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U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2022 5:30 PM

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The Congressional Serial Set is a compilation of reports and documents published by Congress since 1817.

  • Reports are statements that describe bills section by section, or sometimes present results of Congressional investigations.
  • Congressional documents include various types of miscellaneous Congressional publications, such as statements by executive agencies and the President submitted to Congress, plus additional materials Congress determines are worth preserving for posterity.

The completed set will have over 325,000 titles on approximately 11 million pages. Many historians consider the Serial Set the most historically significant collection of U.S. government documents ever published.

The American State Papers, which covers reports and documents published between 1789 and 1838, are also included. It reproduces items excluded from the Serial Set between 1817 and 1838.

Leads to online indexing of both the American State Papers and the Serial Set, and full texts of Serial Set volumes.

Searching Tips: Select "Historical Full Text" on the Congressional Universe menu. Use Guided Search to retrieve data by keywords, subjects, titles, authors, Serial Set volume numbers, titles of statistical tables, and captions from illustrations. Additional search options cover document numbers, report numbers, bill and law numbers, and bibliographic information for maps.

Dates Covered

Current coverage includes 1789-1969 and selected materials from 1990 to date. The database will eventually cover 1789 to date, but the missing years are not yet available.

Print Counterpart

CIS US Serial Set Index. Published in 14 parts. Washington: Congressional Service, 1975. (Lockwood Reference Z1223.Z9 C65 1975) (LAW Reference Desk Z1223.Z9 C65 1975)

  • Part 1. American State Papers and the 15th-34th Congresses, 1789-1857.
  • Part 2. 35th-45th Congresses, 1857-1879.
  • Part 3. 46th-50th Congresses, 1879-1889.
  • Part 4. 51st-54th Congresses, 1889-1897.
  • Part 5. 55th-57th Congresses, 1879-1903.
  • Part 6. 58th-60th Congresses, 1903-1909.
  • Part 7. 61st- 63d Congresses, 1909-1915.
  • Part 8. 64th-68th Congresses, 1915-1925.
  • Part 9. 69th-73rd Congresses, 1925-1934.
  • Part 10. 74th-79th Congresses, 1935-1946.
  • Part 11. 80th-85th Congresses, 1947-1958.
  • Part 12. 86th Congress-91st Congress, 1st Session, 1959-1969.
  • Part 13. Index by Reported Bill Numbers, 1819-1969.
  • Part 14. Index and Carto-Bibliography of Maps, 1789-1969.

Printed copies of the Serial Set are at US Y 1.1/ 2: Serial #. Holdings cover 1817 through the present with gaps. Consult a reference librarian for access.

The American State Papers are in Lockwood Library at J33 A5.

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