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Statutes at Large: About

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). GPO Access contains the statutes enacted in the 108th Congress, Volumes 117-118 and the 109th Congress, Volume 119-120. Future volumes will be added as they become available. Documents are available as ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

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, 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 database on GPO Access is an informational resource, which provides full text search and retrieval of the material published in the printed edition.