Skip to Main Content

The United States Constitution

The purpose of this guide is to provide information for researching the U.S. Constitution and its amendments.

Primary Sources

The following links below are primary sources that can be used to help gain a deeper understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

  • Constitution Annotated: Analysis and Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution
    • The Constitution Annotated provides a comprehensive overview of how the Constitution has been interpreted over time. The online Constitution Annotated includes discussions of the Supreme Court's latest opinions.
  • American Constitution: A Documentary Record
    • From Yale's Avalon Project, a collection of primary documents that influenced the U.S. Constitution, also with the text of the Constitution, the ratifying documents, and the Federalist Papers.
  • Constitutional Convention
    • This site details the Constitutional Convention with a daily timeline of events, major themes, Madison's Notes of Debates, and more.
  • Constitution of the United States: Charters of Freedom
    • Downloadable images of the Constitution, a transcript, and links to more information.
  • United States: The Constitution
    • From the Law Library of Congress, full text links to for the Constitution, Spanish translation, and constitutional interpretation on: executive privilege, military tribunals, national security, whistleblowers, presidential inherent powers, presidential signing statements, second amendment, state secrets privilege, war initiation, war powers, and war powers resolution.
  • Learn About the United States (U.S.) Constitution & More
    • The full text of many founding documents including the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. Secondary interpretation of the documents is also available.
  • Federalist Papers
    • Full text of the Federalist Papers. These 85 papers were written to advocate ratification of the Constitution and explain its meaning. Written anonymously, they are now known to have been written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Printed versions are available in the library collection.
  • National Constitution Center
    • The National Constitution Center brings together people of all ages and perspectives, across America and around the world, to learn about, debate, and celebrate the vision of human freedom, the U.S. Constitution.
  • The Founders' Constitution
    • This online version of the Founders Constitution is a joint venture of the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund.
  • Center for the Study of the American Constitution
    • The Center for the Study of the American Constitution (CSAC) is a non-profit, non-partisan center dedicated to serving scholars, educators, and students who are interested in the American Constitution in its historical context.

Washington as Statesman at the Constitutional Convention. Junius Brutus Stearns (1856). Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 50.2.1.​​​​​​​

The U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Amendments Read Aloud!

Provide Website Feedback
Accessibility Statement