Finding Treaties & International Agreements

NOTE: An updated version of this guide may be found at

Finding Treaties & International Agreements

Signing of the Treaty of Ghent, 1812

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NOTE: This guide aims to provide basic information on locating treaties and related material online and in Olin Library only. It should be noted that the Cornell Law Library holds an extensive collection of resources in this area, and with only a few exceptions they are not included here.

Reference & Historical Resources

  • Encyclopedia of Historical Treaties and Alliances. New York : Facts on File, c2001. Description: 2 vols. Olin Ref KZ1160 P48x 2001+
    Historical and analytical survey of treaties and alliances throughout history. Chronological arrangement.
  • Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements, by Edmund Jan Osmancyzk; edited and revised by Anthony Mango. New York : Routledge, 2003. 3rd ed. 4 vols. Olin Ref KZ4968 O84x 2003+
    Contains alphabetically arranged entries on terms, concepts, organizations, countries, agencies, and other subjects in the context of international relations and, in particular, of the United Nations. Some major documents (conventions, charters) are reproduced in full. References are appended to many entries.
  • The Major International Treaties of the Twentieth Century: a History and Guide with Texts, edited by J.A.S. Grenville and Bernard Wasserstein. London; New York: Routledge , c2001. 2v.Olin Ref JX171 G823 2001, also Law Ref KZ64 G74x 2001
    "Covers the period from 1900 to the present day... provides key sources as well as a guide to the documents, a path through them and essential data on the role, form and vocabulary of treaties in general. This global collection covers treaties of all aspects from political and economic agreements to environmental and human rights pacts." [publisher]
  • Multilateral Treaty Calendar = Re�pertoire des traite�s multilate�raux, 1648-1995, Christian L. Wiktor. The Hague ; Boston : M. Nijhoff Publishers ; Cambridge, MA, c1998.Olin Library Ref KZ118 W55x 1998 also Law Ref KZ118 .W55x 1998
    Chronologically lists multilateral treaties covering nearly 350 years, beginning with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 through December 1995, providing information on the location of their printed text in various collections, data on duration, depository arrangements, and status, as well as notes on their amendment, modification, extension, and termination. [from the Introduction] Indexed. Table of contents
  • The Penguin guide to the European Treaties: from Rome to Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Beyond, Clive H. Church and David Phinnemore. London: Penguin, 2002. Olin Ref KJE5076 C48x 2002
    Provides an introduction to the treaties of the European Union, including an historical overview, the complete text of the Treaty on European Union and other major instruments, with commentary.
  • Treaties and Alliances of the World [compiled by] N.J. Rengger,with John Campbell. Stockton Press, 1995. 6th ed. Olin Ref JX4005 T78 1995+, also Law Ref KZ1301 T73x 1995
    Provides an overview of "significant international, regional and bilateral agreements, throughout the world," as well as commentary on the changes that have occurred as East-West confrontations have diminished and analysis of the importance of treaties in the post-Communist world. Includes regional sections.

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United States Treaty Resources

NOTE: In the context of U.S. government practice, the basic distinction between a treaty and an executive agreement is that the former has been submitted to the Senate for advice and consent whereas the latter has not. Presidents may conclude executive agreements through statutory or Constitutional authority or by a prior treaty provision.

Treaty Series Numbers

Several different numbering systems are used to designate treaties and international agreements. The following chart identifies and defines the most commonly used document symbols.
Abbreviation Full Name Notes
AD Additional Documents used from 1776 to 1949 for US documents of a legal nature that do not have TS, EAS, or TIAS numbers
DOS Department of State internal number assigned by the DOS; may identify agreements that are not officially published and therefore do not have TIAS numbers; system used by Consolidated Treaties and International Agreements (CITA)
EAS Executive Agreement Series used from 1929 through 1945; replaced by TIAS
KAV Kavass Series used since 1950 for treaties and agreements which have not yet been published in the TIAS series
TIAS Treaties and Other International Acts Series used since 1946 for treaties and agreements issued singly as pamphlets (slips) by the Dept. of State
Treaty Doc. Senate Treaty Document number assigned to Senate Treaty Documents published in the U.S. Serial Set
TS Treaty Series official numbers applied to treaties and agreements by the Dept. of State through 1945; replaced by TIAS
UNTS United Nations Treaty Series many multilateral UN treaties to which the US is a party are included
UST United States Treaties & Other International Agreements used in the series of the same name; volumes published annually since 1950

*NOTE: Some formal treaties approved by the Senate may also be cited by Statute (Stat.) number, or, if rarely, by Public Law (P.L.) number.

Indexes & Finding Aids

  • CIS Index to US Senate Executive Documents & Reports: Covering Documents and Reports not Printed in the US Serial Set: 1817-1969. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Information Service, c1987. 2 vols. Olin Ref Z1223 A155
    Indexes documents relating to Senate action on treaties, nominations and other presidential submissions from the 15th Congress (1818) through the 91st, first session (1969) that were not published in the Serial Set. Indexed by subject, personal name, and Executive Document/Report number. Corresponding microfiche set: Senate Executive Documents & Reports, Olin Lower Level, Microfiche 879.
  • Current Treaty Index. Edited and compiled by Igor I. Kavass. Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S. Hein & Co., 1999- . 1 v. (loose-leaf) Olin Ref JX235.9 C32 (latest only)
    Companion service to: The United States treaty index : 1776- 1990 consolidation; and The United States treaty index: consolidation supplement 1. Published twice yearly, contains information on current actions by the U.S. on treaties and agreements (1) published in the Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) [see below], and (2) treaties and agreements not yet published in TIAS. Contains numerical, subject, geographical, and chronological (from 1948) indices, as well as a conversion tables to and from various number systems (KAV, TIAS, Senate Treaty Document) applied to treaties and agreements.
  • A Guide to the United States Treaties in Force. Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S. Hein Co., 1982- Olin Ref JX237 G94+ (Latest volume)
    "Contains status information about treaties and agreements reported to be effective so far as the United States is concerned in the corresponding edition of Treaties in Force [see below] published by the US Dept. of State." (Preface) Created to provide more access points (subject, date, etc.)than those in Treaties in Force.
  • Treaties in Force. Washington: U.S. G.P.O. Olin JX235.9 A33+ Latest volume (2006) online.
    _______________. Full Text Archives via Hein (1929, 1932, 1941, 1955 through 2005)
    An annual volume listing all bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements on record in the Dept. of State "which had not expired by their terms or which had not been denounced by the parties, replaced, or superseded by other agreements, or otherwise definitely terminated" as of January 1st of each year. (Title page) Arranged in two sections, bilateral and multilateral. Within each section arrangement is alphabetical by country, and then by broad subject. Use A Guide to the United States Treaties in Force, described above, for additional points of access to TIF.
  • United States Treaty Index: 1776-1990 Consolidation, compiled and edited by Igor I. Kavass. Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S. Hein, 1991- . 12 volumes. Olin Ref JX231 U58 1991; most recent set at Law Ref KZ235 U58 1991
    Provides numerical, chronological, geographical and subject indices. Has been updated several times since first publication, but Olin has only the original. Law Library has updates.

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Full-Text Sources

  • Consolidated Treaties & International Agreements. Current Document Service, United States. (CITA) [Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.]: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1990 - . Olin Ref JX236 1990 U58+
    "...includes, on a semiannual basis, newly concluded international agreements and formal treaties which have been signed and are pending ratification." [Foreward] Uses DOS numbering and its own CITA system. Indices provide access by numerical sequence, by country, by topic, and by other characteristics (e.g., references to older treaties). May not always be comprehensive.
  • KAV Agreements
    "Igor I. Kavass has spent much of his career identifying and obtaining treaties and agreements entered into by the United States since 1950 that have not yet been published in UST or TIAS, and assigning them a unique "KAV" number to aid in their identification. HeinOnline includes the actual texts of these KAV Agreements (in effect, becoming the first source for locating the text of unpublished U.S. treaties and other international agreements in one location), along with indexing provided by Kavass, to make HeinOnline the most complete collection of published and unpublished treaties and agreements in an image-based, fully searchable format. Most of the KAV treaties and agreements will eventually be published by the State Department in the Treaties and Other International Acts Series, but until they are, HeinOnline is your best resource for locating these important documents." (Hein web site)
  • Senate Executive Documents and Reports [microform]. [Washington, D.C.?]: CIS, [1987?] 1153 microfiches Olin Microfiche 879 (Lower Level)
    Indexed by CIS Index to the US Senate Executive Documents & Reports, Olin Ref Z1223 A155 (see above). Most documents in this collection are concerned with Senate consideration of treaties with foreign governments and with American Indian nations. Covers 1818 through 1969.
  • Treaties and Agreements Library.
    From Hein online. "Contains more than 18,000 records of treaties and agreements to which the United States has been a party....In addition to including the actual page-images of all published and in-force treaties and agreements to which the United States has been a party, HeinOnline includes the actual page-images of thousands of unpublished treaties and agreements that have been identified through the records of the United States National Archives and Records Administration, United States Senate Treaty Documents, the Freedom of Information Act, and several other official U.S. government sources. Finally, treaties and agreements that are no longer in-force are also available..." [site] See site for complete contents.
  • Treaties and Other International Acts Series. (TIAS) [Washington, D.C.?]: Dept. of State: U.S. G.P.O.Olin Ref JX231 A341
    Unbound, individual pamphlets (slip form) as originally issued. Olin Ref holdings begin where the latest bound volume of United States Treaties and Other International Agreements [see below] leaves off (TIAS number 11060, dated 1982). Treaties received in 2006 so far are 10 years behind.
  • Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949.(aka Bevans) Compiled under the direction of Charles I. Bevans. Washington, D.C. : Dept. of State: U.S. G.P.O., 1968-1976. 13 volumes. Olin Stacks JX231 A33+
    An update to Malloy (see below) covering eleven additional years. In effect continued by United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST).
  • Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements Between the United States of American and Other Powers, 1776-1937. (aka Malloy)
    Digitized, searchable and browseable edition of the 4-volume set issued by the GPO between 1910 and 1938 as Senate Documents. First two volumes were compiled by William M. Malloy and therefore the whole set is often cited as "Malloy." Volume four contains a chronological list of treaties. Olin Library has volumes 1 and 2 (Olin JX236 1910), but Law has all four (LAW JX236 1910).
  • United States Treaties and Other International Agreements. (UST) Washington, D.C.: Dept. of State :U.S. G.P.O., Vol. 1 (1950)- . Olin Library JX231 A34 +; last volume in Ref
    Hardbound set that chronologically collects all the individual TIAS (Treaties and Other International Acts Series) pamphlets. Arranged by TIAS number. Like TIAS, it runs many years behind. Vols.1-34 cover 1950-1981/1982; vol.35:pt.1-6 covers 1982/1983-1983/1984. Available online, 1950 - 1984, from Hein.
  • Unperfected Treaties of the United States of America, 1776-1976, edited and annotated by Christian L. Wiktor. Dobbs Ferry, N. Y. : Oceana Publications, 1976-1994. 9 vols. Law Library KZ236 1976
    Annotated set containing text of treaties that did not receive Senate approval or were not ratified by the President. Contents: v. 1. 1776-1855 -- v. 2. 1856-1882 -- v. 3. 1883-1904 -- v. 4. 1905-1918 -- v. 5. 1919 -- v. 6. 1919-1925 -- v. 7. 1926-1945 -- v. 8. 1946-1964 -- v. 9. 1965-1976. Indexed.

Online Full-Text Finding Chart for U.S. Treaties & Agreements

Dates Online Source for Full-Text
1776 - 1949 Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949. (Bevans)
1778 - 1949
(Treaties only)
in (1) Statutes at Large via Congressional Universe
    (choose "Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws" from left column --> check "Statutes at Large" on Keyword screen)
and in (2) American Memory (1778-1875)
1950 - 1984 United States Treaties and Other International Agreements. (UST)
1982 - ten years ago Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS)
1981 - date
(Treaties only)
in the Serial Set via Congressional Universe
Choose Advanced Search --> Check off "House & Senate Documents" --> enter "treaty doc" in first search box
1987 - most current available KAV Agreements

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Related Materials

  • Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1789-1875 online.
    "From its inaugural session, in addition to its legislative journal, the Senate has maintained a separate record of its executive proceedings that relate to its functions of confirming presidential nominees and consenting to the making of treaties. The Senate Executive Journal was not made public until 1828, when the Senate decided to print and publish the proceedings for all the previous Congresses and thereafter to publish the journal for each session at its close." [American Memory] Searchable and Browseable.
  • Treaty Actions. Dept. of State, 1997-2005. This site contains a record of actions taken by states in regard to international agreements. Compiled by the Office of Treaty Affairs.
  • Treaties defeated by the Senate: a study of the struggle between President and Senate over the conduct of foreign relations, by W. Stull Holt. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1933.
  • Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy: Documents and Commentary, edited by Elmer Plischke. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991. Olin Ref JX1405 C76
    Provides overview and analysis of US foreign policy development, both generally and in the context of specific areas and events. Supporting documentation is drawn from treaties, proclamations, Presidential doctrines, declarations, diplomatic exchanges and other sources. Indexed.

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Treaties with American Indians

Indexes & Finding Aids:

  • A Bibliography of the English Colonial Treaties with the American Indians: including a synopsis of each treaty by Henry F. De Puy. New York: Printed for the Lenox Club, 1917.
  • List of Indian Treaties: a memorandum and accompanying information from the chairman of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, to the members of the Committee, September 8, 1964. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1964. Olin Ref Z1209.2 U5 U58
    Contains chronological list with citations to Statutes at Large

Full Text:

  • Documents of American Indian Diplomacy: Treaties, Agreements, and Conventions, 1775-1979, [compiled by] Vine Deloria, Jr., and Raymond J. DeMallie. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, c1999. 2 vols.Olin stacks KF8202 1999+; Uris stacks KF8202 1999; also Law
    "Reproduced in this two-volume set are hundreds of treaties and agreements made by Indian nations--with, among others, the Continental Congress; England, Spain, and other foreign countries; the ephemeral Republic of Texas and the Confederate States; railroad companies seeking rights-of-way across Indian land; and other Indian nations. Many were made with the United States but either remained unratified by Congress or were rejected by the Indians themselves after the Senate amended them unacceptably. Many others are "agreements" made after the official--but hardly de facto--end of U.S. treaty making in 1871." (Publisher)
  • Early American Indian documents: Treaties and Laws, 1607-1789, general editor, Alden T. Vaughan. Washington D.C.: University Publications of America, c1979- . 20 volumes. Olin Stacks KF 8202 1979 +
    Contents: v. 1. Pennsylvania and Delaware treaties, 1629-1737 -- v. 2. Pennsylvania treaties, 1737-1756 -- v. 3. Pennsylvania treaties, 1756-1775 -- v. 4. Virginia treaties, 1607-1722 -- v. 5. Virginia treaties, 1723-1775 -- v. 6. Maryland treaties, 1632-1775 -- v. 7. New York and New Jersey treaties, 1609-1682 -- v. 8. New York and New Jersey treaties, 1683-1713 -- v. 9. New York and New Jersey treaties, 1714-1753 -- v. 10. New York and New Jersey treaties, 1754-1775.-- v. 11. Georgia treaties, 1733-1763 -- v. 12. Georgia and Florida treaties, 1763-1776 -- v. 13. North and South Carolina Treaties, 1654-1756 -- v. 14. North and South Carolina treaties, 1756-1775 -- v. 15. Virginia and Maryland laws -- v. 16. Carolina and Georgia laws -- v. 17. New England and middle Atlantic laws -- v. 18. Revolution and confederation -- v. 19. New England treaties, southeast, 1524-1761 -- v. 20. New England treaties, north and west, 1650-1776.
  • Indian Affairs Laws and Treaties Compiled by Charles J. Kappler. Washington: GPO, 1904 -. 7 volumes.
    Volume two contains treaties from 1778 - 1883. Also available online from LLMC
  • United States Statutes at Large, compiled, edited, and indexed by authority of Congress under the direction of the Secretary of State. Washington : U.S. G.P.O.
    Volume 7 contains the text of treaties with American Indians for the years 1789-1842.

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International Treaty Resources

Indexes & Finding Aids

  • Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status, compiled and annotated within the University of Nottingham Treaty Centre by M.J. Bowman and D.J. Harris. London : Butterworths, 1984 (with supplements).Olin Ref JX171 M96 1984, and Law Ref KZ118 B69 1984 (Law's is more up-to-date)
    This compendium of "essential facts" about "the most important multilateral treaties" provides a chronological list as well as subject and keyword indices. Law's holdings extend to 1994.
  • World Treaty Index, Peter H. Rohn. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio Information Services, c1983-c1984. 2nd ed. 5 vols. Olin Ref JX171 W92 1983++
    Lists more than 44,000 treaties covering the period 1900 - 1980, including 5,000 League of Nations treaties and 17,000 from the United Nations. The rest come from both official and unofficial national treaty collections. Contents: v. 1. Reference volume -- v. 2. Main entry section, pt. 1, 1900-1959 -- v. 3. Main entry section, pt. 2, 1960-1980 -- v. 4. Party index -- v. 5. Keyword index.

Full Text Sources

Some important international treaties may be published and cataloged separately. Search the Library Catalog using name of the treaty as title, or try a Subject Heading search under the name of the country followed by the subheading "treaties" (e.g., Mexico--treaties). The texts of many treaties are available through Google as well, but the usual caveats apply.

  • The Consolidated Treaty Series. Edited and annotated by Clive Perry. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., Oceana Publications [1969- .] 231 volumes. Olin stacks JX170 P26 1969
    Covers the years 1648 - 1920. "The present series ... is proposed ... to make a beginning with the year 1648 ... and, for the period between that year and the date of commencement of the League [of Nations] series (approximately 1918-20), to reproduce such prints of treaties in their original languages as can be found in whatsoever collection along with such translations into English or French as again ... can be found."
  • EUR-Lex (Treaties) Luxembourg: European Communities, c1998- .
    EUR-Lex section for EU treaties. "From this page you can access the basic legal texts on which the European Union and the European Communities are founded: the founding Treaties (original versions and later updatings), the amending Treaties, the Accession Treaties for each of the five enlargements, plus other essential documents such as the Constitution." (web site) Searchable.
  • League of Nations Treaty Series: publications of treaties and international engagements registered with the Secretariat of the League [microform]. Geneva : League of Nations, 1920-1946. Vol. 1 (1920)-v. 205 (1946). Law Library Microfiche 6
    1092 fiche; French and English; treaty texts also in original languages.
  • Peace Agreements Digital Library
    The Peace Agreements Digital Collection, part of the Margarita S. Studemeister Digital Library in International Conflict Management, strives to contain the full text of agreements signed by the major contending parties ending inter- and intra-state conflicts worldwide since 1989. It is a collection constantly under development by the Jeannette Rankin Library Program as a means to strengthen worldwide access to information on peaceful means to end international conflict.
  • The United Nations Treaty Collection.
    Includes online versions of the print publications: Multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General, which incorporates the detailed status of over 485 multilateral treaties, and: (United Nations) Treaty series, which contains the texts of over 30,000 bilateral and multilateral treaties in their authentic language(s), along with a translation into English and French, as appropriate, for those treaties registered with the Secretariat.

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Related Materials
Revised, 7/28/06
Fred Muratori

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