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Compiling a Federal Legislative History: A Beginner’s Guide

Congressional Committee Prints

To better understand congressional committee prints in the context of compiling a federal legislative history, it helps to first understand what congressional committee prints are and how they can be helpful for legislative researchers. Congressional committee prints are internal publications that are prepared or commissioned by congressional committees to inform committee members’ legislative or oversight activities. Committee prints are not always submitted for publication, but when they are, this information can prove to be a helpful source of background information. The information contained in the prints could include drafts of reports and bills, directories, bibliographies, statistics, staff research reports, transcripts of markup sessions, studies, hearing and hearing excerpts, digests, and analysis. For more information about the publication and organization of congressional committee prints, visit the Government Publishing Office’s “About Congressional Committee Prints” page.

When committees publish legislative calendars (a/k/a "congressional committee calendars"), the calendars are typically published as committee prints. Congressional committee calendars are discussed in-depth in the companion research guide, Congressional Committee Calendars.

Subscription Resources

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 Online Resources

Print and Microfilm Resources

Federal Depository Libraries retain committee prints. Begin your search with the online Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. For assistance navigating the catalog, use the Search Tips and Help page. From within a catalog record, clicking on the "Locate in a Library" feature allow you to identify a depository library that holds the particular publication in its collection.

The Congressional Information Service (CIS) published the CIS U.S. Congressional Committee Prints Index for prints published between the mid-1800s and 1969. For prints published after 1970, see the CIS Annual and the monthly publication, CIS Index to Publications of the U.S. Congress.