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Federal Legislative History

Research guide about resources and strategies for researching federal legislative history.


Committee Prints

Committee prints are materials prepared for committee members to use while considering a bill or an issue. Prints may be prepared by the committee staff, by a congressional support agency such as the Congressional Research Service, or by private entities. Some prints provide section-by-section analysis of different proposed and/or existing law, some review a particular issue, and some contain opinions of particular committee members. Nonetheless, committee prints remain of lesser value to the legislative intent seeker when the authors are not elected legislators and because many are not published for wider distribution.

To Locate Committee Prints Online

For committee prints from 1999-2004, one can perform searches and locate full text of prints on ProQuest Congressional. This database is accessible from any campus computer or off-site with Onyen and password verification.

Lexis+ contains a searchable database of committee prints from 1994 to 2004 with a smaller selection from the 104th Congress (authorized users only).

A limited number of committee prints are available at GovInfo from the 102nd Congress (1991) forward.

To Locate Committee Prints in Print

The Law Library's microfiche collection of committee prints is complete for all published prints from 1985. The library has scattered microfiche holdings for pre-1985 prints.

If you retrieve a SuDoc number from the CIS Index, search the online library catalog by that SuDoc number to confirm local holdings, or go directly to the microfiche cabinets on the 1st floor, and check for the SuDoc number there.

The microfiche committee prints can also be located through a keyword search in the online library catalog using the committee and/or subcommittee name or words from the title of the print, such as "committee on transportation and motor carrier safety." A committee print number can be used to perform a keyword search such as "print and 106-77."

In addition to holdings in the Law Library, a UNC catalog search will show holdings for Davis Library, where all published committee prints should be available.