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.
We have access to the Serial Set online and in print.
Users are encouraged to use the online version for volumes 1-5204 (rather than the print volumes in locked shelving) in order to better protect and preserve the print volumes. However, the print version is there for those who need to use it and we do want to provide access to it as best we can.
If you do not know which print volume(s) you need, please contact Barbara Levergood.
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".
|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 (status).|
|15-115||1817-present||online||search or browse Congressional Serial Set in govinfo. Note: This database is under development and will take many years to complete.|
|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|
|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|
HathiTrust Collection and U.S. Congressional serial set;
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 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)
|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||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||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||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||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".|
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|
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>.
|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||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|