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When searching for treaties, it is necessary to determine which and how many sovereignties signed the treaty. A treaty may be bi-lateral, a treaty between two sovereignties, or it may be multi-lateral, a treaty among several sovereignties. Treaties may also be considered international, dealing with a topic common to all such as the law of the sea or drawn up by an international organization such as the United Nations. Treaties of which the United States is a signatory may be easier to find than those of which they are not a signatory.

The Library has a number of sources covering historical and current treaties.  Listed below are selected sources. Other sources may be found in the library catalog under the subject "Treaties-Collections," the name of the country with the subheading "Treaties" (e.g. "Canada-Treaties"), or the name of the treaty (e.g. "Treaty of Versailles"). Information on the treaty making process and how to do treaty research may be found in Treaties and Other International Agreements: The Role of the United States Senate: A Study (Govt. Pub. Y 4.F 76/2: S. Prt. 106-71 or, accessible at: and  also in ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law: Treaties (accessible at 

Finally, many sources publish historical treaties, still in force or not, but finding treaties signed within the past 5-10 years can be problematic. The finding aids listed in Recent treaties tab above may be of assistance. The text of all treaties are in English unless otherwise noted.


The guide is broken into the tabs:

United States treaties

International treaties

Treaties with Native American Nations

Treaties on Oceans

Recent treaties


These tabs feature reference resources, books, databases, and internet resources relating specifically to each respective kind of treaty.

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Deborah Mongeau's picture
Deborah Mongeau
University Libraries

Public Services Department

phone: (401) 874-4610

Created and Updated

Created: D. Mongeau, 8/05.

Updated: N. Ferreira 5/12.

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