Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Treaty Research

This guide describes resources and methods for locating and updating treaties of the United States and other countries.

Finding Citations to Full-Text Sources for Bilateral Treaties

Treaty indexes are used to locate citations to full-text treaty sources.  Most treaty indexes focus on multilateral treaties or on treaties concluded by a particular jurisdiction.  Only a few indexes that are worldwide in scope include citations to both bilateral and multilateral treaties.  Those that do are described in the table below.

Title & Description Dates of Coverage Print Holdings Online Access
Cumulative Index to the U.N. Treaty Series
The U.N. Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.) contains the full texts of more than 100,000 bilateral and multilateral treaties that have been registered or recorded with the U.N. from 1946-present.  Each issue of the Cumulative Index to the U.N.T.S. covers a specific date range (corresponding to a range of U.N.T.S. volume numbers) and is divided into two sections.  The first section (Chronological Index) lists treaties by date of adoption or signature and includes updates for older treaties.  The second section (Alphabetical Index) lists treaties by subject and by country.  Each entry includes the volume of the U.N.T.S. in which the full text of the treaty appears and/or the registration number of the treaty.
1946-present. KZ171 .U512 1999 U.N. Treaty Collection
Each issue of the Cumulative Index to the U.N.T.S. can be downloaded in PDF format.  To search for the name of a treaty or by keyword across all issues of the index, it is preferable to use HeinOnline (see below).

HeinOnline's World Treaty Library
The Cumulative Index to the U.N.T.S. is one of several treaty indexes and collections included in Hein's World Treaty Library.  By default, all available sources are searched.  To search only the Cumulative Index to the U.N.T.S., you must highlight it in the list of sources.  Citations retrieved in search results include direct links to treaty texts.
Rohn's World Treaty Index
This five-volume set includes both bilateral and multilateral treaties concluded between 1900 and 1980, along with a few treaties from the 19th century.  Treaties are arranged chronologically by date of signature.  Each entry provides basic information about the treaty and citations to one or more full-text sources.  Volume IV contains a party (country) index, and Volume V contains a subject (keyword) index.  This resource has not been updated since the second edition was published in 1983.
1900-1980. REF KZ173 .R63 1983 HeinOnline's World Treaty Library
Rohn's World Treaty Index is one of several treaty indexes and collections included in Hein's World Treaty Library.  By default, all available sources are searched.  To search only Rohn's World Treaty Index, you must highlight it in the list of sources.
FLARE Index to Treaties
Hosted by the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies in London, FLARE's searchable database includes important bilateral treaties concluded between 1353 and 1815, as well as significant multilateral treaties concluded from 1353 onward.  Each record in the database includes basic information about the treaty, including citations to full-text sources, and links for accessing the full text online, if available.
1353-1815. Online only. FLARE website
To search for bilateral treaties by state party, use the Advanced Search template.  The database is also searchable by keyword (free text), by title, by the location at which the treaty was concluded, and by the country or organization which serves as the depository for the treaty.