Official codifications are compilations of the laws in force, arranged in a systematic way and approved by the Texas Legislature. These state-approved codifications first began to be published in 1856. Request at the front desk.
The legislature authorized the revision of the statutes and eventually adopted two codes—Penal and Criminal Procedure. Often cited as "O.C." These two codes were the first official codified statutes produced by the legislature.
Beginning in 1879, the Texas Legislature approved the Revised Civil Statutes in addition to the body of criminal statutes. Available adjacent to the reference desk and online from the library's website.
Vernon’s Texas Statutes Annotated, 1925-current
Often referred to as “Vernon’s black statutes”, so named for its black binding and original publisher. Vernon published the Texas statutes for 40 years before being absorbed by the West Publishing Company in 1969, but the statutes are still known by this nickname. Current statutes available in the South Reading Room. Request prior versions at the reference desk. 1987-current available at library computers via Westlaw.
Vernon’s Centennial editions, 1936-1974
Unannotated recompilations sometimes called the “red statutes”—also derived from the color of the binding. Only 1936 and 1948 republish all articles in force with accompanying supplements providing updates for the interim years. Available adjacent to the reference desk.
West’s Texas Statutes and Codes, 1974-current
Unannotated recompilations. For the period 1974-1984, only the 1974 and 1984 editions are full recompilations, with supplementary volumes providing updates for the interim years. From 1985 to present, the volumes are published every two years. 1974-84 available adjacent to the reference desk. Current statutes available in the South Reading Room. Request other years at the reference desk.
The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.
Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.
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