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Federal Legislative History Research

About the Congressional Record

The Congressional Record contains transcripts of floor debates and proceedings in both houses of Congress, including the text of some bills. There are two editions: daily and permanent. The daily edition is issued in paperback pamphlets, which are eventually cumulated into bound volumes. Pagination in the two is not the same. The Record publishes its own indexes. The fortnightly index gives a complete list of actions since introduction on every bill on which action was taken during that two-week period. At the end of the annual index is a History of Bills and Resolutions table. Our print copies of both editions of the Congressional Record are shelved with the U.S. Documents section on the second floor under the letter X.

To learn more about the Congressional Record and its predecessor publications consult this useful and highly recommended guide, "An Overview of the Congressional Record and Its Predecessor Publications: Research Guide" by Richard J. McKinney.  The guide is part of the LLSDC Legislative Source Book, published by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. 

Congressional Record (1873 - present)

The Congressional Record is the official transcript of debates of the House and the Senate, printed and distributed by the U.S. Government Printing Office. The Record is available in several formats, as are its indexes and predecessors. The tables below provide information on accessing the Congressional Record and its predecessors (Annals of CongressRegister of Debates and Congressional Globe) in the Law Library and on the web. The Congressional Record is also available at Government Publications Library.

        Access Notes: 
          = Available only to students, faculty, and staff of the U of M unless accessing from a U of M campus library. 
        UM Law only = Available only to students, staff & faculty of the U of M Law School. 

Congressional Record (Daily Edition)

1980 - current |  96th Cong., 2nd sess. - current | vol. 126 - current | Format: Web/PDF | HeinOnline 

1983 - current | 98th Cong. - current | vol. 129 - current | Print | See Reference Office for holdings & location

1985 - current | 99th  Cong. - current | vol. 131 - current | Format: Web | ProQuest Congressional 

1985 - current | 99th Cong. - current | vol. 131 - current | Format: Web | Westlaw UM Law only

1989 - current | 101st Cong. - current vol. 135 - current | Format: Web/PDF |

1989 - current | 101st Cong. - current | vol. 135 - current | Format: Web | Lexis Advance UM Law only

1994 - current | 103rd Cong., 2nd Sess. - current | vol. 140 - current | Web/PDF | GovInfo

Congressional Record (Permanent Edition)

1873 - | 43rd Cong. - | vol. 1 - | Format: PDF | HeinOnline 

1873 - | 43rd Cong. - | vol. 1 - | Format: PDF | ProQuest Congressional 

1873 - | 43rd Cong. - | vol. 1 - | Format: PDF | govinfo

1891 - current | 43rd Cong. - current vol. 135 - current | Format: Web/PDF |

Congressional Globe (1833 - 1873)

Register of Debates (1824 - 1837)

Annals of Congress (1789 - 1824)

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