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Presidential Proclamations Project at the University of Houston



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Data Sources

Because the listing of presidential proclamations is accumulated from a variety of sources, several individual sources had to be searched to yield a complete record of proclamations from George Washington to Barack Obama. The sources used or consulted to compile these documents include: the Codification of Presidential Proclamations Disposition Tables, the United States Statues at Large, the United States Federal Code, the CIS Index to Presidential Executive Orders and Proclamations, the United States Federal Register, the Public Papers of the Presidents and the White House websites of Presidents Bush (43) and Obama.

Also included in the database are records from the CIS that are functionally proclamations but are not necessarily called proclamations. For instance, several “official” proclamations include calls by the president to convene a special session of Congress or enter into a treaty. Therefore, to make presidential actions comparable over the dataset, we have included these as part of the universe of data (but, if desired, these can be excluded from a search query). Therefore, the following entries from CIS are recorded in the data set:

Code “PR” – Numbered Proclamations (1789-1983)
From the CIS Index: “Numbered Proclamations were filmed from CFR Title 3 and the Statues at Large. Eighty proclamations not included in Statutes at Large were found and filmed from Messages of the Presidents, edited by James Richardson, and from Records of the General Government (NARA RG 11).”

Code 34 – Proclamations Relating to Public Lands (1813-1892)

Code 35 – Proclamations Relating to Public Lands (1834-1907)

Code 20 – Messages and Papers of the Presidents (1789-1899)
From the CIS Index: “Presidential documents compiled under the auspices of a concurrent resolution passed July 27, 1894, 53rd Congress by James Richardson, published with the above title as Congressional Series volumes 3265-1 through 10, (1894-1899), (53-2) H. Misc Doc. 210 v. 1-10.”

Code 29 – Treaty Proclamations (1789-1983)
From the CIS Index: “These documents are the formal, final announcements and full text of Treaties, Conventions, and International Agreements as published in the Statutes at Large (1845-1950), and U.S. Treaties and Other International Agreements (1951-1983). The earliest Treaties were not printed in the Statues at Large in proclamation form, though they had been, in fact, proclaimed. Texts of these proclamations, when extant, have been found in the General Records of the U.S. Government (NARA RG 11).”

But, not included in the dataset are CIS Code 44 (Presidential pardons), except those which are officially issued as “proclamations.”


Other valuable sources to consult:

A guide on how to find executive orders and proclamations from the Albany Law School: http://www.albanylaw.edu/sub.php?navigation_id=849

Donna Bennett and Philip Yannarella, 1986, “Locating Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders – A Guide to Sources.” Legal References Services Quarterly 5 (2/3), Summer / Fall

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