Skip to main content

Federal Legislative History Research Guide: Finding Citations

Resources and process for locating the legislative history of a federal law.

Finding the Citations: Indexes and Aids

 ProQuest Congressional (access: restricted to Hastings students, faculty, and staff)
This subscription Internet database indexes the American State Papers (1789 -- 1838) and the 15th to current (1817 to current) Congressional Documents This index will help you find citations to reports, hearings, committee prints, and House and Senate documents, as well as the Congressional Record (1985 - current) and bills (1969 - current).
(Searching HInt:  Use the Advanced Search tab, which allows you to limit your search to the type of document you want, the subject, and, if known, the date or Congress.)

American State Papers are also available on the Library of Congress website.   

The Congressional Record is available online on HeinOnline, or at  KF35 .R5 in the 4th Floor Stacks.   The early Congressional Record volumes may also be found on the Library of Congress website and current volumes on Thomas.

The following Indexes published by the Congressional Information Service (CIS) are in print and located in the Micrographics Room on the 4th Floor of the Library.  

Indexes for Finding Congressional Reports

-Reports before 1970 are indexed in the CIS Serial Set Index, located in the Library's Micrographics Room. The reports are indexed by subject and keyword, and each entry contains a brief description of the report. This index provides both the report number from the Serial Set and the CIS number, to help you find the full-text of each report.

-Reports after 1970 are indexed in the CIS Annual Index by subject, title, and bill number. If you have the public law number, the easiest way to locate a report is to check the legislative history section at the end of the CIS Annual Abstracts volume or the CIS Annual Legislative Histories volume.

-Once you have found a report that might be informative, you should read the summary of the report in the Abstracts volume.

Indexes for Finding Hearings

- Hearings after 1970 are indexed in the CIS Annual Index volume by subject, title, and bill number. If you have the public law number, the easiest way to locate a hearing is to check the legislative history section at the end of the CIS Annual Abstracts volume or the CIS Annual Legislative Histories volume.

- Once you have found a hearing that might be informative, you should read the summary of the hearing in the Abstracts volume. This summary will confirm that you have the correct hearing and provide valuable information about the witnesses testifying and the content of the hearing.

- Hearings from 1833-1969 (23rd to 91st Congress) are indexed in the CIS US Congressional Committee Hearings Index. These hearings are indexed by subject, name, organization, and bill number.

- Abstracts for each hearing are listed in the "Reference Bibliography" section. These abstracts include a detailed description of the hearing and a CIS number, which is needed to locate the full-text of the hearing in the Library's microfiche collection.

-Unpublished House Hearings from 1833-1964 are listed in the CIS Index to Unpublished US House of Representatives Committee Hearings. These hearings are indexed by subject, name, organization, and bill number. Abstracts for each hearing include a detailed description of the hearing and the CIS number needed to locate the full-text of the hearing in the Library's microfiche collection.

-Unpublished Senate Hearings from 1823-1976 are indexed in the CIS Index to Unpublished US Senate Committee Hearings. These hearings are indexed by subject, name, organization, and bill number. Abstracts for each hearing include a detailed description of the hearing and the CIS number needed to locate the full-text of the hearing in the Library's microfiche collection.

Indexes for Finding Committee Prints

-Committee Prints from 1830 to 1969 (21st to 91st Congress) are indexed in the CIS Congressional Committee Prints Index, (1830 - 1969). Committee prints are indexed by subject and keyword.

-Committee Prints from 1970 to 2006 (91st Congress to 109th Congress) are indexed in the CIS Annual Index.  Committee Prints are indexed by subject, title, and bill number. If you have the public law number, the easiest way to locate a committee print is to check the legislative history section at the end of the CIS Annual Abstracts volume or the CIS Annual Legislative Histories volume.