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Historic Documents from CQ Press

Published annually since 1972, the Historic Documents Series now contains 38 volumes of primary sources. Each volume includes approximately one hundred documents covering the most significant events of the year. These documents range from presidential speeches, international agreements, and Supreme Court decisions to U.S. governmental reports, scientific findings, and cultural discussions.

In the Historic Documents Series Online Edition you can find the entire collection of the acclaimed Historic Documents print editions. The online edition is clearly organized and easy to use. And since it contains more than 32,000 print pages, it is rich in its depth and wide in its areas of coverage. The online edition also provides you with many of the same features you find in other CQ Press Electronic Library products, such as Citenow!, Email this Document, and Print this Document. Like other CQ Press Electronic Library products, the Historic Documents Series Online Edition includes the Your Profile function where you can permanently save your favorite documents.

Searching the Historic Documents Series

Historic Documents Series Online Edition conveniently allows you to search for documents in multiple ways.

  • Key Word: Historic Documents Series Online Edition also offers key word searches that allow you to quickly search the running text of every article in the series. Your results can be sorted by the number of hits, date, or alphabetically by title. The advance search allows you to more specifically define the parameters of your key word search.
  • Browse by Title: By using the Browse by Title function, you can search through the Historic Documents Series Online Edition as you would the print books. After selecting a title, the title browse organizes the documents by the month of their release as the print books' table of contents does.
  • Browse by Topic: You may also find the Browse by Topic function helpful. Each document is organized in topical categories, which allow you to browse the Historic Documents Series' wide range of articles by the subjects that interest you. Selecting the See All Topics link will reveal the entire list of topics and subtopics in which the articles are sorted.
  • Cumulative Index: Historic Documents Series Online Edition also provides a cumulative index to help you navigate the entire series. From the cumulative index you can link from the page number listed to the exact section of the document you are looking for. Using the cumulative index you may find references not only to the particular document you seek but also to other entries on the same subject or related subjects.


Each article in Historic Documents Series Online Edition begins with an introduction that is presented in a shaded box. This introduction provides the historical and intellectual context for the selected document(s). Following the introduction you will find information regarding the source of the selected document(s).

The text that follows the shaded box is the official document. The spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of the original or official copy have been retained. Where the full text is not given, omissions of material are indicated by ellipses. Insertions with in the documents by the editors to clarify information are enclosed within brackets. Page numbers are listed in the running text to signify where each page of the print edition begins. These page numbers allow you to link from the cumulative index to the exact section of the document you are looking for.

The excerpting of Supreme Court opinions has been treated somewhat differently from other documents. In-text references to laws and other court cases have been removed to improve the readability of opinions. In these documents, ellipses are used to only to when sections of the narrative text have been removed.

Full citations appear at the end of each document. Many of the recent documents are available on the Internet, but if a document is not available online, this too is noted. Due to the changing nature of content online, some URLs may no longer be functional. For further reading on a particular topic, consult the "Other Historic Documents of Interest" section at the end of each article. These features provide cross-references for related articles throughout the series.


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September 13, 2010


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