Research guides

United States Code

Historical US Code

Occasionally there is a need to see what a U.S. Code section looked like in a prior year. HeinOnline is the best source to find older versions of the U.S. Code. Lexis (beginning with 1992) and Westlaw (beginning with 1990) both provide access to older versions of the U.S. Code. Other member databases also have access to select older versions of the U.S. Code. See the list below for more details.

Contact the Jenkins' Reference Librarians at 215.574.1505 or research@jenkinslaw.org for additional assistance on finding historical versions of the U.S. Code.

Free Online Resources

United States Code govinfo (GPO)
Coverage begins with 1994. Can Browse by year and title. To search the U.S. Code, click the orange "Search" button, select "Advanced", then under "Refine by Collection" select "United States Code". Search results can be further refined by using the side panel on the search results screen. For additional information and tips, see the About the United States Code page.

United States Code Office of the Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives
1994 - present.

Fastcase

United States Code
Available on Fastcase. From the menu on the left, select Search Statutes > click the plus next to Archived Editions > click the plus next to United States Code > check the box next to the desired edition. Select editions only begining with 2006.

To browse the United States Code, switch to "Browse" (located above the search box).

HeinOnline

United States Code
Available on HeinOnline. From "Browse Collections by Name", select U.S. Code > United States Code
1925 - present. Yearly supplements also available (once in the desired edition, the yearly supplements are located below the list of titles).

Early Federal Codes & Compilations of Statutes
Available on HeinOnline. From "Browse Collections by Name", select U.S. Code > Early Federal Codes & Compilations of Statutes
Includes various statute compliations going back to 1789.

LexisNexis Digital Library

United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.)
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. Current edition with prior releases back to 2013.

To find all volumes of this title, once in the LexisNexis Digital Library search for "United States Code Service". If you know title topic you are looking for, include it in the search string. For example, the search "United States Code Service" "Banks and Banking" will return all 8 volumes of Title 12: Banks and Banking.

To find prior releases, borrow the volume(s) you are interested in. From your "Account" page, find your list of "Checkouts". The link to "Prior Releases" will be located above the "Return Title" button. Not all volumes include access to prior releases.

Lexis

Archived Codes
Available on the library's Lexis computers. USCS historical coverage begins with 1992.

From the Lexis Advance home page, under Explore Content, select Statutes & Legislation or Administrative Codes & Regs. The Archived Code Search is found in the Related Resources box on the right. Lexis requires a search string in order to conduct the search. If you have the citation, use cite() and include the title and section numbers, connected with an ampersand, in between the parenthesis. Select "Codes", the desired year(s), and the desired jurisdiction(s). Then click "Search".

For example, if you wanted to see how 20 U.S.C.S. § 9105a looked in 2009, use the search string cite(20 & 9105a), select "Codes", enter 2009 in the date field, select U.S. Federal, then click the search icon.

Lexis also allows you to find archived versions of the U.S. Code when in the current Code section. When looking at a current section, the "About" box on the right includes a link to archived versions, when available.

Westlaw

United States Code Annotated - Historical
Available on the library's Westlaw computers. USCA historical coverage begins with 1990.

From the All Content tab, select Statutes & Court Rules > United States Code Annotated (USCA) > United States Code Annotated - Historical (located in the Tools & Resources box on the right). Click on the desired year. Westlaw requires a search string in order to conduct the search. Use the fields listed to help generate the search. If you have the citation, enter the title and section numbers, connected with an ampersand, in the "Citation" field.

For example, if you wanted to see how 20 U.S.C.A. § 9105a looked in 2009, once on the United States Code Annotated - Historical page, click "2009", enter 20 & 9105a in the "Citation" field, and click the search icon.