Since 1970, the Pennsylvania legislature has worked on a project to group all of the Pennsylvania statutes by subject. The project consolidates the laws into Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Pa.C.S.) titles that are organized by subject. Prior to 1970, all Pennsylvania statutes were unconsolidated. Research was done by using either the pamphlet laws (acts) or an unofficial compilation of laws, Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated (P.S.). In 1970, the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Consolidated Pennsylvania Statutes Act (Nov. 25, 1970, P.L. 707, Act 230) “[i]n order to facilitate the codification and compilation of the law of this Commonwealth”. This is an on-going project and not all Pennsylvania laws have been consolidated.
This statute consolidation project is one of many reasons it can be difficult to complete legal research when historical statute sections are involved. When delving into historical statute research, you may need to track where subjects covered in Purdon’s (P.S.) were placed when consolidated into the official consolidated statutes (Pa.C.S.). To help with this research challenge, the print version of Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes provides a Master Disposition Table. The table “shows the disposition of unconsolidated statute subject matter into consolidated statutes, as originally enacted.” (p. III) To find your consolidated statute, just locate the unconsolidated statute under the Repealed Section heading. The consolidated section is provided next to the repealed section.
The Purdon's Master Disposition Table can be found following the Tables volumes in the print set.