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Finding Government Documents

The Congressional Record (and its predecessors)

Harris & Ewing, photographer. Congressional record has face lifted Jan. 4, 1939. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. The Congressional Record began publication in 1873, and is still published today.

Note: Debates for sessions prior to 1873 are recorded in The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (1789-1824), the Register of Debates in Congress (1824-1837), and the Congressional Globe (1833-1873). These can be accessed through A Century of Lawmaking For a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates.

Learn more about the Congressional Record at govinfo

Subscription Databases for Finding the Congressional Record Online

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.

Free Resources for Finding the Congressional Record Online

Print Materials for Finding the Congressional Record

The following resource links to fuller bibliographic information about the item in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.  This resource may also be available at other public and academic libraries.

The Government Depository Collection at the Library of Congress

The Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room keeps the latest ten years of U.S. Government Documents in print or on microfiche as part of the U.S. Federal Government Depository Collection.  A SuDoc number is necessary in order to request these.  GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications can help you find the SuDoc numbers.

Supplemental Resources