Skip to Main Content

Government Information 2e: Legislative (Congress/Federal)

The information on this page pertains to the United States Congress and its roll as the legislative body of the United States Government.  The following resources will allow you to research and track legislation, laws, members of Congress, and the workings and records of Congress from the beginning of the United States to the present day. Collections of Congressional information are outstanding resources nearly every area of research, including other countries. The United States has interests worldwide. 

For a nice overview and explanation of sources and guides see: LLSDC's Legislative Source Book. [Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C.]

Congress: Legislation and Proceedings

Congress: Representatives

Congress and Money

Congressional Serial Set

The Serial Set is comprised of the numbered Senate and House Documents and Senate and House Reports, bound by Session of Congress. The contents of the Serial Set have varied throughout the publication’s history, and at times have included House and Senate Journals, and the reports of executive departments and agencies.

Each volume is assigned a Serial Number, beginning with the 1st Session of the 15th Congress in 1817. Reports and Documents for each chamber begin with Number 1 at the beginning of the Congress, and are numbered consecutively through all sessions of that Congress. Both Senate and House Documents were numbered by session until the 1st Session of the 60th Congress in 1907, after which time they have been numbered sequentially by Congress.

Legislative Histories

A Legislative History is a compilation of the history of a law/statute that includes all amendments and documents relating to that law, including amendments, hearings, debates, and reports. While all laws have a legislative history, few have a formal Legislative History. The links below provide sources of Legislative Histories. If you wish to write your own Legislative History. The Library of Congress has an excellent guide

Finding Existing Legislative Histories

Creating Your Own Legislative History

How Congress Passes Laws

Video representations -- "I'm Just a Bill"

Congressional record