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Treaties and International Agreements

Introduction | Full-text Treaties | Treaties to which the United States is a Party | Treaties to which the United States is not a Party | Indexes and Finding Aids | Additional Information Sources | List of Commonly Used Abbreviations and Term | Specialized Treaty Sources


Introduction

This guide to treaty research is aimed at introducing users to some of the basic sources for locating treaties. Treaties are referred to by names such as convention, covenant, agreement, pact, accord, protocol, etc. They may be bilateral or multilateral. Executive agreements are agreements made between the President and the executive of another country that do not require Senate approval. Sources and indexes for specialized treaties are briefly listed under "Specialized Treaty Sources".   Numbers in parentheses, e.g. (#6), refer to other items within this guide.

In addition to the collections available in the Government Reference Collection, the Law Library is also a rich resource for treaty information, print and electronic.  Visit the Law Library's research guide on Electronic Resources: Foreign and International Law.


Full-Text Resources

Avalon Project, Yale Law School: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
Digital documents from pre-18th century through 1999.  Coverage is international, but the primary focus is on the U.S. Includes U.S. bilateral treaties 1778 - 1999, U.S. multilateral treaties 1864 - 1999 and treaties between the U.S. and Native Americans.

Multilaterals Project, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University
The texts of international multilateral conventions and other instruments including treaties in the fields of human rights, commerce and trade, laws of war and arms control, and other areas.  Although the vast majority of texts date from the second half of the 20th century, the collection also includes historical texts, from the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia to the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Senate, House and Treaty Documents
This portion of GPO Access, which is a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office funded by the Federal Depository Library Program, provides access to Senate Treaty Documents as text and PDF files, from the 104th Congress to the present. Accompanying messages from the President and the Secretary of State are included with the treaty text.

United Nations Treaty Collection  Available on the Web from computers on campus or remotely through UCB IP address recognition.  This is a combination of three UN treaty collections:

Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General
This publication covers all multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General, the Charter of the United Nations, and multilateral treaties formerly deposited with the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.

United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS)
This publication contains the texts of over 40,000 bilateral and multilateral treaties and subsequent actions in their authentic language(s), along with a translation into English and French, as appropriate.

Texts of Recently Deposited Multilateral Treaties
The texts of multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General that have not yet been published in the United Nations Treaty Series.

In addition to the treaties themselves, the database also includes treaty ratification information, and declarations, reservations and objections which States Parties have lodged with respect to certain instruments.  See the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library's Research Guide on Treaties for a full explanation of the United Nations Treaty Database.

Other sources for treaties to which the United States is a party:
GPO Access Public Laws (1995-present)
Lexis/Nexis Congressional, Laws (1988-present)
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation  (1789-1873)

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TREATIES TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS A PARTY

Recent or Pending Treaties (Pre-ratification or official publication).

1.  Lexis/Nexis Congressional UCB only

Indexing and abstracts of congressional publications from 1970 to the present.  Full-text Senate documents starting 1995 and the Congressional Record beginning in 1985. Useful for treaty drafting history.

2. Senate, House and Treaty Documents

Index to Senate Treaty Documents, available as full-text and PDF files, from the 104th Congress to the present.  Accompanying messages from the President and the Secretary of State are included with the treaty text.

3. U.S. Department of State Dispatch

The Dispatch was the official record of current U.S. foreign policy,  and provided key speeches and testimony by senior State Department officials as well as current U.S. treaty actions.  The Dispatch ceased publication in 1999.

Electronic format:  Issues from January 1993 through December 1996 are available at the federal depository library website of the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Issues from 1997-1999 issues may be found at the Department of State Dispatch.

Print format:  Dispatch JX232.A281 MAIN (1990-1999) .  1998 and 1999  in GREF.  Until 1989, the Dispatch was known as the Department of State Bulletin, JX232.A28 Main (July 1939)-89:2153(1989).

4. Hein's United States Treaties and Other International Agreements: Current Microfiche Service. 1990- .

Microfiche 17013, Dec. 1990-  . GREF.

This service provides "full text of current unreleased international agreements and treaties...". Treaties are arranged by editor assigned "KAV" numbers.  Each fiche reelease comes with its own table of contents and subject index for the titles in that release.  The fiche is also indexed in paper (JX231 K382 GREF). This service provides more timely publication of current treaties than TIAS (#5).

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Official Publications
5. Treaties and other International Acts Series. (TIAS).

JX235.9.A32  GREFCurrent unbound only

TIAS is a series of consecutively numbered, individually paginated pamphlets containing the text of treaties in the language of the parties. TIAS is the first official publication of U.S. treaties. They appear in this "slip" form and then eventually appear in bound volumes of the UST (#6).  TIAS continues the Treaty Series (#11) and the Executive Agreement Series (#12).  TIAS begins with pamphlet #1501. There is currently a long delay between the date of proclamation and publication in TIAS.

TIAS is indexed by

#19 United States Current Treaty Index (Hein)

#20 United States Treaty Index 1776-1990 Consolidation

#21 Treaties in Force (TIF)

#23 United Nations Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General

#25 Statement of Treaties and International Agreements Registered or Filed with the Secretariat.

6. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements. (UST). 1950-.

JX235.9.A33 Main Stacks

After appearing in slip form in the TIAS, US Treaties and Other International Agreements are published in this bound chronological set which began in 1950. Treaty texts are in English and the other official languages of the treaty.

UST is indexed by

#19 United States Current Treaty Index (Hein)

#20 United States Treaty Index 1776-1990 Consolidation

#21 Treaties in Force (TIF)

#23 United Nations Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General

#25 Statement of Treaties and International Agreements Registered or Filed with the Secretariat.

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Early U.S. Treaties

7. United States Statutes At Large.

Electronic format: On the Web, treaties that appeared in the Statutes at Large from 1789-1873 are available full text at the Library of Congress's Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation.

Print format: KA10.A2 GREF.

The text of all U.S. treaties from 1776 through 1950 appear in this chronologically arranged set. Volume 8 contains the text of all treaties from 1776-1845. From 1846 on, treaties were published in chronological order in the treaties section, which appears following the statutes in each sessional volume. Executive agreements are included in volumes 47-64. Volume 64 part 3 includes a list of all treaties and agreements in volumes 1 - 64. The list is arranged by country and then by topic. Indian treaties were included through volume 16. After 1950 the official publication for U.S. treaties became UST (#6).

Indexes that cite to treaties in U.S. Statutes at Large include

#19 United States Current Treaty Index (Hein)

#20 United States Treaty Index 1776-1990 Consolidation

#21 Treaties in Force (TIF)

#23 United Nations Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General

#25 Statement of Treaties and International Agreements Registered or Filed with the Secretariat.

8. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the U.S.A. 1776-1949. (Bevans)

JX236.1776c GREF.

This 13 volume set contains pre-UST treaties and agreements in English text only. Volumes 1-4 are multilateral treaties arranged chronologically; volumes 5-12 are bilateral treaties arranged by country; volume 13 is the index to the set. This set supersedes two earlier compilations by Malloy (#9) and Miller (#10).

9. Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements Between the United States of America and Other Powers. (Malloy)

JX236.1776a Main Stacks

Volumes 1-2 covering 1776-1909 were compiled by Malloy. Volume 3 covers 1910-1923 and was compiled by Redmond. Volume 4 covers 1923-1937 and was compiled by Trenwith. The set is cited as "Malloy." Treaty texts are in English only and are annotated. Citations to treaties in U.S. Statutes at Large (#7) and the Treaty Series (#11) are provided. Volume 4 contains an index to the set, a list of treaties by date of proclamation and other useful tables and lists.

10. Treaties and Other International Acts of the USA. (Miller, ed.)

JX236.1776ab Main Stacks

This set covers the period 1776-1836. Treaty text is in English and other official languages of each agreement. The texts are also annotated with citations to U.S. Statutes at Large (#7) and the Treaty Series (#11). There is no index to this set. Volume 1 provides some explanation on how the set is arranged.

11. Treaty Series. (TS)

JX235.9 A3 Main Stacks

Originally an unnumbered pamphlet series, the Treaty Series covers the 1800's to 1945. Until 1930 it included Executive agreements. Numbered pamphlets begin with no. 489 (1908) and continue through no. 994 (1945). The earlier unnumbered pamphlets are published in Bevans (#8).  TS was replaced by TIAS (#5) in 1945.

12. Executive Agreement Series. (EAS)

JX235.9.A2 Main

EAS contains the texts of international agreements from Oct. 1, 1929 to March 16, 1945. The series ended with no. 506. EAS was replaced by TIAS (#5) in 1945.

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INTERNATIONAL TREATIES: SOURCES OF TREATIES TO WHICH THE US IS NOT NECESSARILY A PARTY
13. United Nations Treaty Collection  UCB only
This is a combination of three UN treaty collections: Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General, United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS), and Texts of Recently Deposited Multilateral Treaties. In addition to the treaties themselves, the database also includes treaty ratification information, and declarations, reservations and objections which States Parties have lodged with respect to certain instruments.  For a full description of the database, see the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library's Research Guide on Treaties for a full explanation of the United Nations Treaty Database.  Available on the Web from computers on campus or remotely through UCB IP address recognition.
14. United Nations. Treaty Series (UNTS)
Electronic format: See #13 above.
Print format: JX170.U35 Main Stacks; Cumulative indexes in GREF
This comprehensive treaty series began in 1946 and contains the text of all treaties registered or filed with the UN Secretariat by member states or international organizations and some filed by nonmember states. Texts are given in their official languages and in English and French. There is currently a significant delay in publication of treaties in UNTS. Occasionally there is non-sequential publication of volumes (especially the unbound volumes); skipped volumes are published later. Indexes are provided every fifty volumes, however there is considerable delay in their publication.

15.  International Legal Materials. (ILM)
KZ64 .I57, 1962 -  .  Law Library
ILM is a bi-monthly publication that began in 1962. It provides timely access to current documents concerning international relations. The texts of official foreign and US international agreements and other documents are reprinted along with useful background notes. Each issue has its own index and each November issue contains an annual index. Cumulative indexes covering a range of years are published occasionally.
 
16.  League of Nations. Treaty Series (LNTS)
JX170.L4 NRLF; Indexes in GREF
This set covering the period 1920 through 1945 contains treaties of the League's members registered with the League's Secretariat. The treaty texts are stored at NRLF.  English and French translations accompany reprints of the official texts.  Each volume has its own index.

 
LNTS is also indexed by
Treaty Series cumulative indexes covering three or more years each (JX170 L4 GREF Index)
Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status 22
Index to Multilateral Treaties 24
World Treaty Index 26
 
17. Consolidated Treaty Series. (CTS)
KJ173.P264 CTS. Law Library
Coverage in this 243 volume set begins in 1648 and continues to 1920. Treaty text is reprinted in the language of one of the signatories and often accompanied by a French or English translation or summary.
The set has a chronological list and party name index but no subject index.

 
CTS is also indexed by
Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status 22
Index to Multilateral Treaties 24
World Treaty Index 26
 
18. Recueil des traités... [title varies]. (Martens)
JX142 M3. NRLF
This major series published in three main series includes the texts of treaties, conventions and other inter-state agreement involving at least one European nation. Earliest text is dated 1494 and continues through various editions to 1942. The indexes to the three series are as follows.
 
a) Table général du recueil des traités...1494-1874.
JX142 M3 V Index 1-2 GREF. Covers all 54 volumes in the first Martens series. Note the following abbreviations and correspondence to stored volume call numbers:
R. Recueil, 1st ed. Not at UCB
S.  Supplément.  Not at UCB
R.2  Recueil, 2nd ed  JX142 M3 II v.1-8
N.R.  Nouveau Recueil  JX142 M3 III v.1-16
N.S.  Nouv. Suppléments  JX142 M3 IV v.1-3
N.R.G.  Nouv. recueil général  JX142 M3 V v.1-20
b) Nouveau recueil général de traités...deuxième série.
JX142 M3 VI Index v.1-35 GREF. All volumes are stored as JX142 M3 VI v.1-35.
Covers all 35 volumes of the second series published in 1908 including references to texts between 1776-1907.
c) Nouveau recueil général de traités...troisème série.
JX142 M3 VII Index v.1-30 GREF. The entire set is stored as JX142 M3 VII v.1-41.
Covers the first 30 volumes of the 41 volume set including years 1799-1934.
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INDEXES AND FINDING AIDS

US Treaty Collections

For pending or recent United States treaties, consult Lexis/Nexis Congressional (#1) UCB only, Senate, House and Treaty Documents (#2), the U.S. State Department Office of the Legal Advisor's sections on Current Treaty Actions,  Calendars of the United States House of Representatives and History of Legislation (J47 A3 GREF), and International Legal Materials (#15).

19. United States Current Treaty Index (Hein)
GREF JX231.K382 and GREF Microfiche 17013, 1990 - .
This is the index to the Hein's United States Treaties and Other International Agreements Current Microfiche Service (#4). It updates Hein's, United States Treaty Index: 1776-1990 Consolidation (#20). It also merges two earlier Hein indexes: Current Treaty Index (JX231.K381) and United States International Treaties Today: Unpublished and Unnumbered Treaties Index (JX235.9.A35). The "Table of Contents" section lists treaties numerically by "KAV" numbers assigned to each treaty. Each entry provides a short description of the treaty and other useful information such as pertinent dates. There is also a subject index.
 
20. United States Treaty Index 1776-1990 Consolidation.
JX231.U58 1991. GREF
This multi-volume set provides extensive background information for each treaty as available. This new consolidation supersedes the following Hein indexes:
UST Cumulative Index 1950-1970. JX231.K38 Main Stacks
UST Cumulative Index 1971-1975. JX231.K38 Suppl.1 1971-1975 Main Stacks
UST Cumulative Index Supplement 2. JX231.K38 suppl.2 1976-1979 Main Stacks
UST Cumulative Indexing Service, 1980-. JX231.K38 Suppl. Main Stacks.
 
21. Treaties In Force. (TIF)
Main Stacks JX235.9.A34 1955 -  . Latest in Doe Reference.
Issued annually by the U.S. State Department this index lists US treaties and agreements in force as of
January 1 of each year. Arranged in two parts, the first part lists bilateral treaties by country and then by subject; the second part lists multilaies by subject and indicates the parties. See also the U.S. State Department Office of the Legal Advisor's home page sections on Current Treaty Actions and Treaties in Force on
January 1, 2000.

 
International Treaties

 
For recent or pending international treaties, use International Legal Materials (#15)
Law Library KZ64 .I57, 1962 -  .  ILM has its own index in each issue and an annual issue in each November issue. ILM is also indexed in PAIS (UCB Only) and in Current Law Index  Law Library K2.C8 v.1 (1980)-  (Library keeps cumulations only).

 
22. Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status.
JX171.B68 1984 (Kept up to date with cumulative supplements) Doe Reference Govt/Stat
This is one of the most comprehensive and current indexes for multilateral treaties. The main index volume has a chronological list of treaties with entries that give detailed status and other valuable information. The main index volume also features a subject index and keyword index. The supplement is arranged in two parts. Part A is a chronological list of new treaties with full entries. Part B provides updated status and other information treaties already in the main volume.
 
23. United Nations Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General.
Electronic format: See United Nations Treaty Collection (#13).
Print format: Main Stacks JX1977.A3652.M8 (1980- .) Latest in Doe Reference.
This annual UN publication continues an earlier publication titled Multilateral Treaties in Respect of Which the Secretary-General Performs Depository Function. It provides information on the status of treaties deposited with the UN Secretary-General. Information on treaties deposited with the League of Nations that were transferred to the custody of the UN are covered as well as pre-UN agreements that were amended by UN protocols. The full text of any reservations and declarations are conveniently reprinted. Citations to treaty text in UNTS (#14) or the UN document citation are given. Entries are arranged in subject categories and then listed chronologically. This index is supplemented by Statement of Treaties and International Agreements (#25), a monthly UN publication.
 
24. Index to Multilateral Treaties.
JX171.H35 Doe Reference.
This is one of the best indexes for finding obscure historical treaties, amendments and drafts. It consists of a chronological list of multilateral treaties from 1596 through 1963. The entries provide citations to the text in a variety of language sources. A subject and regional index are also provided.
 
25. Statement of Treaties and International Agreements Registered or Filed with the Secretariat.
JX1977.A3652.S8 Unbound in GREF, previous years in Main Stacks
This monthly UN publication serves as a supplement to Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (#23). It lists all of the bilateral and multilateral treaties registered or filed with the UN Secretariat. It provides information in English and French concerning original treaties and agreements. It also provides information such as ratifications, accessions and subsequent agreements concerning treaties and agreements already registered or filed with the Secretariat. Each issue has a cumulative subject index and numerical index, (by registration or filing and recording numbers). It is not as comprehensive as some other indexes because it is based on the submissions of member states.
 
26. World Treaty Index.
JX171.R63 1983 GREF.
This is a comprehensive multivolume index to multilateral and bilateral treaties from 1900 to 1980. Citations to treaty texts appearing in LNTS, UNTS and numerous other sources are provided. Volume 1 (Reference Volume) has a helpful "User's Guide" on page 12 of the introduction. A sample entry is reproduced with an explanation of the various categories of information provided. The abbreviations used in the entries are listed and explained in the Thesaurus in volume 1. Volume 2 and 3 contain the main entries in chronological order by date of signature. Volume 4 is an extensive party index arranged in alphabetical order. Volume 5 is a keyword index.
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GUIDES TO TREATY RESEARCH

Cohen, Morris L., Robert C. Berring and Kent C. Olson. How to Find the Law. 9th ed. 1989.
KF240.C538 1989 GREF.

 
Jacobstein, J. Myron, Mersky, Roy M., Dunn, Donald J. Fundamentals of Legal Research. 7th ed. (1999).
KF240 .J32 1998 Law Library Reference

Pratter, J.  "Treaty research basics."  Law Library Journal, 1997 Summer, vol. 89:3, 407-413.
 
United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guide to Treaties
 
Zwirn, Jerrold.   Congressional Publications and Proceedings : Research on Legislation, Budgets, and Treaties.
2nd ed. 1988.  KF4935.A1 Z85 1988 Law Library Reference

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LISTED OF COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS

Listed below are some of the commonly used abbreviations with their full titles.

Abbreviation Item Cited
Bevans #8, Treaties and Other International Agreements of the USA 1776-1949
CTS  #17, Consolidated Treaty Series
EAS #12, Executive Agreement Series
ILM #15, International Legal Materials
KAV  Kavass is the compiler and editor of the Hein's series, #4 
LNTS  #16, League of Nations Treaty Series 
Malloy #9, Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements Between the United States of America and Other Powers
Martens  #18, Martens was the editor of three major treaty series
Miller #10, Treaties and Other International Acts of the USA
Redmond Redmond is the compiler of volume 3 of the Malloy set, #9
Stat. #7, United States, Statutes at Large
TIAS #5, Treaties and Other International Acts Series
TIF  #21, Treaties In Force
TS  #11, Treaty Series. (United States)
Trenwith Trenwith is the compiler of volume 4 of the Malloy set, #9
UNTS #14, Treaty Series
UST  #6, United States Treaties and Other International Agreements

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  Originally created by Chuck Eckman and Victor Garzas.  Revised by Jeanne Fong.