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Legislative History Research: Compiled Legislative Histories

What is a Compiled Legislative History?

compiled legislative history includes documents involved in the process of passing a bill, such as the Public Law; House and Senate Documents; House, Senate, and Conference Reports; House and Senate Committee Hearings; Congressional Debates); related Bills; and Presidential Signing Statements.

If you can find a compiled legislative history, your work will be much easier. Some are available on password-protected services, but there are many available on the open internet.

Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories

Password-protected, access provided by the Law Library to current members of the Law School community:

HeinOnline's US Federal Legislative History library and Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories

ProQuest Legislative Insight includes compiled histories include the Public Laws (covering 1929 to the present), along with related bills, hearings, Congressional Research Service reports, committee prints, committee reports, Congressional Record sections, and Presidential Signing Statements, with all documents available as fully-searchable PDF files. 

Lexis has legislative histories organized by title, and also has specific legislative histories for tax law and the Internal Revenue Code.

Westlaw has US Code Congressional & Administrative NewsArnold & Porter Legislative Histories and U.S. GAO Federal Legislative Histories

Free Sources

Law Librarians Society of Washington, DC - by popular name order

The Library of Congress links to legislative histories compiled by federal agencies for legislation relevant to their functions.

United States Department of Justice has a page of legislative histories organized by popular name and public law number.

Library Resources

A keyword search using the Library's catalog (e.g. Sarbanes Oxley legislative history), can be used to locate compiled legislative histories available in the Library in print or through one of the Law Library's subscription databases (e.g. HeinOnline). You can also check WorldCat to see if there might be a complied legislative history available at a different institution, or HathiTrust for scans of books.