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Government Documents - Congress, Laws, and Legislation: Congress

This guide provides information about how to find laws, legislative history, U.S. Congressional publications, and the publications of Congressional agencies.

About Congress

The Senate is the upper house of the U.S. Congress. It has 100 members, two from each state. The Senate is responsible for confirming presidential appointees among its other legislative duties.

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the U.S. Congress. It has 435 members who serve two-year terms. Membership in the House is apportioned according to the population of each state as determined in the Decennial Census. The House is primarily responsible for budgetary and domestic matters.

Books about Congress

Congressional Directory

The Congressional Directory is more than a list of the members of Congress. You can also find:

  • Lists of standing committees and subcommittees and their members
  • Cabinet members and leadership of executive branch agencies, boards, and commissions
  • Leadership of legislative branch agencies (CBO, GPO, GAO, Library of Congress)
  • Judges in the federal judiciary
  • International organizations and their leadership
  • Foreign diplomatic offices in the U.S.
  • Maps of congressional districts

Related guides

Subject Guide

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Our holdings

Senate and House documents and reports from 1817-1980 are available in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set available through HeinOnline (UHM login required). Selected volumes of the Serial Set covering 1900-present are available in print. Documents and reports issued from 1980-present are available in print or microfiche (Y 1) or online through GovInfo. Many serial set documents are also in HathiTrust and HeinOnline (UHM login required) .

Government Documents has a vast collection of congressional hearings and committee prints in print and microfiche. Search for hearings and other documents using ProQuest Congressional (UHM login required). Read more about hearings and what's in them here. Selected full-text hearings may be found in full text in HeinOnline (1789-present; UHM login required). Full text hearings are constantly being added to HathiTrust. Hearings are also available in GovInfo.

The Congressional Record is the official transcript of debates held on the floor of Congress. Use it to locate speeches made by members of Congress, voting records, and summaries of bills they introduced. The full text of the Congressional Record and its predecessors Congressional Globe, Register of Debates, and Annals of Congress is available in GovInfo or HeinOnline (1789-present; UHM login required). Full text of these publications is also available in print or on microfiche in the Government Documents Collection. 

The Senate journal lists the actions taken on the floor of the Senate. 1953-1981 is available in U.S. Congressional Serial Set (UHM login required) and 1981-2014 is available in HeinOnline (UHM login required). We have printed journals covering 1979-1996 and 2006-present (call no. XJS) and journals in microfiche covering 1789-1978 (CIS Senate Journals). Older issues (1789-1875) are also available online from the Library of Congress.

The Senate Executive Journal lists Senate actions taken in executive session. We have printed Senate Executive journals covering 1967-1981 and 2002-present (call no. Y 1.3/4:), and we have journals covering 1985-2001 in microfiche. SEJ is also available online from the Library of Congress (1789-1875).

The House journal lists the actions taken on the floor of the House of Representatives. We have printed journals covering 1979-1991 and 2004-present (call no. XJH), and we have journals covering 1789-1978 (CIS House Journals) and 1991-2002 (call no. XJH) in microfiche. The House journal for 1953-1981 is available in U.S. Congressional Serial Set and in GovInfo(1992-present). Older issues (1789-1875) are also available online from the Library of Congress.

The Plum Book, officially known as United States government policy and supporting positions, lists political appointees in the Executive Branch. 1968-2008 is available online in HathiTrust. 1996-present is available in GovInfo.

Electronic/internet resources


Check for books in the library by searching in the box below.

Suggested searches:

Keyword: United States Senate

Keyword: United States House of Representatives

Subject: United States. Congress. Senate.

Subject: United States. Congress. House.

Subject: Names of individual senators, e.g.,Inouye, Daniel K.

Subject: Names of individual representatives, e.g., Abercrombie, Neil.


Lobbying's Lobbying Database lists top lobbying firms and their clients.

The House of Representatives and Senate each have Lobbying Disclosure Act databases.