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Government Publications: United States

Guide to United States government publications.

Definition: Congressional proceedings & debates

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings, debates, and activities of Congress. Although the Record contains a substantially verbatim account of the proceedings and debate, it also contains extensive inserted materials, communications from the President and executive agencies, memorials, and petitions.

There are two editions of the Record, a daily one and a bound, permanent one. The daily edition reports each day’s proceedings in Congress and is published on the succeeding day. Periodically, throughout a session, an index to the daily Record is published. At the end of each session of Congress, all of the daily editions are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a permanent, bound edition. The bound edition usually takes several years to be published after a Congressional session ends. The bound edition is made up of one volume per session of Congress, with each volume published in multiple parts.

Key databases

Other print, microform and online versions are available.

1873 to present

Cngressional Record, Daily via FDsys
1994 (103rd Congress, 2nd Session) to present.
O]fficial record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session....the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities.  Search using the advanced search form or browse by date.

Congressional Record, Bound Edition via FDsys
​1998 (Dec. 19, 105th Congress) to latest published
Published daily when Congress is in session.  At the end of each session of Congress, all of the daily editions are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a permanent, bound edition. This permanent edition, referred to as the Congressional Record (Bound Edition).  Search using the advanced search form or browse by date.

Congressional Record
Call Number:  X 43 to present (search Catalog record for location of print and microform copies)

1833 to 1873

Congressional Globe via Library of Congress
1833 (23rd Congress) to 1873 (42nd Congress)
"Initially the Globe contained a "condensed report" or abstract rather than a verbatim report of the debates and proceedings. With the 32nd Congress (1851), however, the Globe began to provide something approaching verbatim transcription."--from the Web site

Congressional Globe
Call Number:  X 43 - X 71 (search Catalog record for location of print and microform copies)

1924 to 1837

Register of Debates via Library of Congress
1824 (18th Congress, 2nd Session) to 1837 (25th Congress, 1st Session)
"The Register of Debates is not a verbatim account of the proceedings, but rather a summary of the "leading debates and incidents" of the period. It was published contemporaneously with the proceedings by a commercial printer, Gales and Seaton. "--from the Web site

Register of Debates
Call Number: X 43 -X 71 (search the Catalog record for locations of print and microform copies)

1789 to 1824

Annals of Congress via Library of Congress
1789 (1st Congress) to 1824 (18th Congress, 1st Session)
"[F]ormally known as The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States.  The Annals were not published contemporaneously, but were compiled between 1834 and 1856, using the best records available, primarily newspaper accounts. Speeches are paraphrased rather than presented verbatim, but the record of debate is nonetheless fuller than that available from the House and Senate Journals."--from the Web site

Annals of Congress
Call Number:  X 1 - X 42 (search the Catalog record for location of print and microform copies)