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BEV BUTULA: Legislative histories available across US

A couple of months ago, I wrote about an excellent guide by the Legislative Reference Bureau that assists researchers when conducting a Wisconsin legislative history.

I ended that post with a statement indicating I was unaware of what other states offered in terms of legislative history research guides. Well, I recently discovered a few law school libraries that have online compilations of legislative history research guides for all 50 states. These types of websites, created by law librarians, make it easy for the researcher to quickly locate guidance for a single state or multiple states.

Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law Library offers an interactive map connecting the user with the various states Legislatures and legislative history guides.

The Biddle Law Library, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, also maintains a nice collection of state-specific guides for legislative histories. They sum up the task quite well, by stating, “[r]esearching the legislative history of a particular state law can be a daunting and difficult task, as the legislative process and the documentation created during that process varies greatly from state.” That is why these types of collections are so valuable.

Pace University Law library also has a listing of legislative links to steer researchers in the right direction when conducting this type of research in a different jurisdiction.

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