Congressional Information

Importance of Congressional Reports & Documents

Congressional Documents

The Congressional Documents collection consists of House Documents, Senate Documents, and Senate Treaty Documents. House and Senate documents contain various kinds of materials ordered to be printed by both chambers of Congress. Documents can include reports of executive departments and agencies, as well as committee prints, that were ordered to be printed as documents. Senate Treaty Documents contain the text of a treaty as it is submitted to the U. S. Senate for ratification by the President of the United States. (source)

Congressional Reports

Congressional reports originate from congressional committees and deal with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. There are two types of reports:

  • House and Senate Reports: Reports of congressional committees concerning proposed legislation and/or contain findings on matters under investigation.
  • Senate Executive Reports: Reports of the Committee on Foreign Relations relating to treaties between the United States and foreign nations which have been submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification, or are reports of various Senate committees regarding nomination of individuals. (source)

US Congressional Serial Set

Commonly referred to as the Serial Set, this began publication in 1817 (15th Congress). Documents before that are found in the American State Papers. The Serial Set contains the reports and documents of the House and the Senate. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, executive branch materials (e.g. annual reports) were also published in the Serial Set.

The serial number is a unique number applied to each book in the series of congressional publications running consecutively from the 15th Congress on. The serial number may be useful for locating items, but not for citation. The documents and reports series have three numbers:

  • an individual report or document-publication number
  • a volume number of each series for each session of Congress, and
  • the serial number

Documents and reports can be located using the volume or serial number but should be cited using the publication number and Congress and session number. (source)

Finding Congressional Reports & Documents

You can find congressional reports and documents through these sources:

DOCUMENTS

FDsys (GPO) Congressional Documents (1985 - present)

ProQuest Congressional [NPS only] (1789 - present)

REPORTS

FDsys (GPO) Congressional Reports (1995 - present)

ProQuest Congressional [NPS only] (1789 - present)

SERIAL SET

ProQuest Congressional [NPS only] (1789 - present)

American Memory (Library of Congress) - only portions are currently available