We are excited to announce that our newest database, State Constitutions Illustrated, is now available! Including more than 1,000 books and 770,000 pages of works related to each state’s constitutional history, this database is the most comprehensive state constitution research platform available! Not only does this database contain an extensive collection of pre-statehood primary material, but it is also composed of original and consolidated texts heavily annotated with references to case law. This database is perfect for anyone interested in comparative constitutional studies, the legal and political history of the United States, or state-specific research.
About the Database
HeinOnline’s State Constitutions Illustrated is a collection of the constitutions of the 50 states of the United States, together with related documents and resources. Containing the text of every constitution that has been in force for every state with the original, consolidated and current texts and an extensive collection of documents from before statehood, State Constitutions Illustrated provides comprehensive coverage and allows researchers to compare multiple editions from multiple sources. It currently has nearly 10,000 historical and current constitutions and constitutional documents, but if that isn’t enough to satiate your state constitution research needs, don’t worry—we’re adding more!
Using the Database
Selecting a State
The main landing page of State Constitutions Illustrated will bring users to a map view. To start your research, either stretch your geographical know-how and click the desired state on the map, or select the state name from the drop-down menu. Wondering about those black numbers on the map? The numbers and color coding denote the boundaries of the United States Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts.
Searching a state
Within each state, users can expand each section to view constitutions with their amendments, original text, and other related documents. Links to scholarly articles are also available. For example, click the [+] next to any section in the state of New York to see it expand.
Annotations from the Editor
Notice the blue icons displayed next to documents? These “More Information” links are provided for every constitutional document in State Constitutions Illustrated. The information within them was written by the database’s editor, helping guide researchers through the trove of documents provided. The information given includes:
- Full text of the document
- Official reference number
- Publication date
- Source location
- Adoption date
- Language of origin
- Language of document
Other Related Works and Scholarly Articles
State Constitutions Illustrated is more than the constitutions and amendments. Also included are hundreds of titles related to a state’s constitutional development. Each state has its own Other Related Works section that houses these titles. Scroll under the constitution listing inside any given state to view them.
Click the Scholarly Articles button found in each state for a curated list of scholarship related to its constitutional development. Users will be taken to a list of full-text articles, which can be sorted using the facets at the top of the page, by Article Title, Author, Most-Cited, Year (Newest First), or Year (Oldest First). View scholarly articles for the state of New York as an example.
About the Editor
Jefri Jay Ruchti provided his editorial guidance to help develop State Constitutions Illustrated. Named for John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruchti was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1949. He attended the University of Wisconsin, as had his grandfather, father, and brother, and also attended the University of Chicago. Ruchti began actively collecting the texts of historical and current constitutions in 1984, becoming an editor and translator under the mentorship of Gisbert H. Flanz (1916-2015), founding editor of Constitutions of the Countries of the World.
In addition to his academic work with constitutions, Ruchti has pursued an independent career as an artist, working primarily in dry media on Japanese paper, exhibiting his work widely in the United States. He lives with his wife, Leigh Whiteman, in Guilford, Connecticut.
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State Constitutions Illustrated LibGuide
The State Constitutions Illustrated LibGuide features database-specific content, search tips, tools, features, training materials, and more.