News from the Library of Congress of interest to legal researchers. Federal Register volumes are now available in open access.
For researching federal administrative actions, the Federal Register is a crucial source. It is the official daily (business day) publication for Presidential Documents, Executive Orders, proposed, interim, and final rules and regulations, and notices by Federal Agencies, as well as notices of hearings, decisions, investigations, and committee meetings. The Federal Register has been published by the National Archives and Records Administration since 1936 and consists of several distinct parts. The final federal administrative rules are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations – commonly referred to as the CFR.
The historical collection starts with the first Federal Register in 1936 and contains all volumes through 1993. For more recent volumes, see federalregister.gov and FDSys (volumes 1994-2015). The Law Library of Congress website for the historical collection is www.loc.gov/collections/federal-register/.
A citation to the Federal Register– for example “77 Fed. Reg. 58945 (Sept. 25, 2012)”– gives you several pieces of information, including the volume number (in this example, the citation refers you to volume 77), the page number of that volume (here, page number 58945), and the date of the issue of the Federal Register where the publication appears (here, September 25th, 2012). The Law Library of Congress blog provides a Beginner’s Guide that may be of assistance with your research in the Federal Register.