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Federal Statutes: A Beginner’s Guide

Locating Federal Statutes

Harris & Ewing. How a bill become a law. At the same time that the bill is sent to the committee , it is also filed in the document room, so that interested parties may obtain a copies for inspection. John H. Smith of the House Document room is shown here filing a bill. 1937 or 1938. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

At the Library of Congress, you can access slip laws and the Statutes at Large through the subscription databases.

ProQuest Congressional and HeinOnline are both available in any Library of Congress reading room:

  • HeinOnline provides access to the United States Code from 1925-2012
  • ProQuest Congressional provides exclusive full-text collection dating from the first Congress in 1789.

You can also access the USCS on LexisNexis Library Express, available in any Library of Congress reading room, and the USCA on Westlaw, available only in the Law Library Reading Room.

Subscription Databases

The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

Free Resources

In addition, the websites below offer free access to slip and session laws. Dates of coverage vary; you can find coverage information on the websites themselves.