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After introduction, a bill is referred to the appropriate committee(s). When considering a bill, a congressional committee may hold hearings in order to gather information. Department or agency personnel, individual experts, interested citizens, and representatives of groups affected by the legislation may be invited to testify. In addition to containing both oral and written testimony, hearings may also contain valuable statistical information and miscellaneous reports in appendix form.
Full-text hearings in PDF for most hearings from 1824-present. Some hearing have selected transcripts only. Searchable by committee name, geographical location, topic, witness name or affiliation, and more. Includes abstracts, indexing, and searchable PDFs for both published and unpublished hearings. About 140 hearings from 1978-1913 were published as Senate or House Reports or Documents and can be found in the US Serial Set.
Hearings from 71st Congress (1927) to recent years.
Choose U.S. Congressional Documents on left, then Congressional Hearings.
Hearings in the Franklin Catalog
Covers ProQuest U.S. Congressional Hearings Digital Collection: Retrospective A, 1824-1979. Direct links to hearings.
Access to many older hearings.
Add Congress to the author search on the advanced search screen.
Microfiche 1981 - recent
Van Pelt Library
All hearings from 1981-recent are available on microfiche in the Van Pelt Library. Arrangement of the fiche hearings is by Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) number, which can be obtained from:
Biddle Law Library
The following Microfiche sets are available at Biddle:
U.S. congressional hearings supplement [microform]
Library has: 41st congr.(1869-1871)-73rd congr.(1933/1934)
[Biddle Law Library, Fiche Fed 2.6]
Unpublished U.S. House of Representatives committee hearings [microform]
Library Has: 22nd congr.(1833)-1972
[Biddle Law Library, Fiche Fed 2.3]
Microprint 1956-1980 (in LIBRA Storage)
As a backup to online access, most hearings from 1956-1980 are available within the United States Government publications; depository [microform] collection. The collection includes hearings listed in the Monthly Catalog starting with January 1956. Many of these are 1955 hearings. Last MoCat entry number in the microprint collection is 80-25679. The Monthly Catalog for 1980 includes numbers up to 80-26778.
Microprint collection is arranged by Monthly Catalog (MoCat) number which can be obtained from:
- ProQuest Congressional - Check Hearings, some MoCat numbers are provided.
- WorldCat- many U.S. documents are catalog here, esp post-1976. See Class Descriptor field for SuDoc and Item Number.
- Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, 1976 - present, earlier records are being added.
- Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications in print (1941- c.1997)
Requests from LIBRA of these hearings need to include reference to "Microprint #5" and the relevant MoCat number.
About 140 hearings from 1978-1913, out of several hundred from this time period, were also published as Senate or House Reports or Documents and can be found in the US Serial Set of House and Senate Documents. See ProQuest Congressional for these scattered hearings in the U.S. Serial Set online.
Many hearings from about 1924 to 1986 were received in paper from the Government Depository program. Some were cataloged, appear in Franklin, and are shelved in the regular Van Pelt stacks. Others are at LIBRA storage. Search Franklin either by title or by author (For author searching use this format: United States. Congress. House or Senate. Committee name. Subcommittee name.)
Browse print hearings at LIBRA
From 1977 to 1984, the Biddle Law Library received about 75 percent of all hearings in paper. These are arranged by SuDocs number.
Old Indexes to Hearings
Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
Access full citation to hearings by title, Library of Congress subject heading, SuDocs, MoCat number, committee, date, and other keywords. Provides Monthly Catalog number and Superintendent of Documents numbers needed for microprint and microfiche access. Public Hearings are announced in the Congressional Record
[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: Z1223 .A18], 1940-1990s, use for pre-1976 documents.
CIS index to unpublished US Senate committee hearings
Van Pelt Library Reference: Z 1223 Z7 C1
Five volumes index by subjects and organizations, titles, bill numbers, and personal names. The accompanying microfiche text of the hearings is not available at Van Pelt. Most hearings are in ProQuest Congressional.
CIS Annual - Index to Congressional Publications and Public Laws
[Van Pelt Library Reference: JK1001 .C65], last few years, earlier volumes in LIBRA
Catalogs, abstracts and indexes hearings, by subject, committee, witness and witness affiliation, and by bill number. For bills that have passed into law, references to all hearings held can be found under the entry for the Public Law, including hearings on the same bill introduced in previous congresses with a different bill number. Gives SuDocs and MoCat numbers in most cases.
US Superintendent of Documents. Catalog of the Public Documents of Congress and of the Government of the United States.
Also known as the Document Catalog. Hearings are indexed by subject and committee.
Index of Congressional committee hearings (not confidential in character) prior to January 3, 1935 in the United States Senate Library
Edwin A. Halsey, secretary of the Senate. Revised by James D. Preston, Robert L. Baldridge, Harold D. Hantz. Senate Library. Washington, U.S. Govt. printing office, 1935.
[Van Pelt Library Reference: Z1223 .A 1935]
Index of congressional committee hearings at the Library of the United States House of representatives, prior to January 1, 1951 / Compiled by Russell Saville, under the direction of Lyle O. sander, clerk of the U.S. House of representatives
Washington, U.S. Govt. print. off., 1954.
[Van Pelt Library Reference: Z1223 .A 1954]