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U.S. Congressional Serial Set

The United States Congressional Serial Set is considered an essential publication for unveiling American history. Spanning more than two centuries with more than 17,000 bound volumes, the Serial Set includes House and Senate reports, documents, and more.

Search Tips and Tricks

Enter a query into the one-box search bar and select the Just Search for option.

After a search query has been entered, a comprehensive list of results pertaining to the query will appear. Each result contains a document summary containing useful information such as the document type, title, volume number, Congress session, and more. 

example of a document summary

Selecting the Advanced Search link located beneath the main search bar allows users to search particular fields within the metadata (indexing) for more precise results. Search by session, document, and volume numbers or by keyword, title, or year. Further refine a search by searching only within certain sections, like American State Papers, House Bills, Senate Documents, and more. 

Right from the landing page, structured and free-field citation lookup tools are available. To use the structured Citation Lookup Tool on the left, enter the Document Type, Congress, and Document Number to quickly and easily locate a document without knowing the exact citation. For example to find a House report from the 111th Congress with a document number of 100, select the following from the drop-downs.














Upon entering the correct information, users will be directed to the exact House report in question. 

Alternatively, users may enter an accepted citation into the free-field citation lookup tool to the right for the same result. A free-field Volume quick locator tool also allows users to search for specific volumes within the Serial Set









Accepted Citation Formats Include: 

Preferred Citation: H. Rept. 111-100
Bluebook Citation: H.R. Rep. No. 100, 111th Cong., 1st Sess. (2009)
Serial Set Citation: 15271 H.rp. 100

Video Tutorial: How to Use the Serial Set Lookup Tools

With the beta release of a Venn Diagram Search, users can visualize the results yield of various keywords to better refine their searches. To use the Venn Diagram feature in the Serial Set, select the Advanced Search hyperlink to find the Venn Diagram option within.










Users will be redirected to a search bar, instructions for its use, and example searches. Enter a search for multiple terms separated with the Boolean operators "AND." A Venn Diagram will appear, illustrating the various combinations of those terms and their respective results yield throughout the Serial Set. The original search combining all terms will appear by default, visually represented by the red intersection of all circles. 

screenshot of results for venn diagram search in the Serial Set for nuclear AND energy AND explosion AND weapon

View the results of other combinations by selecting the Clear button above the diagram to be able to hover over the various options. Users will see all possible search term combinations highlighted as the cursor hovers over them. Click one of these highlighted circles or intersections to bring up the results of the various combinations or the results of one term. 

screenshot of venn diagram search results in the Serial set for nuclear AND weapon

After entering a search query, users will also notice facets on the left-hand side of the results page. Facets allow users to limit their results by Date, Document Type, Section Type, Chamber, and Congress-Session.

Tip: Begin a search using more general terms and utilize facets for more precise results. 

screenshot highlighting Refine Your Search options


screenshot of Refine Your Search pop-up