Saturday, September 13, 2008

Legislative Histories Online

Finding compiled legislative histories for federal laws can be a challenge, even though many are now available to law students on commercial databases like Lexis, Westlaw, and HeinOnline, and some are on free web sites of U.S. government agencies, libraries, and other organizations. A great place to begin is with "Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws on the Internet," part of the Legislative Source Book created by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. The non-commercial legislative history sources are listed first, with links to the public law and the web site of the legislative history. The commercial database listing is also arranged alphabetically by popular name of the law, and then by public law number, with links to the database home page. You will need to log on or access that database to locate the specific legislative history. For help with finding a compiled legislative history, just ask at the Law Library Reference Desk.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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