Skip to main content

Core Documents of Our Democracy: United States Statutes at Large

The resources found in this guide are vital sources of information that support the public's right to know about the workings and essential activities of the Federal Government.

General Information

The United States Statutes at Large containing the permanent laws – public and private – that were enacted during each session of Congress.

The SuDoc classification number is AE 2.111:
This resource is available in PRINT and ONLINE

About the United States Statutes at Large

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 Publishing 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.

The Statutes at Large collection on govinfo includes volumes from 1951 forward.

Print Version (1937-2011)

Statutes at Large on govinfo (1951-Present)

Searching the United States Statutes at Large

You can find and search the Statutes at Large by:

  • Using Basic Search for keyword and metadata fielded searches,
  • Using Advanced Search; fields specific to the Statutes at Large will display after you select United States Statutes at Large in the Refine by Collection column,
  • Using Citation Search to retrieve a single Statutes at Large document in PDF format if you know the Volume and Page of the document,
  • Refining search results by clicking on links in the Refine Your Search panel on the left hand side of the page (the sections under Refine Your Search correspond to the metadata available for the documents), and
  • Browsing the Statutes at Large browse page.

General govinfo Search Tips

Search Examples

Search by Statutes at Large Citation – For example, 120 stat. 1257.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:statute citation:"120 stat. 1257"
  • Using Advanced Search, select Statutes at Large under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Citation from the first box and enter 120 stat. 1257" in the next box

Search by Public Law Citation – For example, Public Law 109-28.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:statute plawcitation:"Public Law 109-28"
  • Using Advanced Search, select Statutes at Large under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Public Law Citation from the first box and enter "Public Law 109-28" in the next box

Search by Associated Bill Citation – For example, H.R. 1.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:statute associatedbills:"H.R. 1"
  • Using Advanced Search, select Statutes at Large under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Associated Bill Citation from the first box and enter "H.R. 1" in the next box

Search by United States Code Citation – For example, 22 U.S.C. 2151 as the United States Code citation.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:statute uscodecitation:"22 U.S.C. 2151"

Search by Keyword – For example, documents with compensation in the full text of the publication.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:statute compensation
  • Using Advanced Search, select Statutes at Large under Refine by Collection, then under Search In enter compensation in the second box

Search by Popular Name – For example, documents with The Patriot Act as the popular title.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:statute popularname:"The Patriot Act"
  • Using Advanced Search, select Statutes at Large under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Popular Name from the first box and enter The Patriot Act in the next box

Search by Legislation Type – For example, Proclamations.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:statute legtype:proclamation
  • Using Advanced Search, select Statutes at Large under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Legislation Type from the first box and select Proclamations from the next box