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What are Statutes at Large?

The United States Statutes at Large (Statutes at Large) is the official compilation of all public and private laws and resolutions passed by Congress, listed in order by date of enactment. Statutes at Large was published by Little, Brown and Co., a private firm, from 1845-1873, and has been published by the GPO since 1874.

  • Currently, new volumes of Statutes at Large are issued approximately a year or so after the end of each Congress. Each bound volume republishes the public and private slip laws enacted during the Congress, as well as concurrent resolutions passed by the Congress, Presidential proclamations, and various lists and indexes.
  • Prior to 1949, all treaties and international agreements approved by the Senate were also included in Statutes at Large.
  • In general, the Statutes at Large law citation contains the volume and page number. Numbering of the Statutes at Large volumes is consecutive, but has no relationship to numbers of Congress.
  • The volumes of Statutes at Large published from 1789 through March 3, 1903, contain no references to bill numbers. Beginning with laws enacted in the 58th Congress (Public, No. 1, Chapter 1, 33 Statutes at Large page 3, of Dec. 17, 1903), the Statutes at Large marginalia cite the relevant bill or resolution number.

Statutes at Large Numbering of Laws

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