TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University
Background Sources
Congress and the Nation REF JK 1 .C662
Gives overviews of legislative initiatives in Congress and any Public Law (P. L.) numbers associated with them.  The material is broken down into major subject areas (Economic Policy, National Security Labor, Natural Resources, etc.) and then into more specific subtopics.  The information is presented in narrative form with chronologies and descriptions of important legislative initiatives. Each volume covers approximately five years of Congressional activity.

CQ Researcher (1991-current year). REF H 35 .E352
Each volume contains a cumulative index to the issues which cover various topics such as gun control, cybercrime, prison reform, etc.

New York Times Article Archives 1851-the present. Unrestricted Resource
Indexes over 15 million articles published in the New York Times from September 1851 to the present.  Searching is free, however, you must either use the citation information to locate the articles on microfilm in Truman's library collection or purchase the full-text through the web site. Users can search for  articles by keyword or phrase, author, headline, date, or date range.  Searches may be limited to articles only or broadened to include advertisements and other listings. 
Types of Congressional Information
Public Laws
The actual text of laws as passed by Congress.

Congressional Bills
This is the legislation put forward in the House or Senate proposing a new law. It ultimately needs to be considered and passed by both houses and signed by the President to become a law. The final text of the law can differ considerably from the original bill introduced in either chamber. The types of information described below are used by Congressmen and Senators to make the transition from a bill to a law.

Committee Hearings
These are public forums, usually held by a Senate or House subcommittee after a bill as been referred there for consideration. One bill may often be reviewed by several subcommittees in both houses and thus have numerous hearings associated with it. The complete records of these hearings will contain the testimony of those who spoke there regarding the bill. This could include interested citizens or subject experts who are asked to testify.

Committee Prints
These are documents prepared for the use of committees and their staffs. They are usually composed by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress, by committee staffers or by independent consultants.

Committee Reports
These are communications from committees or subcommittees describing the purpose or scope of a bill and the reasons for recommending approval by the full House or Senate. Sometimes a committee will fail to report a bill at all, effectively killing it, or report it with it "without recommendation" which has a similar effect.

Serial Set
This is a collection encompassing the committee reports mentioned aboved as well as several other types of documents. These include House and Senate Documents. These include presidential messages (including vetoes), reports on audits of government corporations, annual reports of federal agencies, and the annual State of the Union Address. Other specific categories of information include Senate Treaty Documents from the president to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Executive Reports which typically are recommendations for approval of a treaty or for the confirmation of officials in the judiciary or executive branch.

Legislative Histories
Listings of documents (hearings, committee prints, reports, etc.) related to a public law. These are generally organized by the public law (PL-104, e.g.) or by the official name of the law. In electronic format, these histories also contain links to the text of the associated bill, the law itself, and a timeline of information regarding Congressional on the bill.
Indexes for Congressional Information
ProQuest Congressional Restricted Resource
Index of U.S. legislative information including Congressional publications, bills, laws, regulations, member and committee information, hot topics, etc.

CIS U.S. Congressional Committee Hearings Index Ref KF 40 C57 Restricted Resource
Multi-part index of Congressional hearings from 1833 to 1969, divided according to time periods.  Each set lists hearings by number and indicates the CIS access information for locating that hearing on microfiche.  Indexing is also available by bill name and by organization or agency.  A numerical listing of bill numbers lists hearings held on that bill.

CIS U.S. Serial Set Index REF Z 1223 .Z9 C65 1975 Restricted Resource
Index of Congressional documents other than hearings, including committee reports, prints, American state papers, veto messages, and State of the Union addresses.  Organized chronologically by Congress in 15 volumes.
Congressional Information - Finding Full Text
For Congressional activity prior to 1982, nearly all information is available on microfiche.  This is available in the microform reading room in Microfiche Cabinets 24-30.  On any index citation note the CIS (Congressional Information Service) number, the designation for the type of document (Published Hearing, Unpublished Hearing, Committee Print, Serial-Set) and the designation of the appropriate chamber (S for Senate; H for House of Representatives).

Published Hearings (Pre-1970)
Cabinet 24 Drawer 5 - Cabinet 25 Drawer 10

Unpublished Senate Hearings (1823-1964, 1965-1968)
Cabinet 27 Drawers 1-2

Committee Prints (Pre-1970)
Cabinet 26 Drawers 5-6

Serial Set (Pre-1970)
Cabinet 27 Drawer 4 - Cabinet 28 Drawer 7

Congressional Information Services (1970-2002)
Cabinet 29 Drawer 1 - Cabinet 30 Drawer 9

For this period, documents of all types (Hearings, Committee Prints, etc.) are interfiled in this collection (along with Serial Set items), with documents retrievable by CIS number.  After 1982, hearings and prints are moved to a different collection and only Serial Set items are housed here.  After 2002, no new additions are made to this collection.
Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Collection (1983+)
Cabinets 60-64
From 1983 onward, hearings and committee prints are interfiled with other government documents and accessed by SuDoc number (e.g. Y4 ).  Serial Set items continued to be added to the CIS Collection until 2002, after which no items have been added to the Serial Set.  All Congressional documents from 2003 and later are housed in the SuDoc collection.
Full Text Documents Online
Although there is no specific starting date, many documents from the last decade or so are now available freely online.  You may check for these through the MOBIUS catalog or through the Catalog of Government Publications at

Congressional Bills
Full text of House and Senate bills from 1993 to present and summaries of bills back to 1973.
Full text of bills from 1989 to the present.
Congressional Record
The Congressional Record (1774+) is published daily while either the Senate or the House of Representatives is in session.  It is available in several print and online formats in Pickler Memorial Library.

Index in Microforms Room
Micro Ref J 11 R3992

Full Text in Microfilm Room (1873-1990)
J11 R399

Full Text in Microfiche (1989-1996)
Cabinet 60, Drawers 5-6, X1.1

Proquest Congressional, 1985-Present, 1989-Present, 1995-Present
Other Sources
Federal Register
Available online through LexisNexis Academic

Code of Federal Regulations
Available online through LexisNexis Academic
and Government Printing Office

GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) Unrestricted Resource
Testimony and reports on a variety of topics from the investigative arm of Congress.

Public Papers of the Presidents, 1991+ Unrestricted Resource
Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period. The material is presented in chronological order, and the dates shown in the headings are the dates of the documents or events. In instances when the release date differs from the date of the document itself, that fact is shown in the textnote.

Public Papers of the Presidents, 1929 - 2005 (Print) J 80 A283 Unrestricted Resource
Papers and speeches from presidents beginning with Herbert Hoover.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1993+ Unrestricted Resource
Complete listing of presdiential statements and writings for any given week.  Can be browsed or searched by keyword.

United States Supreme Court Digest                REF KF 101.1 D535

U.S. Supreme Court Reports                           REF KF 101 A33

Oral Arguments of the U.S. Supreme Court     Microfiche - Cabinet 26 Drawer 9 (1952-2001)
Online (2000+)
Subject Specialist
Picture: Dan McGurk

Dan McGurk
Reference & Electronic Resources Librarian
Tel: (660) 785-4528

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