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Congressional and Legislative Tracking: US Congressional Debates

Daily proceedings of Congress

Use Congressional Universe

Annals of Congress, (1789–1824)

  • official title ‘‘The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States"
  • 1st Congress through the 1st session, 18th Congress (1789 to 1824)
  • compiled between 1834 and 1856 using primarily newspaper accounts

Register of Debates, (1824–1837)

  • a record of the congressional debates
  •  the 18th Congress, 2nd Session through the 25th Congress, 1st Session (1824-37)

Congressional Globe, (1833–1873)

  • record of debates
  • by the mid-nineteenth century, using shorthand, it became a closer proximity to the current transcript-style record of debates

Congressional Record, (1873-present)

  • remarks and debates in transcript form
  • also speeches by Senators and Representatives of the U.S. Congress


House and Senate Journals
: (House) Paper 1953-80; Microfiche 1979-
XJS: (Senate) Paper 1953-81; Microfiche 1979-
and online

  • from the first session, Congress has kept a journal of their proceedings in accordance with Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution
  • minutes of floor actions and not a transcript of proceedings

Journals of the Continental Congress
Docs X 1.1:

  • the records of the daily proceedings of the Congress as kept by the office of its secretary
  • 34 volumes and index


Statutes at Large, Docs AE 2.111:
– is the official source for the laws and resolutions passed by Congress.

Congressional Universe  (CC users and in-house use only)
– choose “Legislative Histories, Bills, and Laws”
- then limit search by Congress