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Government Documents: Congress

Library resource guide for U.S. Federal Government Documents

Recommended Resources: Legislative Branch

Congressional Bills/Laws, Hearings, Congressional Globe & Record, Reports & Documents

Congressional Hearings:
A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest. Most congressional hearings are published two months to two years after they are held.

Congressional Committee Prints:
Congressional Committee Prints are publications issued by Congressional Committees that include topics related to their legislative or research activities, as well as other matters such as memorial tributes.

www.govinfo.gov

GovInfo search example

At Govinfo.gov, use "Advanced" search; select "Congressional Hearings" and/or "Congressional Committee Prints" under "Refine by Collection"; enter search terms in box(es) under "Search In"; to narrow your results, click on the various links in the "Refine Your Search" panel on the left side of the Search Results page.
Search Within Results by clicking the checkbox under the Basic Search box in the Search Widget then entering additional search criteria. This takes the results of your previous search, and further filters the results. 

Search Help and Video Tutorials

About the Congressional Record
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. This site contains Congressional record volumes from 140 (1994) to the present. At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities. 

About the Congressional Record Index
The Congressional Record Index (CRI) serves as the index to the Congressional Record. When Congress is in session, the Joint Committee on Printing publishes the Congressional Record Index. In print, the Congressional Record Index contains both the index proper and the History of Bills and Resolutions. The History of Bills and Resolutions is a separate collection in govinfo. The index proper lists individuals, organizations, and topics mentioned in the Congressional Record. Each CRI entry refers to a page number in the Congressional Record and the date of the daily issue in the format "S1234 [19JA]" (page 1234 in the Senate section from the January 19 issue for that year).

About the Congressional Record (Bound Edition)
At the end of each session of Congress, all of the daily editions are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a permanent, bound edition.  

www.govinfo.gov

GovInfo Congressional Record search example

At Govinfo.gov, use "Advanced" search; select "Congressional Record" and/or the Index/Bound collection under "Refine by Collection"; enter search terms in box(es) under "Search In"; narrow your search by clicking on the various links in the "Refine Your Search" panel on the left side of the Search Results page.
Search Within Results by clicking the checkbox under the Basic Search box in the Search Widget then entering additional search criteria. This takes the results of your previous search, and further filters the results. 

Search Help and Video Tutorials

Congressional Reports and Documents become part of the U.S. Serial Set. The reports are usually from Senate & House Congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. Documents cover a wide variety of topics and may include reports of executive departments and independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations. 

McDermott Library currently has the print Serial Set located on the 4th floor Government Documents area shelves; it is not a complete set. Use the library's catalog, Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, or print indexes to help locate material.

www.govinfo.gov

GovInfo search example

At Govinfo.gov, use "Advanced" search; select "Congressional Documents" and/or “Congressional Reports” under "Refine by Collection"; enter search terms in box(es) under "Search In"; narrow your search by clicking on the various links in the "Refine Your Search" panel on the left side of the Search Results page.
Search Within Results by clicking the checkbox under the Basic Search box in the Search Widget then entering additional search criteria. This takes the results of your previous search, and further filters the results. 

Search Help and Video Tutorials

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Additional Resources

ProQuest Search Video Tutorials

Search for Documents, Print Books, Ebooks, Journal Articles and More Here

One-stop search for almost everything available at the McDermott Library, including non-EBSCO databases.

Finding Documents

GAO Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office, "GAO maintains archives of its published reports, testimonies, correspondence, and special publications, as well as legal decisions and opinions on this Web site. Most written products published after 1971 are available, as are some products issued as far back as 1922."

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