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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Congressional Committee Prints

Following are some of the leading sources you can use to get copies of Congressional Committee Prints.

1. The GPO posts Prints on FDsys from 104th Congress (1995-96) to the present.

2. Lexis has selected Prints from August 1994 (the 104th Congress) through December 22, 2003 (LEGIS;CMTPRN).

3. Westlaw has Prints from the Joint Committee on Taxation, including Bluebooks back to 1976 (FTX-JCTPRINT).

4. The GPO donates Prints to Federal Depository Libraries. You can find your nearest Depository Libraries using the Federal Depository Library Directory. Even better, for Prints published since 1994, you look up the Print in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, scroll to the bottom of the record, click on "Locate in a Library" and then use the GPO's online Federal Locater Service to find exactly which Depository libraries hold the Print you need. For prints published before 1994 or after, you can look up library holdings in WorldCat.

5. ProQuest Congressional has prints starting 1993 and going up to at least 2004 (click here for information). ProQuest Congressional is available online through many academic and membership law library websites.

6. The ProQuest Congressional Research Digital Collection, 1830-Present (sold as an add-on subscription to ProQuest Congressional).

In addition to the online database, the Congressional Information Service ("CIS"; now part of Proquest) publishes an index and microfiche set of historical Prints covering 1830 to 1969. Prints are also included in the CIS Microfiche Library. These fiche sets can be found in large academic and government law libraries. Or you can buy individual prints by calling CIS (800-638-8380) with the title, date and CIS accession number (which you can look up back to 1970 in the CIS Index).

7. The U.S. Government Bookstore sells the Prints published by the GPO. Alternatively, you can call the GPO Contact Center in Washington (866-512-1800 or 202-512-1800).

8. Other Libraries: Some libraries get government publications even though they aren't Depository Libraries, and some have the CIS Microfiche. You may know these libraries in your area, or you may want to search for them using WorldCat and/or a regional Union List or library catalog.

Once you track down libraries with the Prints you need, you can buy copies from libraries with document delivery services or make copies yourself at local libraries. NOTE: To request a copy of a print, you may need the Superintendent of Document (SuDoc) number or another citation. You can get these numbers from the research tools listed in the Researching Committee Prints section below.

Researching Committee Prints: You can find Prints relating to a particular subject - or look up a SuDoc number or other bibliographic information -- using the following bibliographic tools.

1. The CIS/Index to Congressional Publications and Public Laws and the CIS US Congressional Committee Prints Index organize Prints by subject. The CIS/Index covers Prints published since 1970, and the Prints Index covers 1830 to 1969.

The CIS/Index is available in hard copy in many large law libraries, and the Prints Index is available in many depository, academic and government law libraries in print or as part of the CIS Microfiche Library.

In addition, the CIS/Index (1970-Current) and the CIS/Historical Index (1789-1980) are available on Lexis (LEGIS;CISINX and LEGIS;CISHST, respectively) and ProQuest Congressional. The Prints Index is included on CIS's Congressional Masterfile 1 CD-ROM.

NOTE: It usually easier to use the CIS/Index on Lexis or ProQuest Congressional because you can search the whole thing at once. By comparison, the print version is published annually and, unless you know the year you need, you have to look through the volumes year-by-year.

2. Catalog of U.S. Government Publications lets you do keyword searches in its bibliographic records for Prints published since 1976. This is a generally a great way to look up exact titles, SuDoc numbers, publication dates, etc., if the Prints is available.

3. The GPO's Monthly Catalog of United States government Publications (MoCat) is the hard copy version of the online Catalog of Government Publications discussed above. MoCat lists all government publications, and the annual index includes subject headings. The MoCat generally gives me a headache, but it is available in some large law libraries, and I think it goes back to the end of the 19th Century.

4. Search the FDsys, Lexis or Westlaw databases discussed above.

5. If you have access, search ProQuest Congressional, with or without the ProQuest Congressional Research Digital Collection back file (sold as an add-on module).

See Also
Congressional Hearings
Congressional Reports
Federal Legislative History

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman