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Government Documents & Microforms

A site dedicated to using government publications for research and other academic pursuits.


Debates, Proceedings, and Journals

The printed debates and proceedings in both houses have been issued since the first Congress. Their titles have changed several times beginning with the Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, Congressional Globe, and currently, the Congressional Record. The Congressional Record is issued every day Congress is in session with a printed index issued every two weeks. Each title includes separate indexes at the end of the bound volumes. This bound edition includes a separate section of member names and subjects and a History of Bills and Resolutions section arranged by number. The houses are required by the Constitution to keep journals of their proceedings, and these journals have been issued by each house since the first Congress. Earlier volumes of the journals were issued as House or Senate Documents in the Congressional Serial Set. The journals include a list of bills and resolutions introduced daily by number and title but not the bill/resolution text nor the text of hearing testimony, titles of memorials and petitions to congress, annual presidential messages, presidential veto messages, and other presidential communications to each house.


Congressional Record, Congressional Globe, Register of Debates, Annals of Congress, 1789 to present

DOC. X [congress and session], Basement Documents Stacks

With exceptions, a verbatim account of congressional proceedings. Contains four sections:

  1. proceedings of the House (edited debates, records of votes and legislative action, and the full text of many bills)
  2. proceedings of the Senate (edited debates, records of votes and legislative action, and the full text of many bills)
  3. extensions of remarks (undelivered texts members ask to be included with the record)
  4. Daily Digest (concise, factual record of daily activities)

Century of Lawmaking from Library of Congress

Search Tools for Debates

Congressional Publications Indexes and provides full text from the Congressional Record (1985-). 

Tips: Select all available dates or limit to date range. Can also limit by specific Congress.

Connect series of search terms with the word and

A Century of Lawmaking from Library of Congress -- Indexes and provides fulltext of Congressional Record's predecessors dating from 1774 through 1875.

Tip: Take advantage of the limit features available (limit by Congress and by title) and to search by phrase.

Print Indexes -- Basement Documents Stacks, X. For dates where online indexing is not yet available (1875-1984) , use print indexing found either at the beginning of each bound volume or at the end of each year. 

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