Congressional committee reports are created by the committees of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate. These reports are important sources for determining legislative intent, better understanding the “cultural history” of a piece of legislation, or locating a committee’s findings on an investigation into a given subject.
As is true with many of the legislative history resources we discuss, the best place to find congressional reports in print is a federal depository library. The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) distributes government information free of cost to libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), and these libraries provide free access for all users to this information. Information specialists are available at FDLP libraries to assist researchers with locating government information. To find your closest federal depository library, use the Federal Depository Library Directory.
The American State Papers and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set contain a variety of federal government information, including committee reports, in print and on microfiche. The American State Papers cover the years 1789-1838. The Serial Set was first published in 1817, and provides coverage up to the present day. The Serial Set has a variety of access points, including subject, keyword, name, reported bill number indexes, and a sequential list of titles and reference information for documents, including committee reports, for each session of Congress. A citation to the Serial Set takes the form of a volume number. Once you have identified the volume, look for the relevant report number.
Conference reports are usually made available in the Congressional Record the day after they are filed. For information on how to access the Congressional Record and its predecessors in print, please see the "Debates of Congress" section.
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.