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Federal Statutes: A Beginner’s Guide

Session Laws

At the end of each session of Congress, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) prepares the United States Statutes at Large, which includes all of the public and private laws passed in the session, as well as “concurrent resolutions, reorganization plans, proposed and ratified amendments to the Constitution, and proclamations by the President.” The Statutes at Large is organized chronologically, based on the enactment date of each law. Each Statutes at Large volume also contains a table of contents and a subject index (sometimes both a subject and individual/personal name index), in order to aid in the location of documents.


Sources for Session Laws


Free Online Resources

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.

Print Resources

The Statutes at Large in print is available in the Law Library Reading Room.