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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. Select Browse Libraries > Legislative Materials > United States Code. Select editions only beginning with 2006.

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. Please note that not all volumes include access to prior releases, and not all volumes have prior releases back to 2013.

Prior releases can be accessed from the volume's main page. For example, if you wanted to see prior releases of 20 U.S.C.S. § 9105a, navigate to the volume that contains that section: Education 20 U.S.C.S. §§ 7301-End. Click on "Prior releases" to see all available prior releases. Click "Read" next to the prior release you would like to borrow. When prompted, click "Borrow" to borrow all releases of the volume.

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.

Bloomberg Law

Prior Annual Editions of the U.S. Code
Available on the library's Bloomberg Law computers. USC historical coverage begins with 1994. Also include the Internal Revenue Code 1926, 1939, 1954, and 1986-1993.

From All Legal Content Search, select U.S. Legislative > Prior Annual Editions of the U.S. Code.