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U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

This rich collection includes comprehensive federal legislative histories published by the U.S. GPO and private publishers, as well as a unique finding aid based on Nancy Johnson’s award-winning work, Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories.

Additional Resources

Commercial Legislative Histories of U.S. Laws on the Internet

This article from the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. presents a linked bibliography of commercial internet sources for finding compiled legislative histories.

Compiling a Federal Legislative History: A Beginner's Guide

A comprehensive research guide from the Library of Congress on finding federal legislative history documents, including congressional committee reports and hearings, presidential signing statements, and the debates of Congress.

Enactment of a Law

Learn about the Congressional legislative process from the official website for U.S. federal legislative information.

Federal Legislative History Research: A Practitioner's Guide to Compiling the Documents and Sifting for Legislative Intent

This article from the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. gives a detailed explanation of finding compiled legislative histories, researching legislative intent, and compiling an original history.

How Our Laws Are Made

This online resource from the official website for U.S. federal legislative information provides a basic outline of the numerous steps of our federal law-making process from the source of an idea for a legislative proposal through its publication as a statute.

Legislative History Research Guide

This guide from Georgetown Law Library collects major sources for conducting legislative history research, including committee reports, hearings, bills, debates and more.

Legislative History Research

This guide from Western New England University provides an overview of how to use legislative histories to conduct research.

Legislative History Research: A Basic Guide

This CRS Report provides an overview of federal legislative history research, the legislative process, and where to find congressional documents. It also summarizes some of the reasons researchers are interested in legislative history, briefly describes the actions a piece of legislation might undergo during the legislative process, and provides a list of easily accessible print and electronic sources.

Leviathan and Interpretive Revolution: The Administrative State, the Judiciary, and the Rise of Legislative History, 1890-1950

This article from Yale Law Journal examines how legislative history came to be such a common tool of interpretation used by the judiciary.

Locating a Compiled Federal Legislative History: A Beginner's Guide

This blog post from the Library of Congress examines sources of compiled legislative history.