Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Law Library Homepage About the Law Library Research Services Faculty Students Help Ask a Law Librarian Law Library Home page UNC Libraries Law Library Blog Twitter

Federal Legislative History

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

House and Senate Documents

These documents include Presidential messages, reports from administrative agencies, and memoranda from private corporations or lobbying groups - any of which may be related to pending or enacted legislation. Their value in determining legislative intent varies but these documents are generally not considered as authoritative when they are authored by persons other than legislators and because they are not published for wide distribution.

To Locate House and Senate Documents Online

ProQuest Congressional serves as both index and source for House and Senate Documents. Abstracts and indexing for these documents are available from the 91st Congress (1970) to present. Full text is available from the 104th Congress (1995) to present. Most but not all documents are available. This database is searchable from any campus computer or off-site with Onyen and password verification.

GovInfo provides searching and full text results of documents from the 101st Congress (1989) to present.

To Locate House and Senate Documents in Print

Prior to the 99th Congress (1985) the Law Library collected only selected House and Senate Documents. Davis Library has a complete collection of House and Senate Documents as part of the Serial Set.

All House and Senate Documents in the Law Library and all since 1976 in Davis Library can be found individually in the online catalog. Search the online catalog using a keyword search including words from the title, such as, "document and senate and social security." Use the SuDoc number to locate the microfiche on the 1st floor of the Law Library or in the Davis Library. If the document number is known, the keyword search could include it, for example: "senate and 94-259."

The print CIS Index (KF49 .C62) can be used to identify a SuDoc number for a document, and that number can be searched in the catalog or used to locate documents in the Law Library. Most of the SuDoc numbers can be located in the 1st floor microfiche cabinets.