Regulatory History

Resources for Regulatory History -
Print and Electronic

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
The CFR is divided into 50 titles which represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each title is divided into chapters which usually bear the name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts covering specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided into subparts. All parts are organized in sections, and most citations to the CFR will be to the section level.


Federal Register

The Federal Register is the official, daily publication reporting the regulatory actions of the executive branch. In addition to notices of rulemaking and final rulemakings, the Register may contain items from the president (such as Executive Orders and Proclamations), guidelines issued by an agency, legal notices, and other documents of general interest.


Agency Guidance Documents

An agency guidance document is a memo developed by an agency that provides explanation of its interpretation of a statute or regulation. Guidance documents are not routinely collected or published. Try searching the EPA's Website or Google UncleSam.

IU Law Library Holdings

For earlier years you will need to use the print and microform versions.

Federal Register

Code of Federal Regulations

A guide to using the CFR and FR in print: Updating Federal Regulations by Joan Shear, Boston College law Library


Use GPO Access to browse or search the Federal Register from 1994 to the present, and the Code of Federal Regulations, including Title 40 Protection of the Environment, from April 1996 forward.

Use LexisNexis™ Congressional (formerly Congressional Universe) to browse or search the Code of Federal Regulations from 1981 forward, and the Federal Register from 1980 to the present.

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a a frequently updated version of the CFR. (It is not an official legal edition of the CFR.) Use the e-CFR to browse or search current CFR titles and amendments.

The Federal Register is available from Hein Online, Vols. 35 (1970) through 45 (1980), in PDF format.

Code of Federal Regulation Searching Steps:

  1. Search your choice of CFR books, available online
  2. Retrieve available CFR sections by citation
  3. Search the Federal Register for related documents

Federal Register Searching Steps:

  1. Check the volumes to be searched.
  2. In the Search Terms: box, type your citation inserting the term part before the section number, e.g., "40 CFR part 261.6"
  3. Search the Unified Agenda to find out what proposed rules might affect your CFR section in the next six months.
    Note: do not include the term "part" in your entry, e.g., "40 CFR 799.5"

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