University of Wisconsin–Madison

New Digital Collection of the Congressional Record

Researching the Congressional Record has just gotten much easier for law library patrons with the recent addition* of the Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection to our LexisNexis Congressional subscription. This means full text, searchable access to the Congressional Record permanent bound edition** in PDF format, and much more.

The database is a work in progress, but will eventually afford the researcher access to more than 200 years of congressional debate. As of now, coverage spans from 1985 (99th Congress, 1st session) through 1997 (105th Congress, 1st session), but LexisNexis will be adding earlier volumes of the permanent bound edition (retroactive to 1873) and its predecessors (the Congressional Globe, the Register of Debates, and the Annals of Congress, retroactive to 1789) at the rate of approximately ten years per week. Data more recent than 1997 is to be added as avaiable.***

To access LexisNexis Congressional, go to the “Electronic Resources” Menu on the law library homepage. Under “All Databases”, click on “By Name." Browse to LexisNexis Congressional.

By clicking on the “Congressional Record Only” tab at the top of the search screen, the Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection can be searched on its own (and eventually, in conjunction with one of its above mentioned predecessors.) You can search by keyword, subject, congressional member, bill text, and more. You can also search by Congressional Record citation by clicking on the “search by number” tab at the top of the initial search page.

Because the Record has been integrated into LexisNexis Congressional’s search capabilities, you can also search it in conjunction with other congressional documents by clicking on the “Advanced Search” tab on the initial search screen.

*This purchase was made in conjunction with the Wisconsin State Historical Society Library and the UW-Madison General Library System.

**The Congressional Record is the official repository for the proceedings and debates of Congress. When Congress is in session, it is published daily. At the conclusion of each session, the daily editions are gathered into a permanent bound edition. This article addresses access to that bound edition via the LexisNexis Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection. The Daily edition is available in various formats, including LexisNexis Congressional from 1985-present.

***The 1999 Bound Congressional Record is available online from the
U.S. Government Printing Office, and is fully browseable and searchable Future volumes will follow as they become available. The law library also has access to the bound edition in microfiche. Please see a reference librarian for further assistance.

Submitted by Sunil Rao, on February 2, 2009

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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