Underwood Law Library
Dedman School of Law  

American Constitutional Law: Sources on the Internet
[Last Revised Feb. 2008]


 United States Constitution Text  Drafting and Ratification
HTML text (Cornell Legal Information Institute)  Contains hyperlinks from the text of the United States Constitution to the related amendments. Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 by James Madison (Yale Avalon Project) The text of Madison's notes is arranged chronologically.
HTML text (Emory U. School of Law).  Reference endnotes; and adoption notes for the individual amendments. Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 by James Madison (Constitution Society)  Arranged chronologically; or keyword search.
HTML text (NARA)  Contains hyperlinks from the text of Constitutional provisions to the related amendments. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 by Max Farrand. (3 volumes) (Library of Congress)  Integrated collection of the official proceedings, Madison's notes, and other delegates' notes.
JPEG images of original document (NARA) The Federalist Papers (Yale Avalon Project) Browse or keyword search.
The Constitution of the United States of America as Amended, Unratified Amendments, Analytical Index, H.R. Doc. No. 108-95 (2003) (PDF format only) (requires Acrobat Reader) The Anti-federalist Papers (Constitution Soc.) Collection of speeches and articles by opponents to ratification of the 1787 draft constitution.
 Interpretation Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution ... by Jonathan Elliot (1836) (Constitution Soc.)  Often referred to as "Elliot's Debates."
The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (Congressional Research Service) 2002 ed. with 2004 & 2006 supplements.  Also 1992 ed. and supplements. The Founders' Constitution edited by Kurland & Lerner (U. Chi. Press & Liberty Fund)  Index or keyword search.  Documents & extracts arranged by theme and by individual provisions of the Constitution.
Browsable and keyword searchable text of the Cong'l Research Service publication plus the text of the Constitution Easy to use. (Findlaw) Annals of Congress (Lib. of Cong.) Records of the 1st-18th Congresses (1789-1824). Browse index or keyword search. Texts are digital images.
U.S. Supreme Court opinions (from 1893)  (search by case name, citation, or  keyword) (Findlaw)

Register of Debates (Lib. of Cong.) Records of the 18th Cong., 2nd Session thru 25th Cong., 1st Session (1824-1837).  Browse index or keyword search. Digital images.

U.S. Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Memoranda and Opinions including documents on constitutional topics. (from 1992) (US Dept. of Just.) Congressional Globe (Lib. of Cong.) Records of the 23rd-42nd Congresses (1833-1873).  Browse index or keyword search.  Digital images.
  Congressional Record, bound volumes (GPO) (106th Cong., v. 145-  , 1999-  ).
 Treatises and Historical Documents

James Madison Papers from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics  (Constitution Society)  Extensive collection of treatises and historical documents in multiple formats. (450 B.C. to 1997)  Predecessor: Articles of Confederation
For English language texts of current foreign constitutions, see Oceana's Constitutions of the Countries of the World on library's Research Tools-Find Articles & Database restricted access page or in print at K3157 E5 B42.)  Text (Yale Avalon Project) 

Alternate Starting Points

Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress) Records of the 1st & 2nd Continental Congresses (1774-1789).  Browse index or keyword search.  Texts are digital images. 
The American Constitution, A Documentary Record (Yale Avalon Project) Letters of Delegates to Congress (1774-1789) (Library of Congress).  Letters of delegates to the Continental Congress.
Researching Constitutional Law on the Internet. (U. Chi.) Links to U.S. and non-U.S. constitutions world-wide. 

State & Tribal Constitutions (U.S.)

  Links to individual state constitutions (Constitution Soc.)

Non-U.S. Constitutions

Alternate source for links to state constitutions (Findlaw)
Constitution Finder (U. of Richmond).  Constitutions, amendments, charters, and related documents of other nations linked by jurisdiction name. Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project (U. Okla. Law Center & National Indian Law Library).  Text of tribal constitutions and codes.
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