. or xx Stat. xx. The free online sites only start in the mid 1990s.
2. United States, United States Statutes at Large, Washington, US Gov't Printing Office
3. US GPO Access, Public and Private Laws (linked on
4. Library of Congress, Thomas: Legislative Info on the Internet: Public Laws (linked on
5. United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN): West/Thomson
6. Westlaw
Database= USCCAN-PL
7. United States Code Service: LexisNexis
8. Lexis
Library and File= GENFED; PUBLAW
9. Lois: Jurisdiction= Federal, File = Public Laws of the United States


Sources For New Federal Session Laws

1. US, GPO Access, Public and Private Laws (linked on
2. Library of Congress, Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet: Public Laws (linked on
4. Westlaw
Database = USCCAN-PL
6. Lexis:
Library and File = GENFED; PUBLAW
7. Lois: Jurisdiction = Federal, File = Public Laws of the United States


Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories

1. Nancy P. Johnson, Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories. Buffalo, NY: William S. Hein. Looseleaf publication sponsored by the American Association of Law Libraries, lists in Public Law number order the legislative histories included in government documents, law review articles, books, and microfiche sets. For each compliled legislative history listed, the nature of its contents is noted: i.e., whether it contains cites or full text, and of which legislative history components.
2. Bernard D. Reams, Jr., Federal Legislative Histories. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1994. This bibliography covers narrower ground, since it only includes legislative histories published by the government, but it includes much more descriptive detail about each one.
3. Congressional Information Service, CIS Index. Bethesda, Md. : LexisNexis. Annual publication since 1970, pulls together the components of a basic legislative history for each Public Law enacted; since 1984, the annual Legislative Histories volumes have complied comprehensive lists of legislative history components, including background history from earlier Congresses.
CIS accession are in three parts: typically they start with "H" or "S" for House or Senate. Within the House and Senate sections of the Abstracts, the documents are categorized according to the Congressional committee (arranged in alphabetical order) that produced them. The committee involved and also the type of material are indicated by the number immediately following the "H" or "S." e.g. H 520 are Documents; H 521 are Hearings; H 522 are Prints; and H 523 are Reports. Finally the third component of the accession number is the sequential number assigned to each individual document within its category. Sometimes you'll get 02H523-54. The 02 refers to the volume of the CIS Index in which the document is described.

4. Lexis: Legal> Legislation and Politics - U.S. & U.K. > U.S. Congress > Legislative Histories
Includes CIS Index material (Library and File = GENFED; CISLH).

6. Westlaw: All Databases > U.S. Federal Materials > Legislative History

7. The principal kinds of legislative history documents for the U.S. Congress are (in rough order by their order of production):
Investigative Hearings
Committee hearings
Committee prints
Floor debate

Of these, the Committee Reports are universally regarded as the most important.


Sources of Committee Reports

1. In print, USCCAN. From 1948 to present.
2. Thomas: Legislative History on the Internet. (link on Coverage begins in 1995.
3. US, GPO Access, Congressional Reports. www. Coverage begins in 1995
4. Westlaw. USCCAN-REP. From 1948.
5. Lexis: Legal > Legislation and Politics -- U.S. & U.K. > U.S. Congress > Committee Reports (Library and File = GEN-FED; CMTRPT)
6. Congressional Universe. CIS Index, "the gold standard for legislative history research since 1970."


Sources of Committee Hearings

1. United States, GPO Access, Congressional Hearings. Coverage begins in 1997.
2. Congressional Information Service, CIS US Congressional Committee Hearings on Microfiche, covers 1833-1969
3. Congressional Information Service, CIS Unpublished US Senate Committee Hearings on Microfiche, covers 1823-1980.
4. CIS Unpublished US House of Representatives Committee Hearings on Microfiche, covers 1833-1972.


Sources of Administrative Law

The Federal Register Act, c. 417, 49 Stat. 500 (1935) requires the timely publication of all federal regulations. The Administrative Procedure Act, c.324, 80 Stat. 237 (1946) requires agencies to publish notices of proposed rules in the Federal Register. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), P.L. 84-487, 80 Stat. 237 (1966) requires agencies to publish much more detail about their structures, activities, rulemaking, and other information. The Sunshine Act, P.L. 94-409, 90 Stat. 1241 (1976) requires agencies to hold open meetings and to publish notices about those meetings. All this information and more finds its way to the Federal Register, which is published every business day of the year. Every federal agency empowered by Congress to make rules of general application must list every action they take, or plan to take, that might add, remove or change exisitng regulations. Each day at 6 A.M., the current day's Federal Register is posted on http:// Federal law provides that this e-version is as official as the printed version. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)is reprinted in its entirely every year, according to a rolling schedule but there is no annotated, commercially published version of the CFR. See Armstrong & Knott, Where The Law Is: An Introduction to Advanced Legal Research, Thomsom-West, 2004, p.140-43.


Titles of USC and CFR Compared

  United States Code Code of Federal Regulations
Title 1 General Provisions General Provisions
Title 2 The Congress [Reserved]
Title 3 The President The President
Title 4 Flag and Seal, Seat of Government, and the States Accounts
Title 5 Government Organization and Employees Administrative Personnel
Title 6 Domestic Security Homeland Security
Title 7 Agriculture Agriculture
Title 8 Aliens and Nationality Aliens and Nationality
Title 9 Abritration Animals and Animal Products
Title 10 Armed Forces Energy
Title 11 Bankruptcy Federal Elections
Title 12 Banks and Banking Banks and Banking
Title 13 Census Business Credit and Assistance
Title 14 Coast Guard Aeronautics and Space
Title 15 Commerce and Trade Commerce and Foreign Trade
Title 16 Conservation Commercial Practices
Title 17 Copyrights Commodity and Securities Exchanges
Title 18 Crimes and Criminal Procedure Conservation of Power and Water Resources
Title 19 Customs Duties Customs Duties
Title 20 Education Employees' Benefits
Title 21 Food and Drugs Food and Drugs
Title 22 Foreign Relations and Intercourse Foreign Relations
Title 23 Highways Highways
Title 24 Hospitals and Asylums Housing and Urban Development
Title 25 Indians Indians
Title 26 Internal Revenue Code Internal Revenue
Title 27 Intoxicating Liquors Alcohol, Tobacco Products, and Firearms
Title 28 Judiciary and Judicial Procedure Judicial Administration
Title 29 Labor Labor
Title 30 Mineral Lands and Mining Mineral Resources
Title 31 Money and Finance Money and Finance: Treasury
Title 32 National Guard National Defense
Title 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters Navigation and Navigable Waters
Title 34 Navey [Repealed] Education
Title 35 Patents Panama Canal
Title 36 Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations Parks, Forests, and Public Property
Title 37 Pay and Allowances of the Uniform Services Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright
Title 38 Veterans' Benefits Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
Title 39 Postal Service Postal Service
Title 40 Public Buildings, Property, and Works Protection of Environment
Title 41 Public Contracts Public Contracts and Property Management
Title 42 The Public Health and Welfare Public Health
Title 43 Public Lands Public Lands: Interior
Title 44 Public Printing and Documents Emergency Management and Assistance
Title 45 Railroads Public Welfare
Title 46 Shipping Shipping
Title 47 Telegraphs, Telephones, and Radiotelegraphs Telecommunication
Title 48 Territories and Insular Possessions Federal Acquisition Regulations System
Title 49 Transportation Transportation
Title 50 War and National Defense Wildlife and Fisheries


Dates of Annual Revision of CFR titles
Titles 1-16 : January 1
Titles 17-27: April 1
Titles 28-41: July 1
Titles 42-50: October 1









Tables of sources drawn predominantly from Where the Law Is: An Introduction to Advanced Legal Research by J.D.S. Armstrong & Christopher A. Knott, American Casebook Series, First Ed., Thomson/West 2004.