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Journal Cite Checking Guide: Codes, Session Laws, Legislative Material, and Regulations

This guide is intended to assist journal members in locating print, PDF, or page image versions of cited materials for sourcing assignments.


This page includes tips and sources for locating federal and state statutory, legislative and regulatory information.  The majority of this page is devoted to locating federal government information because that is the information Loyola cite checkers most often seek.  There is also a specific section outlining where to find Illinois information, to the extent that it is available, and a separate section outlining where to find information for other states.  Please be aware that some of the archived state materials for states other than Illinois is difficult to obtain because Illinois libraries tend not to collect this information and it it cannot be easily ordered via interlibrary loan.  This page includes the following sections:



Library Tip: Updating Federal Statutes Using Official Sources

Sometimes it is necessary to update and verify a federal statute, a part of the U.S. Code using official print resources instead of a commercial database.  This video from Loyola Law Library demonstrates that process.

How to Update Federal Statutes Using Official Sources

General Resources for Federal Materials

The following sources are listed in alphabetical order: is a joint project of the Library of Congress, the House, and the Senate, and is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. Coverage varies, but generally speaking, the site provides full-text of Congressional documents back to 1995.  The same information is available via GovInfo.

GovInfo is an online service of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO) that provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.  Full-text coverage varies by publication.

HeinOnline offers several libraries or collections of federal government documents including the Session Laws Library, the U.S. Code Library, U.S. Congressional Documents Library, and the U.S. Statutes at Large Library.  All documents are in PDF format.

The Law Library has an extensive collection of federal law and legislative material in print. The Library’s collection of print legislative material is augmented by the Congressional Information Service collection on microfiche.

ProQuest Congressional
ProQuest Congressional is the digital counterpart to Congressional Information Service, above.  Access to this database may be had through the LUC Libraries Databases list (  Full-text coverage varies.  Documents that pre-date ProQuest Congressional may be located using the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, below.

United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (U.S.C.C.A.N.)
This print set provides a copy of all federal laws and an edited legislative history for important laws. Authors will often make reference to legislative history documents (congressional reports, debates etc.) as reprinted in U.S.C.C.A.N. The Law Library has a full set of U.S.C.C.A.N. in print on the 4th floor (KF 48) dating back to 1948. U.S.C.C.A.N. is also available via Westlaw.

United States Congressional Serial Set
The United States Congressional Serial Set ("Serial Set"), available via HeinOnline is considered an essential resource for U.S. legislative history research. Spanning more than two centuries with more than 15,500 bound volumes, the records in the Serial Set include House and Senate Documents, House and Senate Reports, the American State Papers, and much more. This ongoing project in HeinOnline will be released in phases and will soon contain complete coverage of the Serial Set. Documents can be viewed as high quality scanned images of the original print pages, and can be printed or downloaded and saved as PDF files.

Specific Titles-Federal Laws

United States Code
Print: KF 62 (4th floor) 1940 -
GovInfo: 1994- present
Hein Online: 1925-

Session Laws (Statutes at Large)
Print: KF 50 (4th floor) 1789 -
GovInfo: 1789 -
HeinOnline: 1789 -

Specific Titles-Federal Legislative Materials

Congressional Bills
GovInfo: 1993 - 1993-
Proquest Congressional: 1989-
C.I.S. Microfiche: 1970- 2009

Congressional Debates (Record)
Print 1917- 1995-
GovInfo 1994-
HeinOnline 1873 –
Proquest Congressional 1985-

Congressional Reports
Proquest Congressional 1990-  1995-
GovInfo:   1995-
C.I.S.      1970- 2009 (microfiche)

Congressional Documents
Proquest Congressional: 1995-
GovInfo:   1975-
C.I.S.      1970-2009 (microfiche)

Committee Hearings
ProQuest Congressional: 1988-present (select)
GovInfo:   1985-
C.I.S. 1970- 2009 (microfiche)(select)

Specific Titles-Federal Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations
Print: Library maintains most current set
HeinOnline: 1936-  (complete)
GovInfo: 1996-

Federal Register
Print: 1936- (complete)
HeinOnline: 1936- (complete)
GovInfo: 1994-

Illinois Resources

Illinois Code & Statutes
Print: 1871-
HeinOnline 1815-1931

Laws of Illinois (Public Acts)
Print: 1819-
LLMC: 1889-2005

Illinois Bills
Microfiche: 1988- 1997 1997-

Illinois debates
Microfiche: 1970-1986 1970-

Illinois House Journals
Print: 1901- 1999-

Illinois Senate Journals
Print 1901 1999-

Illinois Administrative Regulations
Illinois Register
Print: 1997- (complete) 1992- (not official)

Resources for Other States

HeinOnline:  Hein has two libraries that are helpful with state law cite-checking.  They are Session Laws Library which has the session laws for all fifty states and the State Statutes: A Historical Perspective library

Provides session laws and other legislative material on a state-by-state basis.

Legislative Websites:  Many state legislatures provide online access to laws/bills/debates.  Coverage varies by state.

If all else fails, consult a reference librarian.  We may be able to procure the information from another library.

Law Library


Loyola University Chicago
School of Law Library 
Philip H. Corboy Law Center
25 E. Pearson Street
Chicago, IL 60611


Access and borrowing questions:
Research questions:

Phone Numbers

Main:  312.915.7200
Circulation:  312.915.6986
Reference:  312.915.7205
Interlibrary Loan:  312.915.7202
Fax:  312.915.6797