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An aid to finding law at OSU Libraries and online, this Guide covers both case law, and statutory and regulatory law



Senate Bills (S.B.) and House Bills (H.R.): Federal Legislation before the U.S. Congress

  • summaries from 1973 on the web site
  • published version from 1993 on FDsys

Congressional Record (CR): Official proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress; includes the text of some bills

  • Library owns in paper from v.1 (1893) J11 .R5
  • in FDsys since 1994 (v.140)
  • on from 1984


Senate Bill (or Measure) (SB) and House Bill (or Measure) (HB) - Oregon legislation, 1995-present (JK9076 .A5 or on the Oregon State Legislature Bills and Laws website) 

Other Sources for Bills and Legislation

Find more information on the Government Information Guide tab, Researching Congress

Rules and Regulations


Congress stipulates that government regulations have no legal force until made public by publication. Where the Federal government does this is through the Federal Register (proposed rule, then final rule), which is then later codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Federal Register (FR) -  Official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. It is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

  • paper and/or microfiche: J1 .A2; paper withdrawn when microfiche is received
  • online: in Nexis Uni and (from 1994 to present) in FDsys

Finding Aid:  govpulse ( allows online searching of the Federal Register by agencies, topics, locations, and dates published; the search box lets you input keywords, document type, agency, volume number, and range of dates back to 1994. The location searching is especially useful and unique.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) - Codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.(KF70 .A22; also in FDsys)


 Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) -  Text of rules of Oregon state agencies. Covers rules up to Nov. 15 of the previous year. In paper: JK9030 .A219  or Online: on the Oregon State Archives page.

Supplement: To be sure you have the current rules, also see the Oregon Bulletin, a monthly online supplement that contains rule text adopted or amended after publication of the print compilation as well as Notices of Proposed Rule­making and Rulemaking Hearing.

Laws and Legislation


publication of federal law follows this path:

Slip law -> Statutes at Large -> U.S. Code

United States Code (USC) - Federal laws currently in force (KF61 .U51 (paper) or on FDsys)

The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 50 titles and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. Since 1926, the United States Code has been published every six years. (GPO Access page)

United States Code Annotated (USCA) - Federal laws currently in force, annotated with reference to federal and state court reports (KF62.5 .W45)

United States Code Service (USCS) - Similar to USCA (on LexisNexis Academic: Federal Statutes, Codes, & Regulations)

U.S. Statutes at Large (Stat.) - Official publication of all public and private laws of the U.S. in chronological order, 1789-present (KF50 .U5 (paper); 1789-1875 is online from the Library of Congress )

Every law, public and private, ever enacted by the Congress is published in the Statutes at Large in order of the date of its passage. Until 1948, all treaties and international agreements approved by the Senate were also published in the set. In addition, the Statutes at Large includes the text of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, amendments to the Constitution, treaties with Indians and foreign nations, and presidential proclamations.(Library of Congress' American Memory Project page on Statutes at Large)

U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) - Laws arranged by Public Law number, plus legislative histories, 1968-present (KF48 .W45)


Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) - Oregon laws currently in force (KFO2429 .O73 or on

Historical research: For those doing legislative histories, superseded ORS editions are becoming available online. Currently, 1953-1967 are at the Oregon Legislature's website under Selected Archives of the Oregon Revised Statutes. The current goal is to complete this project by June 2012.

Oregon Laws (full text) back to 1999 are also available on the Oregon State Legislature's website for Bills and Laws,

Congressional Conversion Chart

Often ignored, but very useful, is a way to translate dates to Congressional session. If you're looking for a bill passed in February of 1992, and you only have the date, which Congress and session was it? Where can you find out so that you can do a better search?

Wikipedia has a useful chart at that you may want to keep handy for these situations!