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How to Locate a Treaty in HeinOnline

treaty is an agreement between two or more nations. Sometimes also called accordschartersconventionspacts, or protocols, treaties can either be bilateral (between two countries) or multilateral (between three or more countries). Let’s look at a few different methods for how to locate treaties in HeinOnline throughout various databases.

Video Tutorial

Watch this short tutorial to see all the different ways you can locate treaties in HeinOnline.

U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library

HeinOnline offers a comprehensive collection of all United States treaties in its U.S. Treaties & Agreements Library. This valuable database includes every treaty to which the U.S. has been a party, whether currently in force, expired, or not-yet-officially published.

U.S. Treaty Index Tool

Quickly pull up any U.S. treaty within this database by searching various metadata fields, including keyword, treaty number, party, relevant date, short title, and more. For example, let’s look for the Treaty of Ghent (signed Christmas Eve, 1814) which formally ended the War of 1812.

Enter the U.S. Treaties & Agreements Library. You will be directed to the U.S. Treaty Index tool. From here, you’ll see that you can search a variety of metadata.

image of metadata in U.S. Treaties & Agreements Library

If we knew the treaty number or citation, we could just easily enter it and bring up the document directly. Without that information, let’s enter what we do know into the search tool (keyword, country involved, and the signing date). 

Note: The signing date should be in the following format: YYYY-MM-DD.

image of search query in HeinOnline database

We receive one result in our search.

image of search result in HeinOnline

World Treaty Library

Perhaps we’d like to locate a treaty between nations other than the United States. If so, we’d want to navigate to the World Treaty Library. Right on the landing page, we are once again greeted with a treaty search tool.

image of search tool in World Treaty Library

This time, let’s say we’re interested in searching world treaties from a particular time period that address a specific subject.

We’ll enter a search that will locate treaties relating to the subject of “nuclear weapons” and signed between the end of World War II and the early 1990s.

image of search query in World Treaty library

We receive 165 results from this search. We can take a look at some of the treaty summaries to see if we find them interesting.

image of summary links in world treaty library

These summary pages provide all of the metadata surrounding the treaty, including the treaty’s legislative history.

image of treaty summary in world treaty library

United Nations Law Collection

HeinOnline also contains a dedicated database archive of major UN legal publications, including UN treaties—the United Nations Law Collection.

From the database homepage, you could enter a United Nations Treaty series citation or a League of Nations Treaty Series citation using the tools on the landing page, or we could perform an Advanced Search.

image of Finding aids in the United Nations Law Collection

Advanced Search

Let’s try out the Advanced Search to look for a specific human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In this database, we can type in the title of the treaty and select the “Treaty Publications” document type.

image of advanced search in United Nations Law Collection

This provides one result of the original treaty.

image of treaty in HeinOnline

Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: History, Culture & Law

Lastly, perhaps we would like to search for one of the many treaties between the United States and indigenous tribes of the Americas. One place where we could locate these treaties is within a HeinOnline database called Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: History, Culture & Law.

Navigate to the collection and select the Indigenous Peoples Treaties tab.

image of Indigenous peoples subcollection

From here, users will notice that they can either perform a search using the Indigenous Peoples Treaty Search tool, or they could browse treaties by Tribe or Date. When browsing, you will see that each treaty includes a handful of metadata points, including treaty number, tribe name, subject(s), and more.

image of treaty summary

Indigenous Peoples Treaty Search Tool

Entering a search into the Indigenous Peoples Treaty Search Tool works in much the same way as we’ve seen in the other databases so far. Let’s try entering a tribe name and subject, for example, and see what treaties we can find.

image of treaty search tool

We receive one result, in which we can see all of the associated metadata as well, including the list of U.S. and tribe signatories.

image of search result in indigenous peoples

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