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United States Government Documents: The Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts.

Lynn Thitchener, Government Selector

About Legislative Histories

A legislative history chronicles the development of a public law from its introduction as a bill (or as multiple bills) to its enactment. It usually cites such publications as House/Senate reports, hearings, the Congressional Record, and presidential remarks. Depending on the scope of the legislation, it can be lengthy or relatively brief. In locating a legislative history, it's very helpful to know the Public Law or Statute number of the law in question.

*Note:
While ProQuest Legislative Insight is the best database for legislative histories, some laws passed before 1969 may be difficult to find.

Most public laws contain a much-abbreviated legislative history on their final page.

Some legislative histories have been published as independent monographs. See the Print section below for finding aids.

Legislative Histories : Online Sources (CU subscription)

Legislative Histories : Print Sources