U.S. Congressional Reports & Documents back to 1817 to be Freely Accessible Online

The U.S. Government Publishing Office has announced that it is working with the Law Library of Congress to digitize and make freely accessible volumes of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set back to the first volume published in 1817.  The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, contains the Reports and Documents from the House and the Senate bound by session of Congress.  They are also published separately unbound.

From the GPO announcement:

The Law Library of Congress will digitize the Serial Set. GPO will securely store the files in its certified preservation repository where the documents cannot be edited or tampered with in any way. GPO will upload volumes of the official Serial Set in phases for free public access on govinfo, the one-stop site for authentic, published Government information. The entire effort is expected to take at least a decade to complete.

Currently, Congressional reports and documents are available from the following sources (thanks to our Gov Docs team, Shawn King & Margaret Booth, for compiling this list):

  • Govinfo
  • ProQuest Congressional
    • 1st Congress (1789) to current
  • HeinOnline
    • Serial Set: 15th Congress (1817) to 113th Congress (2014)
    • Congressional Reports & Documents: 114th Congress (2015) to current
  • Hard copy at UW Law Library and other federal depository libraries
    • Serial Set (bound): Incomplete for 25th Congress (1837) to 75th Congress (1938); mostly complete for 76th Congress (1939) to 95th Congress (1978)
    • Congressional Reports & Documents (unbound): 96th Congress (1979)-current

Hat tip to Information Today