Does the Law Library of Congress collect foreign official gazettes?

The Law Library of Congress has been collecting foreign official gazettes since the mid-nineteenth century and maintains one of the largest gazette collections in the world. Official gazettes are primary sources of law published by governments to disseminate new legislation, regulations, and decisions of governmental bodies. These publications may also contain other information including the text of international agreements, court decisions, official announcements, and government notices. For countries with civil law systems, the official gazette often serves as the sole source of the authoritative texts of laws until updated codes are published. In most countries, a law enters into force on the date of publication in the official gazette.

The Law Library's gazette collection includes current, historical, and subnational jurisdictions. The period of coverage varies by title. The Law Library has created an online tool, the Foreign Legal Gazettes Guide, which provides a simplified way to search the catalog records in the collection via an interactive map or by jurisdiction. The Foreign Legal Gazettes Guide is continually updated and as of early 2024, captures information for approximately half of the 240 jurisdictions for which the Law Library collects gazettes. For information on how to use the Foreign Legal Gazettes Guide, please consult the video at the end of this FAQ.

For links to gazettes freely available online, please also consult the Law Library's Guide to Law Online for the country you are researching. Information on a gazette can typically be found in the Legislative and Legal Guides sections of the Guide to Law Online for each country.

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Last Updated: Jul 11, 2024
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