This is the "Official Codified Laws" page of the "Historical Texas Statutes and Constitutions" guide.
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Historical Texas Statutes and Constitutions   Tags: historical research  

This legal research guide provides information on both official and unofficial codified laws, session laws, statutory revisions, and the constitutions.
Last Updated: Mar 23, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Official Codified Laws Print Page

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Official Codified Laws

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.

  • Old Code, 1856-57
    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.
  • Texas Historical Statutes: 1879, 1895, 1911 & 1925 editions
    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.
  • Texas Constitution and Statutes
    The Texas Legislature's webpage provides access to historical versions of statutes from 2004-current.

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at


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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