About Public and Private Laws

Online Sources ~ Print & Microform

Public Laws

"Most laws passed by Congress are public laws. Public laws affect society as a whole. Public law citations include the abbreviation, Pub.L., (or P.L.) the Congress number (e.g. 107), and the number of the law. For example: Pub.L. 107-006 (or P.L. 107-6).

Private Laws

Affect an individual, family, or small group. Private laws are enacted to assist citizens that have been injured by government programs or who are appealing an executive agency ruling such as deportation. Private laws citations include the abbreviation, Pvt.L., the Congress number (e.g. 107), and the number of the law. For example: Pvt.L. 107-006." (GPO: Public and Private Laws)

Public laws are initially published as "Slip Laws" and later published in United States Statutes at Large, the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. The Statutes at Large is prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Public Laws : Online Sources

1789 -- current
Public Law number (P.L. ___ )
In Proquest Congressional, select Bills by Number --> Search by Number from the menu.
If you don't already have the number, select the Advanced Search.
Unselect all, and select only Bills and Laws (1789 - ).
Search by topic word, or bill sponsor, or vote report (by sponsor), and more.
Limit by date or Session of Congress.

Public Laws: Print and Microform Locations

1933/1934-1941/1942 (73rd-77th Congress)

Location/Call number: Microfiche 240

1973/1974-2007/2008 (93rd-110th Congress)

Location/Call number: Microfiche 240

1937 - 2011

Included in United States, Statutes at Large

Location: Olin Oversize, K .U545+