Publications System: United States Statutes at Large
United States Statutes at Large
The United States Statutes at Large is legal and permanent evidence of all the laws enacted during a session of Congress (1 U.S.C. 112). It also contains concurrent resolutions, reorganization plans, proposed and ratified amendments to the Constitution, and proclamations by the President. It is published under the direction of the Office of the Federal Register through the U.S. Government Publishing Office. The United States Statutes at Large can be obtained:
- As electronic documents, free of charge, on www.govinfo.gov
- In paper format, by purchase from the Superintendent of Documents, or at any Federal Depository Library
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 Printing 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.
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 database on www.govinfo.gov is an informational resource that provides full text search and retrieval of the material published in the printed edition.