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Congressional Documents: Cong. Reports&Documents

About

 

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Reports and Documents are the two major types of publication which comprise the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Reports from House and Senate committees relate to the passage of legislation and the results of investigations; Senate Executive Reports relate to treaties and nominations.

House or Senate Documents contain specialized reports of executive agencies and messages from the President, such as the annual Budget. Senate Treaty Documents contain the text of treaties that the President sends to the Senate for ratification. 

In the early days of the U.S. republic, there was little structure to the collection of congressional records. Between 1815 and 1820, realizing that systematic organization was needed, Congress decided to publish most prior reports and documents as a series called the American State Papers. The American State Papers are organized around topics: Treasury, Indians, Naval Affairs, etc., and they cover documents from 1789 to 1838. The U.S. Congressional Serial Set overlaps, starting in 1817 and continuing to the present. Reports and documents are compiled chronologically. 

In the 19th century the U.S. Congressional Serial Set included most publications from executive agencies. Annual reports, expedition and scientific reports, statistical data, commerce, navigation, and more were included in the Serial Set, along with the reports associated with lawmaking. Maps and drawings frequently illustrate the scientific and expeditionary reports. In the last two decades of the 19th century, some of the executive agencies, such as Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior began publishing their own reports, which were then were not included in the Serial Set. By about 1920, most executive agency materials were published separately from the Serial Set. 

Congressional Reports & Documents

House Reports and Senate Reports are "Reports of congressional committees concerning proposed legislation and/or contain findings on matters under investigation". For legislative intent, see the section on "Background and Need for Legislation".

House Documents and Senate Documents "can include reports of executive departments and agencies, as well as committee prints, that were ordered to be printed as documents".

Title

Congress

Years

Format

Location

American State Papers 1-25 1789-1838 online U.S. Congressional Serial Set
1-25 1789-1838 online HeinOnline > U.S. Congressional Serial Set
U. S. Congressional Serial Set 15-103 1817-1994 online U.S. Congressional Serial Set Best Bet
15-115 1817-present online HeinOnline > U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Note: This product is under development. Indexing for all volumes is complete, but not all volumes are available in PDF from HeinOnline, as of January 2020.
57-104 1902-1996 print* Govt Doc Y 1.1/2:SERIAL <Serial Set volume number> (use the "Convert to Serial Set Volume Number" box); with gaps. Previous volumes may be made available on request.
Congressional Reports and Documents 93-112 1973-2012 print* Govt Doc Y 1.1/3 - Govt Doc Y1.1/8 (use the "Convert to SuDocs Number" box); with gaps
101-present
104-present
1990-present (Rept)
1995-present (Doc)
online ProQuest Congressional. Full-text of most committee Reports, 1990-. Full-text of most House and Senate Documents, 1995-. Indexing beginning 1789 (1st). Best Bet
103-112 1993-2012 microfiche* Main Micro Govt Doc Y 1.1/3 - Y1.1/8 (use the "Convert to SuDocs Number" box); with gaps
104-present 1995-present online search or browse Congressional Reports in govinfo Best Bet
search or browse Congressional Documents in govinfo Best Bet
104-present 1995-present online congress.gov, Committee Reports of the U.S. Congress
varies varies online Internet Archive;
HathiTrust;
Google Books. None of these databases is comprehensive.

* A given print or microfiche report or document might be found in our Govt Doc collection under the SuDocs number (use the "Convert to SuDocs Number" box) and/or under the Serial Set volume number at: Govt Doc Y 1.1/2:SERIAL <Serial Set volume number> (use the "Convert to Serial Set Volume Number" box).

Senate Executive Documents, S. Treaty Documents, and S. Executive Reports

"Senate Executive Documents contain the text of a Treaty as it is submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification by the President of the United States. Beginning with the 97th Congress in 1981, Executive Documents became known as Treaty Documents, and they are now numbered instead of lettered alphabetically." (FDsys)

"Senate Treaty Documents contain the text of a Treaty as it is submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification by the President of the United States. Numbered consecutively from the 1st Session through the 2d Session of a Congress. Prior to the 97th Congress known as Executive (Lettered) Documents, and identified by letters of the alphabet." (FDsys)

"Senate Executive Reports: Reports of the Committee on Foreign Relations relating to Treaties between the United States and foreign nations, which have been submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification, or are reports of various Senate Committees regarding nomination of individuals." (FDsys)

Title

Congress

Years

Format

Location

Senate Executive Documents (-1980) 30-96 1847-1980 online U.S. Congressional Serial Set (most are not in the Serial Set)
30-96 1847-1980 print Govt Doc Y 1.1/2:SERIAL (with gaps) (most are not in the Serial Set)
Senate Treaty Documents (1981-) 97-103 1981-1994 online U.S. Congressional Serial Set
97-103 1981-1994 print Govt Doc Y 1.1/2:SERIAL (with gaps)
97-114 1981-2016 online HeinOnline. Choose International Treaties and Agreements > U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library > Treaty Publications
104-present 1995-present online congress.gov
104-present 1995-present online search or browse Congressional Documents in govinfo
Senate Executive Reports 1-57 1789-1901 online & print Compilation of reports of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 1789-1901, Serial Set volumes 4047-4054. All then-known reports, including Senate Executive Reports.
Online: U.S. Congressional Serial Set.
Print: Govt Doc Y 1.1/2:4047-4054.
96-103 1979-1994 online U.S. Congressional Serial Set
96-103 1979-1994 print Govt Doc Y 1.1/2:SERIAL (with gaps)
104-present 1995-present online search or browse Congressional Reports in govinfo
Indexing only 1-present 1789-present online ProQuest Congressional. Choose "House & Senate Documents" and/or "House & Senate Reports".

Convert to SuDocs Number (for print/microfiche)

If you have a report or document number (such as 110-237, the congress and number), you can convert that to a SuDocs number following the model below. You can then look for the report or document under that SuDocs number on the shelves in our Govt Doc or Micro Govt Doc collections.

Type and number Model SuDocs Number Example of SuDocs Number
Senate document (S.Doc.) 110-237 Y 1.1/3: <congress>-<number> Y 1.1/3:110-237
Senate treaty document (S.TreatyDoc) 110-237 Y 1.1/4: <congress>-<number> Y 1.1/4:110-237
Senate report  (S.Rpt.) 110-237 Y 1.1/5: <congress>-<number> Y 1.1/5:110-237
Senate executive report (S.Exec.Rpt.) 110-237 Y 1.1/6: <congress>-<number> Y 1.1/6:110-237
House document (H.Doc.) 110-237 Y 1.1/7: <congress>-<number> Y 1.1/7:110-237
House report (H.Rpt.) 110-237 Y 1.1/8: <congress>-<number> Y 1.1/8:110-237

Convert to Serial Set Volume Number (for print/microfiche)

If you have a SuDocs number for a report or document, first determine whether it is a House or Senate report or document using the "Convert to SuDocs Number" box. Then use one of the following resources to determine which Serial Set volume that report or document is in. (U.S. Congressional Serial Set or ProQuest Congressional are good places to start.) You can then look for that Serial Set volume in our Govt Documents collection at: Govt Doc Y 1.1/2:SERIAL <Serial Set volume number>.

Congress

Years

Format

Location

1-present 1789-present online ProQuest Congressional. Hint: Use "Congressional Search", "Search by Number", "Bibliographic Citations", then "Publication Number". Best Bet
1-103 1789-1994 online U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Hint: Use "Publication Search". Best Bet
1-60 1789-1909 online and print Checklist of United States public documents 1789-1909: Congressional: to close of Sixtieth Congress; departmental: to end of calendar year 1909. Hint: Use "Congressional Tables", pp. 1-169.
Govt Ref GP 3.2:C 41/2
Also online: Internet Archive, University of North Texas, Google Books, and AskCarlos.com.
73-99 1933-1986 print United States Congressional Serial Set Catalog: Numerical Lists and Schedule of Volumes.
Govt Doc GP 3.34:
85-111 1957-present online Numerical Lists of Documents and Reports

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