Thursday, April 4, 2013

Older Versions of State Statutes

HeinOnline’s State Statutes: A Historical Archive is a newly added library in Hein with PDF versions of historic codes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Some materials date back to the early 18th century. This new collection includes more than 1,600 volumes and nearly 2,000,000 pages of historical superseded state statutes (but not current state statutes). It is a useful resource for legal researchers and scholars to understand historical statutes. The collection provides online access to superseded state code sections, which researchers previously had to access in microfiche at the Brooklyn Law School Library. Superseded codes give access to the text of the law in force, as amended, on a particular date in time, as opposed to session laws, which provide the text of the law as originally enacted by the legislature. A single code section usually contains small pieces from many different session laws. Determining the text of a code section on a particular date from only the session laws is a difficult and time-consuming process which State Statutes: A Historical Archive makes easier.

Current and some superseded state codes can also be found online in LexisNexis and Westlaw which have older versions of state codes that go back to the early 1990s. To find current state codes or more recent superseded codes which are not a part of Hein’s State Statutes: A Historical Archive library, or to get help using the new HeinOnline database, see a reference librarina at the reference desk.

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