The following tables are essential to trace the history of a particular Code section. The 1954 and 1986 Codes have similar section numbering, while the 1939 Code is numbered differently. Before the 1939 Code, there were individual Revenue Acts.
The Joint Committee on Taxation, a non-partisan congressional committee consisting of several members of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee, writes detailed analyses and explanations of recently-enacted federal tax legislation. Although not part of the legislative history, these explanations can be helpful for explaining and tracing the path of legislation through Congress and for giving the researcher an overview of adopted legislation. The Joint Committee's annual summaries of enacted tax legislation are called "Bluebooks."