United States Congressional Publications

Guide to U.S. Congressional materials available at the UTSA Libraries in print, microform, UTSA subscription databases and official government websites.

Congressional Record and Its Predecessors

The Congressional Record is the official record of the activities, debates and proceedings of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. It is published daily by the U. S. Government Publishing Office (formerly Government Printing Office) when Congress is in session.  After a session of Congress, the daily editions are eventually compiled in permanent bound volumes.  The proceedings of a single congress can run over 30,000 print pages.

The House and Senate proceedings include edited debates, voting records, legislative actions, and texts of selected bills.

The Daily Digest in each issue summarizes the day's floor and committee activities, including actions on bills, votes, hearings, meetings, bill status, and the upcoming week's agenda.  

The Extension of Remarks section includes any materials submitted later for inclusion but were not actually spoken on the House of Senate Floor.  This can be anything including additional legislative statements, speeches given outside of Congress, memorials, letters from constituents, newspaper articles or even poetry or recipes.  
Earlier titles for pre-1873 are included in the chart below.

Congressional Record and Its Predecessors by Date and Source

Congressional Record 1789-2001
(Permanent bound)

 ProQuest Congressional
 Advanced Search >  Congressional Record

   UTSA subscription: ProQuest Congressional
 Advanced Search > Daily Edition
   Congress.gov (Library of Congress)       
   FDSys (GPO)
(Permanent bound)
   FDSys (GPO) (1999-2008)
 govinfo (1873-2009)
Congressional Globe 1833-1873  

 Library of Congress
 American Memory Project: A Century of Lawmaking


Register of Debates in Congress

1824-1837    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwrd.html      
Annals of Congress 
1789-1824    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwac.html      
Journals of Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention 
1774-1789    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwjc.html      

Daily vs Permanent Bound Editions

Congressional Record Daily Edition reports each day's proceedings and is printed and delivered to all congress persons by the following morning.  It contains four independently-numbered parts:

  • House Proceedings
  • Senate Proceedings
  • Extension of Remarks (additional materials inserted into the public record by legislators)
  • Daily Digest (brief overview)

Permanent "Bound" Edition is the annual compilation of all the Daily Editions for an annual session, re-paginated, edited, and permanently bound.  There is a delay of several years for this to be produced. 

Search Tips for ProQuest Congressional

  • Database: ProQuest Congressional
  • Version. You can search the Daily Congressional Record or the Permanent Bound edition either separately or combined. 
  • Date: Make sure you are searching the correct dates.  You can limit to a particular date, a specific Congress, or a date range. 
  • Full Text searching.  When searching full text, use the proximity search NEAR/x to find words close to each other.  For example, Guatemala NEAR/5 terrorism finds the words Guatemala and Terrorism within 5 words of each other. The default is 10 words.
  • Truncation: To find various form of words, use truncation symbols (*) for any number of letters, or (?) to replace a single letter.   
  •  Example: terror* (for terror, terrorist, terrorism);  post? (for post, posts, but not postal)
  • Comments spoken by particular speaker.  Limit to Member of Congress in drop down menu.  Can also limit to broad topic.  
  • Speakers are referred to by last name in text in all capitals: Mr. HANSEN.  So can search full text for speakers:
    • allcaps(hansen) near/25 OSHA  

  • Citing help: Congressional Record Permanent Edition and Congressional Record Daily Edition.