Skip to Main Content

Government Documents: CONGRESSIONAL RECORD

A guide for the Government Documents Collection

The Capitol

Through legislative debate and compromise, the U.S. Congress makes laws that influence our daily lives. It holds hearings to inform the legislative process, conducts investigations to oversee the executive branch, and serves as the voice of the people and the states in the federal government.

About Congress: Joint Session

List of Congresses (1789-Present)

Congressional Record: Books

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress.

The Congressional Record is available in print, located in the lower level.

*Congressional Record Index: 1874-1919, 1989-2007

*Congressional Record:1873-2014

Congressional Record

  • Congressional Record Proceedings and Debates of the U.S. Congress.
  • How to . . . find the Congressional Record
    A guide from the United States Senate website. The Congressional Record is a record of the proceedings of Congress. It is published each day that one or both chambers of Congress is in session and is available the day after Congress met.
  • Annals of Congress (The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States)
    1st through 18th Congresses (1789-1824)
    The Annals of Congress, formally known as The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, cover the 1st Congress through the first session of the 18th Congress, from 1789 to 1824.
  • Register of Debates
    18th through 25th Congresses (1824-1837)
    The Register of Debates is a record of the congressional debates of the 18th Congress, 2nd Session through the 25th Congress, 1st Session (1824-37).
  • Congressional Globe
    23rd through 42nd Congresses (1833-1873)
    The Globe, as it is usually called, contains the congressional debates of the 23rd through 42nd Congresses (1833-73).
  • Congressional Record
    43rd Congress to present (1873-Now)
    The Congressional Record began publication in 1873. Printed by the Government Printing Office, it is the fourth and final series of publications containing the debates of Congress.

Are you reading it right?

Congressional Seal


  • U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 5, Clause 3)
    Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.