U.S. Treaties and International Agreements

Sources and finding guides for treaties to which the United States is a party.

Introduction

This guide lists print and online resources for researching treaties to which the United States is a party. A separate research guide on World Treaties lists resources for researching treaties to which the United States may not be a party. There are two different research guides because different indexes, finding guides, and databases are useful to find treaty text and treaty status depending upon whether or not the U.S. is likely to be a party.

If you have questions about treaty research -- U.S. or not, current or historical -- the Heafey Reference Librarians will be happy to help: 408 554-4452; lawref@scu.edu.

United States Treaty Sources

These are Official U.S. Treaty Sources listed in the Bluebook (Table T4):

United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST), 1950 -
Law Stacks, Second Floor  KZ 235.3 U55
This is the current official publication for United States treaties. It cumulates the consecutively numbered, individually paginated pamphlets first published in the Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS). The most recent print volume in UST contained treaties from 1984.

Statutes at Large (Stat.), 1778 - 1949
Law Stacks, First Floor KF50
Statutes at Large was the official publication for United States treaties before UST. Volume 8, Part 2, of Statutes at Large contains a compilation of treaties entered into between 1778 and 1845. Volume 64, Part 3, contains a cumulative index of all treaties and agreements published in Statutes at Large.

Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS),1945 -
Law Microforms: KZ 235.32 U55
These are official slip treaties which are later cumulated in bound volumes and published as United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST). TIAS replaced the Treaty Series and Executive Agreement Series (below). The last TIAS pamphlet received by the Heafey Law Library is No. 10981.

Treaty Series, 1778 - 1945
Selected Treaty Series documents are available in the Heafey Law Library in microfiche.

Executive Agreement Series, 1922 - 1945

United States Senate, Treaty Documents, 1981 -
Law Microforms KF49 .C62 (CIS microfiche)

  • Treaty Documents contain the official text of treaties as transmitted by the President to the Senate. They are an official source for treaties that are not yet published in TIAS or UST. However, the Senate will not have consented to all of the treaties transmitted.
  • Selected Treaty Documents are available in the Heafey Law Library in microfiche. Senate Treaty Documents are included in the U.S. treaty databases on Lexis.com (INTLAW;USTRTY), on WestlawNext, and in the Hein Online Treaties and Agreements Library (Nos. 97-1 to 109-11). Recent Senate Treaty Documents (104th Congress, 1995 -) are available on FDSys from the U.S. Government Printing Office (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/).

Ask for help at the reference desk if you have difficulty using the CIS Index-Abstract volumes in Law Microform Reference or the Proquest Congressional database to locate treaties or treaty documents.

Senate Executive Documents, 1778 - 1980

  • Senate Executive Documents contain the text of pre-1981 treaties transmitted by the President to the Senate.
  • Selected Senate Executive Documents are available in the Heafey Law Library on microform or via electronic databases.

Treaties to which the United States is a party are also found in the following sources:

Lexis and Westlaw U.S. Treaties Databases

  • U.S. treaty databases in Lexis.com (INTLAW;USTRTY) and Westlaw include the full text of treaties from official and some unofficial U.S. treaty sources. Parallel citations to official sources are provided, when available.

Hein’s United States Treaties and Other International Agreements: Current Service (KAV), 1989 -
Law Microforms KZ 235.3 H44

United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.)
Law Stacks, First Floor  KF62 L38

  • U.S.C.S. publishes some major treaties on selected topics such as international litigation, intellectual property, and air transportation. Treaty texts appear in a separate volume entitled International Agreements. In addition, the U.S.C.S. volumes which provide annotations for uncodified materials include annotations for selected treaties.

United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.)
Law Stacks, First Floor KF62 W4

  • The coverage of treaties in U.S.C.A. is limited to implementation acts. For relevant legislation, search the U.S.C.A. general index under headings such as "Conventions," "International Agreements," "Treaties," etc.

See also Historical Treaty Series, listed in this Research Guide.