The United States Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, is considered an essential publication for unveiling American history. Spanning more than two centuries with more than 17,000 bound volumes, the records in this series include House and Senate Documents, House and Senate Reports, and much more. The reports are usually from congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. The documents include all other papers printed by the House or Senate. Documents cover a wide variety of topics, including reports of executive departments and independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, executive branch materials were also published in the Serial Set.
The Congressional Record, first published in 1873, is essentially the complete printed chronicle of debates, proceedings, and speeches of the United States Congress. Previously, congressional debates were cataloged in the Annals of Congress (1789-1824), Register of Debates (1824-1837) and Congressional Globe (1833-1873). The Record is the most complete and accurate account of congressional matters to date.
Divided into four sections, the Record features: the Proceedings of the House; the Proceedings of the Senate, which include the floor speeches, transcribed and edited by the Official Reporters of Debate; the Extensions of Remarks, containing material not included in part of the spoken debates; and the Daily Digest, a summary by chamber of each day’s activities.
The Congressional Record is published daily when Congress is in session and appears as a newspaper-like edition. Once each session is over, the daily records are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed to create the permanent bound edition. HeinOnline’s U.S. Congressional Documents database features the daily records from 1980 to present, and we update this content daily!
The Daily to Bound Locator allows users to insert a specific date or citation from either the Daily edition or the Bound volume and quickly pull up the corresponding citations between the two publications. This makes it easy to jump from the Daily edition, containing the exact proceedings, to the Bound volumes, which may have been edited and expanded to include later insertions by members of Congress.
The Annals of Congress, formally known as The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, cover the 1st Congress through the first session of the 18th Congress, from 1789 to 1824. The Annals were not published contemporaneously, but were compiled between 1834 and 1856, using the best records available, primarily newspaper accounts. Speeches are paraphrased rather than presented verbatim, but the record of debate is nonetheless fuller than that available from the House and Senate Journals.
The Globe, as it is usually called, contains the congressional debates of the 23rd through 42nd Congresses (1833-1873). There are forty-six volumes in the series, based on the table found in the Third Edition of Checklist of United States Public Documents 1789-1909, Volume 1B (pp. 1466-69). Initially the Globe contained a “condensed report” or abstract rather than a verbatim report of the debates and proceedings. With the 32nd Congress (1851), however, the Globe began to provide something approaching verbatim transcription.
CRS Reports are research reports written for members of Congress and issued to clearly define issues in a legislative context. HeinOnline contains nearly 54,000 of these reports, with more being added each month.
Congressional hearings are the principal formal method by which committees collect and analyze information in the early stages of legislative policymaking. Whether on confirmation, legislation, oversight, investigation, or a combination of these, all hearings share common elements of preparation and conduct. Coverage includes nearly 80,000 hearings and more than 18 million pages from the 50th Congress through the 115th Congress (1889-2018). Additional hearings will continue to be added as they become available.
Congressional Committee Prints are issued by Congressional Committees and include topics related to their legislative and research activities. These prints are used for statistical and historical information, and are an excellent resource for legislative analysis. HeinOnline contains nearly 9,000 of these prints and will continue to add more as they become available.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) publications contain the published and unpublished reports of the CBO from 1975 forward. For every bill that is reported by a congressional committee, the CBO must produce a report with cost estimates and mandate statements. These estimates and statements are published as part of the CBO publications. Also found in this set are other reports needed for the budget process, including the Budget and Economic Outlook and An Analysis of the President’s Budget. Additional publications cover analytical studies, briefs regarding economic issues, budget issues, long-range fiscal policies, revenue and tax policies, the Monthly Budget Reviews, and other background papers and documents such as the CBO’S Economic Forecasting Record. The publications included in this set are organized into 40 subject areas.
The Register of Debates is a record of the congressional debates of the 18th Congress, 2nd Session through the 25th Congress, 1st Session (1824-1837). It is the second of four publications containing the debates of Congress. It was the first attempt to contemporaneously publish a record of the debates and proceedings of Congress. The Register of Debates is not a verbatim account of the proceedings, but rather a summary of the “leading debates and incidents” of the period.
The Journals are the records of daily proceedings of the Continental Congress, as kept by Secretary Charles Thomson. The Continental Congress was the first national government of the United States. Delegates from the thirteen colonies, except Georgia, met in Philadelphia in 1774 to oppose the unfair treatment of the colonies by the British.
During its fifteen-year tenure, the Continental Congress adopted several monumental and influential works, such as the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; the Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777; and the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787.