Introducing LexisNexis Congressional, the Sure Cure for Microfiche Melancholia!

Author: Susan Good

Interested in researching federal legislative history, public policy information, or the jurisdictional interests of Congressional committees over a broad range of subject areas? Or maybe just “cite-checking” Congressional documents? Now you can do all these things (and more) online with LexisNexis Congressional! Yes, that’s right “online” as in “full-text searching” and “scanned PDFs of original documents”!! No more making yourself dizzy using microfiche (in most cases)!!!

Whether you seek current or historical information, the unique interface of the LexisNexis Congressional database simplifies your task by combining the power and reliability of LexisNexis’ search engine with the flexibility of choosing your own search criteria–terms and connectors, wildcards, and a variety of limiters (e.g., Congressional Source, Subject, Title, Witness)–to create precise and powerful searches. Not interested in searching? Just want to retrieve Congressional documents by citation? Well, you can do that too!

Already knew that? Already a fan of LexisNexis Congressional? Then you’ll be happy to learn that the scope of the materials previously available to you has been significantly expanded! In addition to increased access to the material produced in the hearing rooms and offices of hundreds of Congressional committees and subcommittees where legislative policy is debated and developed, entirely new content such as Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports is also available.

A brief overview of the material available to you via LexisNexis Congressional follows! For more information, access LexisNexis Congressional from the library homepage (Find > Electronic Resources > Find Legal Resources by Title > L > LexisNexis Congressional)!! Or see one of your friendly Research Librarians in Suite 1110 just off the main entrance of Eck Hall!!! We’re excited about the new features available to you and eager to help you use them!!!!

Committee Prints & Misc. Publications (1830-present)

A committee print can contain anything relevant to the legislative and oversight functions of Congress. Examples of committee print content include:

  • Research papers by committee staff, Congressional Research Service experts, or outside consultants
  • Committee rules and calendars
  • Compilations of laws
  • Transcripts of markup sessions or other proceedings
  • Legislative descriptions and analyses

Congressional Record & Predecessors (1789-Present)

Daily records of the proceedings of Congress including:

  • Congressional Record (1873-present)
  • Annals of Congress (1789-1824)
  • Congressional Globe (1833-1873)
  • Register of Debates (1824-1837)

CRS Reports (1916-present)

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) was established within the Library of Congress to provide members, committees, and Congressional staff with nonpartisan and objective research and analysis on all public policy issues.

Currently, the CRS research divisions are: American Law; Domestic Social Policy; Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade; Government and Finance; Knowledge Services; and Resources, Science and Industry.

Hearings (1824-present)

Published hearings are the official record of committee hearings proceedings. Hearings, which are usually open to the public, are held to enable committees to gather opinions and information to help members make decisions regarding proposed legislation or to help them fulfill their oversight and investigation responsibilities.

Official hearings publications, which are printed by the Government Printing Office, usually include:

  • Written and oral statements of witnesses
  • Transcripts of the verbal question-and-answer session between the committee and witnesses
  • Reports, exhibits, and other materials submitted for the record by witnesses
  • Correspondence and other materials submitted by interested parties

House & Senate Documents (1817-present)

House and Senate documents are the class of publications issued by Congressional committees or the full House or Senate that are numbered with the designation H. Doc. or S. Doc. This publication type can contain: Presidential messages proposing new legislation or vetoing legislation passed by Congress; special reports of executive branch agencies; Congressional committee activity reports; committee-sponsored special studies and background information published as official documents rather than committee prints; annual reports of certain patriotic and veterans groups; memorial tributes; compilations of background information related to annual intercollegiate and high school debate topics; and much more.

House & Senate Reports (1819-present)

House and Senate reports are the designated class of publications by which Congressional committees report and make recommendations to the House or Senate as a whole. These reports concern the findings of committee hearings or the outcome of committee deliberations. They can contain discussions of legislative intent, a short history of a bill, and comparisons of current and proposed law text.

Committees also may issue reports that are not on specific legislation. These reports may summarize the findings of investigatory or oversight hearings, field trips, or study panel investigations. Many committees also issue annual or biennial activity reports summarizing their legislative and oversight activities.

Legislative Histories (1969-present)

Legislative histories enable users to trace the development of a public law from its early consideration to its enactment, including development that spans more than one Congress.

Serial Set Maps (1789-1969)

The maps contained within the U.S. Serial Set represent one of the greatest single collections of cartographic materials of the United States. From the exploration of the American West to Cold War era maps identifying United States air bases vulnerable to Soviet fighter, light bomber, and airborne troop attack, the Serial Set carto-bibliographic records allow unprecedented access to the 55,000+ maps of the Serial Set.

Serial Set (1789-1969)

The U.S. Serial Set is a collection of U.S. Government publications compiled under directive of the Congress. It contains comprehensive and often detailed information on an extremely wide range of subjects. There has rarely been a published series of its depth and breadth of coverage, and none in this country as long-lived. Its earliest documents date from 1789 and additions are made continually.

Currently, the Serial Set includes House and Senate documents and reports, Senate executive reports, and Senate treaty documents. For a complete description of Serial Set content, see U.S. Serial Set: Types of Publications