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Federal Legislative History Research: Statutes at Large

This guide will outline the resources available at the University of Missouri School of Law for federal legislative history research / Last updated by Tyler Kraft, JD '24

What are the Statutes at Large?

After a bill is enacted into law, it is assigned a public law number consisting of a number preceded by the number of the Congress, e.g. Pub. L. No. 101-342.  Enacted laws are published in the order in which they were passed in United States Statutes at Large (official) andU.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) (West Pub. Co.).

They are published in their entirety as they have been finally agreed up by the legislature. It can be useful to legislative history researchers to see a law in its full and final form before it has been codified in the U.S. Code. 

Citing the Statutes at Large

Statutes at Large

Best Bet
Library: United States Statutes at Large in print and USCCAN in print are both available on the first floor in Bank 5.
LexisNexis: LEGIS;PUBLAW   (USCS Public Laws from 100th Cong., 1988)
Westlaw:  US-PL database for current Public Laws;
US-PL-OLD for Public Laws from 1973;
USCCAN-PL for USCCAN (Public Laws from 1973)
HeinOnline: HeinOnline Statutes at Large (from 1789)
Internet: GPO Access Public Laws (from 104th Cong., 1995)
THOMAS (Arranged by Public Law Number from 93rd Cong., 1973)

Other Options

More Resources