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State Constitutions: Secondary Sources

Information on researching state constitutions and their history. Includes a 50-State A to Z list of resources for finding the full text of state constitutions, information on amendment process, pending and historical amendments, artifacts and documents.


Book of the States (annual), Council of State Governments.  The first chapter focuses on constitutions and provides a narrative survey of current developments in state constitutional law, accompanied by tables on topics such as the length of each constitution, dates of adoption, and amendment procedures. 

  • Locations:
    • JK 2403 .B6, (current edition is shelved in Reference)
    • Online [direct link]

Fundamentals of Legal Research (West)

  • The Constitutions chapter offers a general discussion of state constitutions
  • Location: General Collections KF 240 .J32 2002

Reference Guides To The State Constitutions of The United States (1990-date series, Greenwood Press), covers more than 40 states and provides a summary of each state’s constitutional history as well as a detailed analysis of the constitution, judicial interpretations, and references to books, articles, and other commentary on the constitutions.

  • Search IUCAT for individual titles (e.g., The Indiana State Constitution: A Reference Guide, or The Virginia State Constitution: A Reference Guide)
  • This series is now published by Oxford University Press as The Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States

State Constitutional Law in a Nutshell (West)

  • Includes a chapter on amendments to state constitutions
  • Location: current edition is shelved at the circulation desk


Law Journals

Find articles published in law journals, including those dedicated to and related to the topic of constitutional law:

Also, search in-state law journals, for example:

To find articles, use periodical indexes or search full-text databases:

  • Access Indexes and Full Text Sources from the Library's Online Resources page
    • Index to Legal Periodicals (H.W. Wilson) and LegalTrac (available for use only in IU Maurer School of Law)
    • HeinOnline
    • LexisNexis Academic
      • US Legal > Law Reviews > Limit to Constitutional Law
    • Westlaw (JLR, TP-ALL)
      • State Journal & Law Review Databases > Indiana Journals . . .  (IN-JLR)
      • Constitutional Law Reviews (CONLLR)

Bar Publications, Newspapers, Blogs

Other secondary sources to consider include bar journals, newspapers (legal and general), and blogs.