Compiling legislative histories can be a time-consuming venture. For this reason it’s a good idea to look for an already compiled history for your act of interest before taking on the task. One of the most valuable resources for this kind of research is HeinOnline.
HeinOnline recently published an article titled Tip of the Week: How to Locate a Legislative History which highlights their U.S. Federal Legislative History Library. Their article provides detailed instructions on how to locate compiled Federal legislative histories in their collection. When utilizing these histories “you can research legislative intent behind major public laws and follow the progression of a bill from its introduction to its passage.”
In HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library you can browse in three different ways: by publication title, public law number, or popular name.
Once you find a title of interest, you can either search throughout the title or browse in the cumulative contents to see all the documents indexed within. If you’re looking for a specific type of document, the advanced search provides options for entering date ranges, text search, and selecting which documents you would like displayed in your results. You can also keyword search within specific sections or pages.
For more information on where to find compiled histories along with how to compile them yourself take a look at our Federal Legislative History research guide.
Alternatively, if you're interested in Pennsylvania legislative histories you can check out our Pennsylvania Legislative History guide and blog post titled Pennsylvania Legislative Histories: Committee Archives.