Research guides

Congressional Documents

Congressional Record (Debates & Votes)

Congressional floor debates have been published in the Congressional Record since 1873. They are first issued as the Daily Edition, then collected and published in annual volumes known as the permanent or Bound Edition. There are separate Bluebook formats and page numbers for each edition, but it is generally advised to cite to the Bound Edition when available.

For debates prior to 1873, please consult the Congressional Globe (1833 - 1873), Register of Debates in Congress (1824 - 1837), or The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (1789 - 1824). These resources can all be found online from the Library of Congress and through the member database HeinOnline. See below for more information.

Free Online Resources

Congressional Record Library of Congress - Congress.gov
Daily Edition from 101st Congress (1989-1990) - present. Can browse or search by keyword or date. For 101st through 103rd Congresses, can only browse, currently not searchable within Congress.gov.

Congressional Record (Bound Edition) govinfo (GPO)
Bound Edition, begins with vol. 1 (1873). Can Browse by volume, date, and House or Senate. To search the Congressional Record Bound Edition, click the orange "Search" button, select "Advanced", then under "Refine by Collection" select "Congressional Record Bound". Search results can be further refined by using the side panel on the search results screen. For additional information and tips, see the About the Congressional Record (Bound Edition) page.

Congressional Record (Daily) govinfo (GPO)
Daily Edition, begins with 1994. Can Browse by date and House or Senate. To search the Congressional Record Daily, click the orange "Search" button, select "Advanced", then under "Refine by Collection" select "Congressional Record". Search results can be further refined by using the side panel on the search results screen. For additional information and tips, see the About the Congressional Record page.

Debates of Congress Library of Congress, American Memory: A Century of Lawmaking for A New Nation

Sources for the Congressional Record: Free and Commercial Law Librarians' Society of Washington, DC
Links to sources for Daily and Bound editions. Part of LLSDC's Legislative Source Book.

Member Databases

Congressional Record
Available on HeinOnline. Includes the Congressional Record (Bound Edition, begins with vol. 1, 1873), Congressional Record Daily (begins with vol. 126, 1980), Congressional Globe (1833-1873), Annals of the Congress of the United States (1789-1824), and more. Once in HeinOnline, select U.S. Congressional Documents > Congressional Record. To find parallel citations between the Daily and Bound editions, use the Congressional Record Daily to Bound Locator. This tool is for years when both daily and permanent editions are available.

Congressional Record
Available on LLMC Digital. Includes the Congressional Record (Bound Edition, begins with vol. 1, 1873). Once in LLMC Digital, select Search Collections > U.S. Federal Government > Legislative > U.S., Legislative (alpha order) > Cong. Journals, 1873-, Congressional Record.

Congressional Record
Available on ProQuest Congressional. Includes the Congressional Record (Daily Edition, 1985 - present, HTML only).

        • To search by Citation, select Search By Number then click the tab for "Congressional Record Daily Citations." Enter the number and click Search.
        • To search full text, select Advanced Search, then limit to only "Congressional Record Daily Edition" using the check boxes on the left side. Select either "All fields except full-text" or "All fields including full-text" from the drop-down menu above the search box, enter your search terms, and conduct a search.
        • See the Using ProQuest Congressional page of this guide for more information.

Onsite Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law

Congressional Record
Available on the library's Lexis computers. Congressional Record coverage begins with 99th Congress (1985). Annals of Congress (1789 - 1824), Register of Debates (1824 - 1837), Congressional Globe (1833 - 1873),  and Congressional Record Retro (1873 - 1997) available as PDF documents. From the Content Type tab, select Statutes and Legislation > Federal > Congressional Records.

Congressional Record
Available on the library's Westlaw computers. Begins with the First Session of the 99th Congress (1985). From the All Content tab, select Proposed & Enacted Legislation > Legislative History (located in the Tools & Resources box on the right) > Congressional Record.

Congressional Record
Available on the library's Bloomberg Law computers. Coverage begins with 1933. Can search the Historical Congressional Record (1933-1988) separately.

Print

Journals of the American Congress from 1774-1788
Sept. 5, 1774 - Nov. 1, 1788. Available in Rare Book. Ask a librarian for assistance.