This brief guide provides a broad overview of the sources necessary or helpful to conduct treaty research. It covers background and definitional issues. This guide mostly covers information for researching treaties to which the United States is a party, but it also includes information useful for researching treaties to which the United States is not a party.
The Travaux Préparatoires are official documents recording the negotiations, drafting, and discussions during the process of creating a treaty. These documents may be consulted and taken into consideration when interpreting treaties.
Travaux préparatoires, also referred to as "negotiating history" and "drafting history," are the preparatory works, including documents, reports, minutes, drafts, and other materials, from the drafting and the negotiation of the treaty.