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The following is a selective list of sources for British statutes organized first by format and then by years of coverage. For a more detailed listing, see Guide to Law Reports and Statutes Reference KD 54 .S93x 1962.

Early British statutes are cited by regnal year without reference to calendar year. Regnal year refers to the year of a monarch’s rule. In order to locate a statute, you must first convert its regnal year into a calendar year by consulting a chart of regnal years (pdf). For example, 2 Hen. 5, c. 7 refers to the 7th act passed in the 2nd year of the reign of King Henry V which, according to the regnal year chart, was 1414. For a more detailed discussion British statutory citation, see How to Cite Legal Authorities by Derek French Reference KD 400 .F74x 1996. For an excellent introduction to British statutory research, see Researching Primary Legislation of the United Kingdom by Stephen Young.

Please contact the Langdell reference desk, (617) 495-4516, located just off the reading room on the fourth floor of Langdell Hall with any questions.

British Statutes in Print

The Statutes of the Realm
KD 130 1235 1993x Folio, Langdell Hall 1 North
Covers Magna Carta to the end of the reign of Queen Anne; originally published 1810-1823; facsimile edition published 1993; includes alphabetical and chronological indexes in volumes 10 and 11; does not include acts and ordinances from the interregnum, 1642-1660, for these, see below.

Statutes at Large (Ruffhead)
Special Collections, Primary UK Statutes, Langdell Hall 4 South
Edited by Owen Ruffhead; digitized copy available in the Eighteenth Century Collection Online; also available on microfilm in The Eighteenth Century collection, Microform Room, Drawer 91, Reels 678-682, Langdell Hall 2 North.

Statutes at Large (Ruffhead & Runnington)
Lamont Library, Government Documents, Br Doc 9000.210
Edited by Owen Ruffhead and revised by Charles Runnington.

Statutes at Large (Pickering)
Special Collections Rare UK 203P D62, Langdell Hall 4 South
Edited by Danby Pickering.

Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum
Special Collections Reference KD 130 1642, Langdell Hall 4 South.

Public General Statutes
1797-1850 in Special Collections (1842 missing); 1851-1860 at KD 124 .A2, Langdell Hall 1 North; 1801-1869 available in Microform Room, Drawer 220, KD 124 .A2.

Public General Acts
Microform Room, Drawer 220 (KD 124 .A2), Langdell Hall 2 North

The Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1807-1849 in Special Collections; 1850-1869 at Harvard Depository UK 203R E07. See Availability and click on Request to retrieve volumes.

Public General Statutes
1830-1849 in Special Collections; missing 1845; 1850-1865 KD 124 .A3, Langdell Hall 1 North

Public General Statutes
KD 124 .G73, Langdell Hall 1 North

Public General Acts
KD 124 .G74, Langdell Hall 1 North

Public General Acts and Church Assembly Measures
KD 124 .G74, Langdell Hall 1 North

1972 to Present
Public General Acts and General Synod Measures
KD 124 .G74, Langdell Hall 1 North
Includes tables and an index; volumes on the shelf are 1-2 years behind passage

British Statutes In Force

Current Law Statutes Annotated
KD 135 .C8, Langdell Hall 1 North
Annual volumes 1948 to present; 1948-1949 not annotated; kept up to date by current awareness service which includes table of statutes; progress of bills table; legislation not yet in force; index; legislation citator; statutory instrument citator; alphabetical table of statutes; subject guide; commencement diary; commencement orders; numerical table of statutory instruments; and recent statutes.

Halsbury’s Statutes of England and Wales
KD 135 .H3x 1985, Langdell Hall 1 North (Superseded volumes at the Harvard Depository)
Contains all statutes currently in force with annotations; kept up to date by replacement volumes and cumulative supplements; includes cumulative alphabetical list of statutes, a Noter-Up service, a Current Statutes Service, and a user’s guide

Statutes In Force (Raistrick)
Microform Room, Drawer 218, Langdell Hall 2 North, Finding aid in Mic. Ref. KD 132
Contains all statutes currently in force; produced from the official revised edition of Statutes in Force; updated quarterly

Chitty’s Collection of Statutes of Practical Utility
Harvard Depository UK 203C E80. See Availability and click Request to retrieve volumes from storage.
Good for historical research only. Contains statutes in force as of 1880; arranged alphabetically by subject, then chronologically; includes subject index and table of statutes in volume 6.

British Statute Finding Aids

Chronological Table of the Statutes
KD 142.3 G74, Langdell Hall 1 North
A comprehensive chronological listing of British statutes from 1235 through 2004.

Index to the Statutes
KD 142.4 I5, Langdell Hall 1 North
List of British statutes by subject covering acts from 1235-1990. Subjects vary in level of specificity.

British Statutes Online

Acts of the UK Parliament from Her Majesty’s Stationery Office
Browse first by year, then alphabetically by act name or numerically by act number; or search by keyword; Public Acts, 1988 to present; Local Acts, 1991 to present

U.K. Statute Law Database
This database contains the publication Statutes in Force (SIF), a ‘loose-leaf’ style official edition of the revised statute book arranged according to subject matter. SIF was regularly updated with the effects of new legislation made until 1 February 1991. The date of this final revision became the ‘basedate’ from which SLD has been taken forward. The SIF text in turn derived from a series of earlier official revised editions, principally The Statutes Revised . The main source of the original text of these editions was The Statutes of the Realm , published between 1810 and 1828, which contained the full text of public Acts of Parliament enacted up to 1713.

British and Irish Legal Information Institute
This database contains the full text of unconsolidated United Kingdom statutes from 1988 onward. Legislation can be browsed alphabetically or chronologically (from 1215 through 2006, but with large gaps in time periods), for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. The BAILII database can be searched by using its legislative search form.

LexisNexis Statutes of England and Wales (LexisNexis account required)
Halsbury’s Statutes of England and Wales; contains all statutes currently in force; about six weeks between passage of law and notation of its effect on current statutes.

LexisNexis Statutory Instruments of England and Wales (LexisNexis account required)
For England and Wales only, full text of all public statutory instruments currently in force, as well as recently enacted, but not yet in force secondary legislation. About six weeks between passage of law and notation of its effect on current statutes.

Westlaw United Kingdom Statutes (Westlaw account required)
Laws in Force consolidated by Sweet & Maxwell; 1267 to present.

Westlaw United Kingdom Statutes Historic (Westlaw account required)
Historic superceded Laws in Force consolidated by Sweet & Maxwell; 1992 to present.

Westlaw United Kingdom Statutory Instruments (Westlaw account required)
Ddelegated or secondary legislation; statutory instruments currently effective in the United Kingdom; 1948 to present.

Westlaw United Kingdom Statutory Instruments Historic (Westlaw account required)
Historical versions of delegated or secondary legislation in the United Kingdom; 1992 to present.


Written by Deanna Barmakian. Maintained by Terri Gallego-O’Rourke.