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Congressional Committee Calendars

A research guide by the Law Library of Congress on locating and researching legislative calendars (a/k/a committee calendars) created by the committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Introduction

R. Michael Jenkins, photographer. Representatives Jill Long Thompson, Bill Sarpalius, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Claude Harris Jr., Tim Johnson, and other committee members during a House Agriculture Committee hearing, 1990. CQ Roll Call Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

At the end of a Congress, nearly every congressional committee prepares a final, cumulative record of its activities over the prior two-year period. That record is usually called a “legislative calendar” (or sometimes a “committee calendar”). A legislative calendar typically includes a wealth of information about a committee’s activities, including the committee’s membership roll; the subcommittees and their membership rolls; committee rules and jurisdiction; legislation considered by the committee, indexed by date, sponsor, and subject; dates and subjects of hearings and meetings; committee prints and reports; and executive communications transmitted to the committee.

For the past 50 years, most committees have published final legislative calendars, though the practice varies from committee to committee, and neither the House nor Senate rules require committees to do so. Most committees that prepare legislative calendars publish them as committee prints. The committee prints of legislative calendars are often unavailable for several months after the conclusion of a Congress.

Legislative calendars can sometimes be difficult to find for several reasons. First, the printing of legislative calendars is not always consistent over time. Second, committees change names and jurisdictions over the years, which causes the catalog records to change, as well. Third, legislative calendars are alternately cataloged as "legislative calendars" and "committee prints." Due to these inconsistencies, researchers interested in these calendars often must look through several collections before locating a particular calendar. However, the Law Library of Congress has been collecting and cataloging legislative calendars in print since the practice of printing them began. Additional collections of legislative calendars are available on certain free and subscription databases, primarily govinfo, HathiTrust, HeinOnline, and ProQuest Congressional. This research guide highlights the Law Library's collections of Senate and House legislative calendars, and also provides links to online resources for calendars published by current committees.

Background on Congressional Committees

For general information about congressional committees and the work they do, consult the following resources:

Online Resources Referenced

The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.