Answered By: Kate Britt
Last Updated: Mar 03, 2022     Views: 23

For a collection of electronic treaty resources, check out the Treaties listing on the Library E-Resources page.

Sources of Treaties

To determine which treaty source should be cited, consult Rule 21.4.5 of the Twentieth Edition of the Bluebook. 

Some common treaty sources are the following:

For additional treaty sources, both official and unofficial, see Table T4 in the Twentieth Edition of the Bluebook.

Multilateral Treaties

If the treaty is multilateral (has more than two signatories), there are a few different sources to consult.

  • Use Bowman & Harris, Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status for multilateral treaties dated before 1995 (REF COLL KZ118 .B68 1984x).
    • Use the word index in the back to find a number for the treaty you seek; then look up the number in the main part of the volume to get citations for the treaty.
    • This book is shelved with its 1995 supplement.
  • Alternately, try the latest edition of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (REF COLL KZ171 .M85x and Online).
    • Use the subject index in the back to find the treaty numbers for treaties corresponding with your subject. Look up each number until you find the correct treaty entry. The entry should give you information about where the treaty is published, as well as a list of the countries that have signed and/or ratified the treaty, the dates when they signed and/or ratified the treaty, and the reservations (if any) made by each country. 
  • Search the U-M Government Information Collection for additional electronic copies of multilateral treaties.

Treaties when the U.S. is a Party

  • If the treaty is currently in force for the United States (ratified by the U.S. Senate, not just signed by the U.S.), then consult Treaties in Force: A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States (REF COLL KZ 1301 .U53x and Dept of State Treaties in Force website).
    • Treaties are searchable by subject, treaty location, and country. Citation information is located with the entry for each treaty.
  • Alternately, consult United States Treaty Index, a brown, multi-volume set by Igor Kavass (REF COLL KZ 235 .U55 1991x suppl).
    • You can look up United States treaties chronologically, by country the treaty is with, and by subject.
    • When you find the treaty you want, note the Kavass (KAV) number. Look up the KAV number in the volumes marked with "KAV" on the binding.
      • If you see an "(M)" in the margin by your treaty, then the treaty is on the Kavass microfiche set (MICRO-10 S 408) and may be obtained from the Information Desk using a Microfiche request form.
      • If there is no "(M)" in the margin, the entry should list other sources that print the treaty. 
    • Kavass's Current Treaty Index is also available through HeinOnline U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library.
  • For information on Senate treaty activity during the current session of congress, use the Senate website.

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