Selected Congressional & Presidential Materials

Congressional Literature

Bills (H.R., S.) and Joint Resolutions (H.J.Res., S.J.Res.) 

Hearings:   Hearings may be held by the committee/subcommittee.  Hearings provide testimony from experts, federal agency representatives, and interested parties. GovDocs Y4.[committee]

Committee Prints:  Prepared for the use of a committee, often by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). GovDocs Y4.[committee]

Reports:  The committee reports the bill favorably to the House or Senate as a whole.  Reports contain the revised bill, an explanation of the law’s purpose, committee’s recommendation, a section-by-section analysis of the bill and dissenting views of committee members.  The report is considered one of the most important documents for legislative history.  Issued as H.Rept._-__ or S.Rept._-__.  GovDocs Y 1.1/#

Documents:  A diverse category (ultimately anything ordered to be published as a House or Senate document).  It largely consists of reports submitted by executive departments in accordance with law.  See “Reports to be Made to Congress” for a listing of these, Y 1.1/7: 108-188.  GovDocs Y 1.1/#

“Serial Set”:  A long-running set of congressional materials including House and Senate Reports (above), House and Senate Documents (above), Senate Treaty Documents, and Senate Executive Reports. GovDocs Y 1.1/2.

Congressional Record:  Contains the proceedings/debate on the floor of Congress.  Periodical Collection.

Presidential Material

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents:  Collection of presidential proclamations, orders, addresses and remarks on the public record. Periodical Collection.

Public Papers of the Presidents: Official series published by the Office of the Federal Register and NARA of presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature.
Location: 3rd floor, J80.A283

Federal Register:  Includes executive orders, proclamations, and other presidential actions.  This title is also (even primarily) concerned with administrative regulations, proposed regulation, and “notices.” Presidential documents required to be published in the Federal Register are compiled annually in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 3. Periodical Collection.

Online Databases

GIL Catalog: Odum Library's catalog for searching what we have available 

FDsys: Search engine and repository for full-text U.S. government publications

Catalog of Government Publications (CGP): an index to print and electronic government publications

Thomas: legislative information on the internet made available from the Library of Congress.  Search bills, laws, committee reports, treaties, Congressional Record, roll call votes, directories, and more

Project Vote Smart: information about candidates and elected officials.  Categories include biographical information, campaign finances, issue positions, interest group ratings, voting records, and public statements

Reference Material

Call number ranges

JK 501-901                Executive Branch

JK 1001-1443             Legislative Branch

Reference Books

American Congressional Dictionary: Congressional terms explained, REF JK 9.K73 1997

CQ Almanac: basically a yearbook for the U.S. Congress covering legislation for that year, REF JK 1.C66     

CQ Politics in America: excellent resource on legislators and their districts, REF JK 1012.P64 2000 (year) - 2012 (year)

Searching for Indexing of and Full-Text Articles (GALILEO databases)

Note: If you are off-campus, you will need to log in through Anywhere Access or with the GALILEO password in order to access these databases.

Academic Search Completea general multidisciplinary database with a lot of full text

JSTOR : full text archive of core journals in Political Science, History, and Public Policy & Administration. Note that there is an embargo on the last few years

Worldwide Political Science Abstractsone of the best journal indexes available in Political Science and related field

LexisNexis Academicaccess to newspapers, business information, and legal material such as U.S. and state codes and court cases