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Treaties and Other International Agreements - Research Guide

The purpose of this guide is to help researchers using the University Libraries locate the text and status of treaties and other international agreements. While the focus of this guide is treaties and agreements to which the United States is a party, some other treaty sources are included.

Treaties are formal agreements between countries. In the United States, treaties have the same legal effect as statutes. The Constitution gives the executive branch the power to arrange treaties, but treaties must be submitted to the Senate for ratification. Executive agreements may also be made with other countries. Legally and bibliographically executive agreements are similar to treaties. The major difference between treaties and agreements is that agreements do not require Senate ratification. Most of the sources listed in this handout cover both treaties and executive agreements.

CONTENTS:

  1. Indexes to United States Treaties in Force
  2. Recent Treaties not yet Published in the TIAS Series
  3. Treaties from 1950 to recently
  4. Treaties from 1776 to 1949
  5. Unperfected" Treaties from 1776 to 1976
  6. Native American Treaty Sources
  7. Worldwide Treaty Sources
  8. Specialized Treaty Collections
  9. Guides and Bibliographies

I. Indexes to United States Treaties Currently in Force

U.S. Department of State. Office of the Legal Advisor. Treaties in Force: A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1929- .
[Online version from Hein], 1955-present, plus 1929,32,41
Online version from State Department (current)
[Print: Van Pelt Library Stacks: JX 236 1929c; latest in Reference] Library has: 1941,1955-1956,1958-1970,1972- - .
This annual publication lists treaties and agreements currently in effect to which the United States is a party. TIF provides access to bilateral treaties by country and, within country, by broad subject; access to multilateral treaties is only by broad subject. Citations are provided so that researchers may locate the text of the treaty. Later modifying agreements are given with each original reference. When the status of a treaty is in doubt, contact the Office of Treaty Affairs at the Department of State.
A Guide to the United States Treaties in Force . Buffalo, N.Y., W.S. Hein, 1982- .
[Online version from Hein]
[Print: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: JX 236.5 G84; latest, earlier in stacks 1984,1987,1989- .
[Print: Biddle Law Library: JX 236.5 G8]), 1982-
This commercially published annual guide is based on information about treaties and agreements found in the State Department's annual Treaties in Force (above). The purpose of the Guide is to supplement retrieval approaches available in Treaties in Force. Part I provides numerical lists of treaties and agreements. Part II provides country and subject lists of bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements. Part III provides a chronological index and directory of multilateral treaties by countries, sub-arranged by subject.

2. Recent Treaties not yet Published in the TIAS Series

Researchers may have to wait several years after a treaty is signed before it is published as a slip treaty in the TIAS series. During the period before official publication it may be possible to locate a treaty or agreement if it has been published in a periodical or as a Senate Treaty Document. Listed below are the major sources and indexes for unpublished and unnumbered treaties.

ProQuest Congressional.
[Select: Congressional Publications]
For citations to Treaty Documents, Executive Messages, Executive Reports, Hearings, Legislative Histories, and Prints, search under the descriptor: "treaties and conventions" combined with other keyword(s). [Note: All United States treaties must be ratified by the Senate. Senate Treaty Documents are used to transmit the text of a treaty from the President to the Senate. Prior to 1981 Senate Treaty Documents were called Executive Documents. Executive Documents were first made available to depository libraries in 1977 and became part of the Serial Set beginning with the 96th Congress. Senate Treaty Documents are first published as pamphlets which are retained until they are reprinted as part of the Serial Set].

[Some Treaty Documents online via FDsys]
Currently, treaty documents are searchable from the 104th to the current Congress and include the Secretary of State's Letter of Submittal to the President, the President's Letter of Transmittal to the Senate and a PDF file of the treaty text.

International Legal Materials. Washington, D.C., American Society of International Law, 1962-
[Online version from Hein], 1962-. ILM is a monthly periodical which frequently publishes the texts and drafts of treaties. Each volume has an annual index. Each issue has a detailed table of contents which makes it easy to locate the texts of treaties and agreements in that particular issue.

3. Treaties from 1950 to the present

United States. Treaties and International Act Series (TIAS) . Washington, D.C., GPO, 1946- .
[Online version from Hein], 1984-2006
[Print: Van Pelt Library Documents Room]
The TIAS series, prepared by the Department of State, constitutes the first official publication of United States treaties and agreements. The series consists of pamphlets (slip treaties) which are retained until they are reprinted in the bound, permanent United States Treaties and Other International Agreements. Treaties in the TIAS series are arranged by TIAS number.
United States. Treaties, etc. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST). Washington, D.C., GPO, 1950- .
[Online version from Hein], 1950-1984.
[Print:Van Pelt Library Stacks: JX 231 A34], 1950-1984.
Several years after they appear as a pamphlets in the TIAS series (above), treaties are reprinted in the permanent, bound United States Treaties and Other International Agreements series Arrangement in Treaties and Other International Agreements is numerical, following the numbering used for the pamphlets in the TIAS series. Each annual volume includes subject and country indexes. A table of contents in each volume lists treaties in numerical order. TIAS numbers may be identified by using the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications.
KAV Agreements.
U.S. treaties and executive agreements since 1950 not published in UST or TIAS. Documents are assigned KAV numbers. Most KAV documents will eventually be published in UST or TIAS.

4. Treaties from 1776 to 1949

United States. Treaties, conventions, international acts, protocols and agreements between the United States of America and other powers, 1776-1909. Compiled by William M. Malloy, under resolution of the Senate of Jan. 18, 1909. Washington : G.P.O., 1910.
[Online version from Hein]
Prepared under the direction of the Committee on foreign relations, United States Senate. The Department of state cooperated with the compiler in the preparation of this publication. Vols. [I-II] 1776-1909, compiled by William M. Malloy and issued as Senate document 357, 61st Congress, 2d session. Vol. III, 1910-1923, issued as Senate document 348, 67th Congress, 4th session, Denys P. Myers, co-editor. Vol. IV, 1923-1937, issued as Senate document 134, 75th Congress,contains a chronological index and an alphabetical index to the contents of vol.I-IV. Contents: pt. 1. Conventions in force pt. 2. Conventions not in force.
Kavass, Igor. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements Cumulative Index, 1776-1949. 4v. Buffalo, N.Y., W.S. Hein, 1975.
[Print: Biddle Law Library: JX 236.5 K38 1975]
This four-volume index lists documents in numerical order. It also provides detailed chronological, country and subject indexes. Treaties with Native Americans are not included. The index gives citations to Bevan's compilation (above), as well as to other major sources in which the text of treaties may be found.
United States. Treaties, etc. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949. Ed. Charles I. Bevans. 13v. Washington, D.C., GPO, 1968-1976.
[Online version from Hein]
[Print: Van Pelt Library Stacks: JX 236 1968 A5]
This is the definitive retrospective compilation of treaties and other international agreements entered into by the United States from 1776 to 1949. Treaties with Native Americans are not included. Volume thirteen is an index to countries and subjects.
Collection of neutrality laws, regulations and treaties of various countries . Edited and annotated by Francis Deak and Philip Jessup. Washington, D.C. : Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1939.
[Online version from Hein]
[Print: LIBRA: 341.3 D3421]
This material which includes laws, regulations and treaties covering the period from 1800 until October 1, 1938, has been assembled in the course of the preparation of a draft Convention on Rights and Duties of Neutral States in Naval and Aerial War for Research in International Law, under the auspices of the Faculty of the Harvard Law School.--Pref.

5. Unperfected Treaties from 1776 TO 1976

United States. Unperfected Treaties of the United States of America, 1776-1976. Ed. and annot. by Christian Wiktor. Dobbs, Ferry, N.Y., Oceana, 1976-1994. 9 vols.
[Print: Biddle Law Library: JX 236 1976], vol 1-9.
The term "unperfected" refers to treaties or agreements which have been signed by the United States, or have been submitted to the Senate, but which have failed to go into force. The collection is arranged chronologically by date of signature. Each volume has an index for countries and subjects. For a list of treaties currently awaiting Senate ratification, consult the Congressional Index described in Section I of this bibliography.

6. Native American Treaty Sources

Treaties were made between the United States government and American Indian tribes until 1871. In 1871 Congress passed a law which said that Indian tribes were no longer to be recognized as independent nations with whom treaties could be made. For additional sources, search Franklin under the subject heading: Indians of North America--Treaties--

Treaties with American Indians : an encyclopedia of rights, conflicts, and sovereignty. Donald L. Fixico, editor. Donald L. Fixico, editor.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Reference: KF8203.6 .T74 2008], vol 1-3.
United States. Laws, statutes, etc. Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Washington, DC., GPO, 1975- .
[Online version from Hein]
Print: [Print: Van Pelt Library Stacks: KF 8203 1975, v.1-7]
This compilation includes treaties, laws, executive orders, and other matters relating to Indian affairs. Volume two contains treaties, arranged chronologically. Each volume has an index. Commonly referred to as the Kappler report.
Avalon Project: Treaties Between the United States and Native Americans

Cohen, Felix S. Handbook of Federal Indian Law . Washington, D.C., GPO, 1942. Reprint. New York, AMS, 1972. 662p.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Stacks: KF 8205 C6 1972;
Chapter three covers treaties. Texts are not included.
Vaughan, Alden T., ed. Early American Indian Documents: Treaties and Laws 1607-1789. Washington, DC., University Publications of America, 1979-
[Print: Van Pelt Library Stacks: KF 8202 1979], Library has: v.1-4, v.16-20.
This work-in-progress has volumes for each colony. Includes treaty texts.
De Puy, Henry F. A Bibliography of the English Colonial Treaties With the American Indians. New York: Lenox Club, 1917. Reprint. New York: AMS, 1971.
[Print:Van Pelt Library Stacks: Z 1209.2 U5 D44 1971]
Arranged chronologically. Citations to texts are given. Synopses are provided.

7. Worldwide Treaty Sources

United Nations Treaty Series UNTS
a collection of treaties and international agreements registered or filed and recorded with and published by the Secretariat since 1946, pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter. The UNTS includes the texts of treaties in their authentic language(s), along with translations into English and French, as appropriate. The Covenant of the League of Nations required that treaties and international agreements entered into by its members be registered with the Secretariat of the League and be published in the Treaty Series. Treaties were published in the order of registration. English and French translations of each treaty in the series are provided. Although the United States was not a member of the League, its treaties appear in this series. Print version in LIBRA Storage.
Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General
Identifies the status of multilateral treaties in the Treaty Series of the United Nations and the League of Nations as of December 31 of each year. Citations are given to the text of each treaty.
United Nations International Human Rights Instruments

International Legal Materials. Washington, D.C., American Society of International Law, 1962-
{Online version from Hein], 1962-. ILM is a monthly periodical which frequently publishes the texts and drafts of treaties. Each volume has an annual index. Each issue has a detailed table of contents which makes it easy to locate the texts of treaties and agreements in that particular issue.

The Consolidated Treaty Series. . Ed. and annot. by Clive Parry. 231v. plus appendixes. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., Oceana Publications, 1969-1981.
[Print: Biddle Law Library: JX 120 P35]
This series attempts to collect the texts of all treaties dating from 1648 to 1919. Texts in their original language. If an English or French translation was available, it is included along with the original text. If a translation was not available a summary in English is provided. The arrangement is chronological with appendix volumes for treaties which were overlooked when the initial volumes were published.
Index-Guide to Treaties. 22v. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, 1979-1986.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Reference: JX120 .P352], vol 1.
[Print: Biddle Law Library: JX 120 P352]
This index is based on the Consolidated Treaty Series (above). It gives references to CTS as well as to earlier series. The index volumes provide a chronological list of treaties and alphabetical access by party. A separate section provides a chronology for colonial agreements and postal and telegraph agreements.
Rohn, Peter H. World Treaty Index. 2nd ed. 5v. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-Clio, 1983-1984.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: JX 171 R63 1983]
This index, produced by the Treaty Research Center at the University of Washington, provides access to 44,000 treaties from the period 1900 to 1980. It covers treaties in the United Nations Treaty Series, the League of Nations Treaty Series, national treaty collections, and other sources. Citations to the texts of treaties are given. Arrangement is chronological with indexes by party and key word.
United Nations. Office of Legal Affairs. Statement of Treaties and International Agreements. Monthly. New York: United Nations, 1947- . Library has: 1950- .
[Print: LIBRA: JX 170 U38, 1950-1995, Current 2 years in Reference]
This monthly publication lists treaties registered with the Secretary-General. Treaties are listed in order of registration. This is a useful source for identifying treaties during the lengthy period between their registration and their eventual publication in the Treaty Series. Each issue has an index by subject and country; the December issue has cumulative indexes for the year.

8. Specialized Treaty Collections

There are many specialized compilations of treaties which may be found by searching the library catalogs. A few are listed below.

Treaties and Alliances of the World. Comp. by N. Rengger and J. Campbell. 6th ed. London, Cartermill, 1995. 538p, maps.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: JX 4005 T72 1995]
Grenville, J.A.S. The major international treaties of the twentieth century: a history and guide with texts.London ; New York : Routledge, 2001.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: KZ64 .G74 2001]
Israel, Fred, ed. Major Peace Treaties of Modern History, 1648-1967. 5v. New York: Chelsea House, 1967-80.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Stacks: JX 121 I8]
Davenport, Frances Gardiner, ed. European Treaties Bearing On the History of the United States and Its Dependencies. 4v. Washington DC: Carnegie Institution, 1917-37.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Stacks: AS 32 A5 no. 254], vol. 1-4
Commission of the European Communities. Treaties Establishing the European Communities: ECSC, EEC, AEAC, Single European Act, Other Basic Instruments. Luxembourg: European Communities, 1987.
[Print: Lippincott Library Stacks: HC 241.2 T74 1987]

8. Guides and Bibliographies

Axelrod, Alan., American treaties and alliances. Washington, DC : CQ Press, 2000.
Print: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: KZ236 2000]

Burns, Richard D., ed. American foreign relations since 1600 : a guide to the literature. Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO Inc., 2007, c2003.
[Print: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: E183.7 .A567 2003], vol 1-2.

Cheney, Debora. "Post World War II Treaty Research Sources, Finding Tools, and Status Information Sources." Government Publications Review. Vol. 12, pp. 1-23, 1985.

Send mail concerning this Bibliography to: Joe Holub at holub@pobox.upenn.edu.

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