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This guide is a locator for the major publications of Congress. Many publications are not listed separately in Pegasus; to find references, go to ProQuest Congressional .
This database indexes most congressional publications (except the Congressional Record) from 1789 to present.
On this page:
Bills and Laws
When bills are signed by the President and become law, they are compiled into:
- U. S. Statutes at Large: Reference KF50 A3.
They are then included by subject in:
- United States Code: Reference KF62 1972 .L38
- Available online via FDsys (the official website of the Government Printing Office)
The Davidson Library keeps bills in microfiche from the 97th Congress, while bills from 1989+ can be found in ProQuest Congressional .
For earlier bills, identify through ProQuest Congressional or another source. For laws, locate the Statutes at Large citation and use the volumes in print or online to view the enrolled version. Older Congressional bills may be available in libraries with the CIS Microfiche Service (1933-2002), or from the Law Library of Congress which has bills going back to the 1800s. Early Congressional bills (1799-1873) can also be found in American Memory. The U.S. Senate Library is another potential source.
Hearings are the official record of a committee's proceedings on pending legislation or regarding national and international issues. They provide an opportunity for expert witnesses to present testimony and other information to members of Congress.
Testimony from selected hearings 1997+ can be found in FDsys.
Davidson Library has access to the Digitized Congressional Hearings prior to 2010 through ProQuest Congressional
Selected print hearings are located in the Government Information Center. To identify, check ProQuest Congressional or the UCSB Library catalog.
Congressional Serial Set
The Serial Set is basically comprised of the numbered Senate and House Documents and Reports which are bound by session of Congress, beginning with the 1st session of the 15th Congress in 1817. Also included are annual reports and statistical publications from agencies, and House and Senate Journals and administrative reports.
House and Senate Reports contain recommendations from committees to the House or Senate as a whole. These reports concern the findings of committee hearings or outcome of committee deliberations.
House and Senate Documents can contain materials such as Congressional rules and reports of investigations; special reports of executive branch agencies and independent establishments, reports of special investigations and research authorized by the President; reports of non-governmental organizations; or reports on committee activities.
The first 14 Congresses (1789-1816) were not part of the official Serial Set; these documents can be found in print through the American State Papers: Wyles Collection (Special Collections Library): J33 U5. The American State papers are also online through the Library of Congress.
Online: Coverage is available through the Archive of Americana (1817-1980) (UCSB login required)
Serial Set documents are also in microfiche or print in the Government Information Center. Reports from 1990 to present, and documents from 1995 to present, are full text in ProQuest Congressional . More information can be found on the Congressional Serial Set guide.
Senate Executive Reports and Documents
Executive Reports contain committee recommendations concerning the ratification of a proposed treaty or recommendations on a nomination. Executive Documents contain the text of a treaty as it is submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification by the President. Beginning 1981, they became known as Treaty Documents.
Senate executive documents and reports were not printed in the Serial Set until 1979. They can be identified through ProQuest Congressional, and requested from UCLA* for the years 1817-1969 via InterLibrary Loan
Include the title, CIS number, and under Other Information:
“U. S. Senate Executive Documents and Reports on Microfiche, UCLA MicroServ KF 40 C55”.
Committee Prints can contain draft legislation, situation reports, statistical information, historical information, or legislative analyses. They are often prepared by experts who make studies on aspects of a subject under committee investigation.
The Davidson Library owns many committee prints from the 1970s until present. Older prints are available from UC Irvine.
Recent prints are online:
Identify prints through ProQuest Congressional; then search the UCSB Library catalog for our holdings. If they are not at UCSB, request via InterLibrary Loan. Include title, CIS number, and under Other Information: “U. S. Congressional Committee Prints on Microfiche, UC Irvine Government Publications”.
Congressional Record and its Predecessors
The official record of the activities of Congress in the House and Senate, the Record is published in daily issues, which are later cumulated into annual bound volumes. There is a biweekly index to the daily issues; pagination changes when the annual index is created.
Predecessors of the Congressional Record were the
- The Congressional Globe (1833–1873)
- The Register of Debates (1824–1837)
- The Annals of Congress (1789–1824)
The Davidson Library owns the entire Congressional Record and Congressional Globe. We own an abridged edition of the Register of Debates and the Annals of Congress.
1977+ (95th Congress forward)
- Annual cumulated volumes on microfiche: Government Information: X 1.1: [Congress/session]
- Daily issues on microfiche: X 1.1/A:
- Indexes: Congressional Record Index (1983+)
- Congressional Record Index, 1957–96: Government Information Reference: X1.1:
- Fiche indexes to daily Record (1993+): biweekly, X1.1/A; filed at end of drawer
1873–1976 (43rd through 94th Congress)
- Microfilm, Government Information: X1.1/A:
- Index included as last volume of each annual cumulation
CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE: 1833–1873
The Globe is in print in the Special Collections Library, Wyles Collection: J 11 G5.
Available online at: Congressional Globe Home Page
ANNALS OF CONGRESS (1789–1824) and REGISTER OF DEBATES (1824–1837)
- Abridgement of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856: Main Library and Special Collections: J 15 .B4
- Annals of Congress online
- Register of Debates online
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