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Congressional Publications: Proceedings and Debates

Finding historical and current congressional information at the UNT Libraries and on the Internet.

Legislative Proceedings and Debates
(Congressional Record and its predecessors)

Congressional Record (1873–current)

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. The Congressional Record began publication in 1873, and is still published today.

The Congressional Record consists of four sections:

  • The Daily Digest, which appears at the back of each daily issue, summarizes the day's floor and committee activities and serves as a table of contents for each issue.
  • The House and Senate sections contain proceedings for the separate chambers of Congress.
  • The Extension of Remarks includes tributes, statements, and other information that supplements statements made on the Congressional floor.

Online

Daily Edition at FDSys (1994–current)

Bound Edition at FDSys (1998–2002)

Daily Edition at Congress.gov (1989–current)

Daily Edition in ProQuest Congressional (1985–current)

Paper

Bound Edition on Third Floor Willis Library (1873–1984)

  • 1873–1953: Call Number X[VOL]:[CONG]/[SESS]
  • 1954–1984: Call Number X.[CONG]/[SESS]:[VOL]

Microfiche

Daily Edition on Third Floor Willis Library (1980–2012)

  • 1980–1996: Call Number X/A.[CONG]/[SESS]:[VOL]/[NO]
  • 1997–2012: Call Number X1.1/A:VOL/NO

Bound Edition on Third Floor Willis Library (1977–2003)

  • 1977–1993: Call Number X.[CONG]/[SESS]:[VOL]
  • 1993–2003: Call Number X1.1:[CONG]/[SESS]-[VOL]

 

 

Congressional Globe (1833–1873)

The Globe, as it is usually called, contains the congressional debates of the 23rd through 42nd Congresses (1833-73). There are forty-six volumes in the series.

The Globe is the third of the four series of publications containing the debates of Congress. It was preceded by the Annals of Congress and the Register of Debates and succeeded by the Congressional Record. The first five volumes of the Globe (23rd Congress, 1st Session through 25th Congress, 1st Session, 1833–37) overlap with the Register of Debates. Initially the Globe contained a “condensed report,” or abstract, rather than a verbatim account of the debates and proceedings. With the 32nd Congress (1851), however, the Globe began to provide something approaching verbatim transcription.

The contents of the appendix of each volume vary from Congress to Congress, but appendices typically contain the following: presidential messages, reports of the heads of departments and cabinet officers, texts of laws, and appropriations. Speeches not indexed or referenced on the pages reprinting the debates appear in the appendix as well.

Online

In American Memory Collection (Library of Congress)

In Jan Szczepanski's Lists of OA-Journals. Historic Titles

In ProQuest Congressional

Paper

On Third Floor Willis LibraryCall Number: X [VOL]:[CONG]/[SESS]

Register of Debates (1824–1837)

Register of Debates in Congress is a record of the congressional debates of the 18th Congress, 2nd Session through the 25th Congress, 1st Session (1824-37). It is the second of the four series of publications containing the debates of Congress. It was preceded by the Annals of Congress and succeeded by the Congressional Globe.

There are fourteen numbered volumes in the Register of Debates series, resulting in a total of twenty-nine bound items. Although each volume includes an index, more complete access to the information may be obtained indirectly by using the indexes of the House and Senate Journals during the relevant session of Congress, which provide the dates on which action was taken. These dates can then be consulted in the Register of Debates. Appendices include—but are not limited to—presidential messages and the text of laws.

The Register of Debates is not a verbatim account of the proceedings, but rather a summary of the “leading debates and incidents” of the period. It was published contemporaneously with the proceedings by a commercial printer, Gales and Seaton.

The Register of Debates and its successor, the Congressional Globe, overlap for a period of time (23rd Congress, 1st Session through 25th Congress, 1st Session; 1833-37).

Online

In American Memory Collection (Library of Congress)

In Jan Szczepanski's Lists of OA-Journals. Historic Titles

In ProQuest Congressional

Paper

On Third Floor Willis Library
Call Number: X [VOL]:[CONG]/[SESS]

Annals of Congress (1789–1824)

The Annals of Congress, formally known as The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, cover the 1st Congress through the first session of the 18th Congress (1789–1824). They were succeeded by the Register of Debates.

The Annals were not published contemporaneously with the events they record, but were compiled between 1834 and 1856, using the best records available (primarily newspaper accounts).

Speeches are paraphrased rather than presented verbatim, but the record of debate is nonetheless fuller than that available from the House and Senate Journals.

Online

In American Memory Collection (Library of Congress)

In Jan Szczepanski's Lists of OA-Journals. Historic Titles

In ProQuest Congressional

Paper

At Third Floor Willis LibraryCall Number: X 1:1[VOL./CONG., SESS./DATES]

Finding Tools and Summaries

Index appears

  • at end of each volume of Annals of Congress
  • at end of each volume of Register of Debates
  • at front of each volume of Congressional Globe
  • at end of each year/session of Congressional Record

Sessional indexes to Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, and Congressional Globe available in Government Documents Abstracts and Indexes on Third Floor of Willis Library, Row 99, Shelf 99–10.

Online sources can also be searched by keyword.

Congressional Record Index (1873–current)

  • Paper copy on Third Floor Willis Library (1873–2009)
  • Microfiche on Third Floor Willis Library (1977–2003)

Congressional Record Daily Digest (1947–current)

Additional Links

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