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U.S. Government Documents: Serial

Created by Fred Muratori

Congressional Serial Set

The Serial Set includes Congressional committee Reports, Documents, and (after 1980) Senate Executive Documents and Reports. For more information see: U.S. Congressional Serial Set: What It Is and Its History.


Serial Set Online

U.S Congressional Serial Set (Readex)
Database of texts from the bound, sequentially numbered volumes of all the reports, documents, and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Texts constitute a rich source of primary source material on all aspects of American history. Upon completion, the digital version of the Serial set will consist of over 12 million pages. Database searchable by subject, publication category, standing committee author, and other parameters. Coverage 1817 - 1980.


ProQuest Congressional.
Serves as both an index and a full text source of US Congressional materials: members and committees, bills, laws, hearing transcripts, committee prints, documents, the Congressional Record, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, US Code. Updated daily. The full text of House and Senate Documents is available from 1995 to the present (with some exceptions). The full text of House and Senate Reports is available from 1990 to the present (with some exceptions).
Provides free access to a wide range of legislative information on the Congress, including the full text of the Congressional Record and bills for the 103rd to the present Congress, a directory of congressional committees and members of Congress, the weekly floor schedule for the House, and a schedule of daily committee hearings. The full text of House and Senate Reports and Documents is available from 1995 to the present.


Serial Set in Print

Printed Serial Set volumes before 1981 are held at the Library Annex and must be requested through the Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections in Kroch Library. The post-1980 segment located on Olin's Lower Level is several years behind. The latest bound volumes are from the 110th Congress, First Session (2007). More current documents may only be available in electronic form .

Each volume in the Serial Set is shelved according to a number (a "serial" number; hence the name) that appears on its spine. Knowing the serial number makes it much easier to find a given volume in our stacks, but most bibliographic records for Reports and Documents do not include it. The following resources can help:

1789 - 1895 Checklist of United States public documents 1789-1909.Part 1. Olin Ref Z 1223 A113 1911a pt.1
See pages 3-101.
1895 (Dec.)- 1933 Index to the Reports and Documents of the ... Congress ... with Numerical Lists and Schedule of Volumes Olin Ref Z 1223 A14
1933 - onward Numerical Lists and Schedule of Volumes of the Reports and Documents of ... Congress, Olin Ref Z 1223 A15


The shelving sequence of the volumes kept on the Lower Level is by document type within a session is as follows: Senate Documents, Senate Reports, House Documents, House Reports. Oversized volumes have been pulled out of sequence and shelved separately at the end of the Serial Set section. As in the general stacks, pink signs at the end of the aisle indicate the oversize area.

Our printed Serial Set holdings are not complete. See United States Serial Set in John M. Olin Library, OLIN REFERENCE Z1223 A16 C74+ (2 vols.) for a shelf inventory list compiled in 1991.

Reports on Private Bills were eliminated from the printed Serial Set by an act of Congress from 1905 to 1938.

Some Executive Branch publications (which were directed by Congress to appear in the Serial Set) between 1907 - 1912 were received as individual volumes not bound with the Serial Set. Some of these may be found in the catalog as separately cataloged volumes.

As noted elsewhere, the Serial Set also contains map material. See CIS US Serial Set Index, Part 14, Vols. 1-10 (OLIN REF Z1223 A16 C74+ pt. 14, v1 -v10) for cartographic materials published in the Serial Set from 1789 through 1925.

Requesting Serial Set Volumes from the Annex
Serial Set volumes before 1981 are available online through the Readex database, but patrons may still ask to see printed volumes. Because Serial Set volumes are designated as non-circulating, delivery requests for print volumes in the Annex Library must be submitted through Kroch Rare and Manuscripts and the delivered volumes used only in the RMC reading room. The Annex Library needs to have the specific barcode number for any given volume in order to process the request. Barcode numbers are assigned to each volume and appear in the holdings record. As of 11/11/09 there are 17 holdings records for this title, so in order to find them one needs to do the following:

  • Open the Voyager Catalog client (NOT the public catalog)
  • Search for the Bib ID 1629746
  • Use the chart below to find the holdings record that contains the volume to be requested
  • Click on the "Get Hldgs" button
  • Find the volume number in the left column of the volume display of the holdings record and record the barcode number on the right
  • Give the barcode number to the patron and direct him or her to the reference desk in RMC.


United States Congressional Serial Set Holdings Records
Bib. ID: 1629746

Congress Date  Volume Range Holdings Rec. No.
15th, 1st Sess. - 33rd, 2nd Sess. 1817 - 1854 1 - 775 6652738
33rd, 2nd Sess. - 42nd, 3rd Sess. 1854 - 1872 776 - 1568 6660262
42nd, 3rd Sess. - 49th, 1st Sess. 1872 - 1885 1569 - 2375 6683495
49th, 1st Sess. - 53rd, 1st Sess. 1885 - 1893 2376 - 3149 6693866
53rd, 1st Sess. - 54th, 2nd Sess. 1893 - 1897 3150 - 3552 6785904
54th, 2nd Sess. - 56th, 1st Sess. 1896 - 1899 3553 - 3964 6711104
56th, 1st Sess. - 57th, 2nd Sess. 1899 - 1902 3965 - 4440 6790046
57th, 2nd Sess. - 58th, 3rd Sess. 1902 - 1903 4441 - 4840 6719823
58th, 3rd Sess. - 60th, 2nd Sess. 1904 - 1909 4841 - 5559 6742238
60th, 2nd Sess. - 65th, 2nd Sess. 1909 - 1917/18 5562 - 7324 1977370
65th, 2nd Sess. - 71st, 3rd Sess. 1918 - 1931 7325 - 9341 1977371
71st, 3rd Sess. - 78th, 2nd Sess 1931 - 1944 9342 - 10874 1977372
78th, 2nd Sess. - 87th, 1st Sess. 1944 - 1960 10875 - 12369 6773409
87th, 1st Sess. - 93rd, 2nd Sess. 1960 - 1973 12370 - 13060/2 1977373
93rd, 2nd Sess. - 98th, 1st Sess. 1973 - 1983 13060/3 - 13521 6776831
98th, 1st Sess. - 104th, 1st Sess. 1983 - 1995 13522 - 14293 6781922
104th, 1st. Sess. - 110th, 1st Sess. 1995 - 2007 14294 - 15117 1977374

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