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Free Public Access to Federal Materials on Guide to Law Online

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This is a guest post by Ann Hemmens, legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress. 

Through an agreement with the Library of Congress, the publisher William S. Hein & Co., Inc. has generously allowed the Law Library of Congress to offer free online access to historical U.S. legal materials from HeinOnline.  These titles are available through the Library’s web portal, Guide to Law Online: U.S. Federal, and include:

These collections are browseable.  For example, to locate the 1982 version of the Bankruptcy code in Title 11 of the U.S. Code you could select the year (1982) and then Title number (11) to retrieve the material.

Browse to the year and the Title number to retrieve the material.
Browse to the year and the Title number to retrieve the material.

Researchers can download PDF files of up to 20 pages per download. When you are viewing the document you need, look for the PDF icon at the top of the page to select the items for either printing or downloading.  In the example below from the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), you would click on the PDF icon at the top of the page and a “Print/Download Options” screen appears allowing you to select either the current section you are viewing or a custom page range. You can either print the pages or download them as a searchable PDF document.

Click the PDF icon at the top of the page to see print and download options.
Click the PDF icon at the top of the page to see print and download options.

Hein authorized the Library to provide these historical U.S. federal legal materials to the public via the Internet “…as a donation to the Library and to the American public.”  These free online resources will benefit all legal researchers whether accessing them from a home office, a local library or school, or here at the Library of Congress.


Please note: The link has been retired.  The collections previously accessible through this link will be available on Please check our digital projects webpage for the current status and for new links when they become available.

Comments (4)

  1. This is a fantastic resource! Thank you.

  2. This is a fantastic resource as library space for federal agencies is a finite resource.

  3. This is big news. Thank you, Library of Congress, Law Library of Congress and William S. Hein & Co. William S. Hein & Co. is a strong supporter of ALLUNY, my local AALL chapter.

  4. thanks , researching for a court case I have coming up.

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