Skip to Main Content

U.S. Federal Government Publications: Historical

Historical Publications Online (Selected Sources)

  • Library of Congress Guide to Law Listings of what's available online for free (titles and years available). Some sources will lack search interfaces, but are good for drilling down to known citations. Includes legislative, executive, and judicial branch publications. See also their Century of Lawmaking site, with legal and legislative documents through 1875.
  • ProQuest Congressional [and Executive Branch] Publications  (Duke only) Full text of most US Congressional titles 1789-present as well as Executive Branch publications through 1932. Congressional Record since 1985. Paper indexes are also available: Executive Branch.
  • Collects legislative information such as bill texts and voting records of members of Congress. Especially useful for its developer tools such as an API and bulk download of data from many past sessions.
  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994 (Duke only) Text of House and Senate Reports and Documents (and Journals 1953-1974); newer at  Also see U.S. Congressional Serial Set Maps for scanned maps from the Serial Set.
  • America's Historical Imprints (Duke only) Especially in Series II (Shaw-Shoemaker bibliography), includes many of the pre-1820 government publications not included in the above sources.
  • HeinOnline (Duke only) The text of publications since their inception, focusing on law and legislation, including the Congressional Record and predecessors
  • The American Presidency Project  At UC Santa Barbara, gathers together many different types of documents and transcripts of speeches and spoken statements related to the Office of the President
  • FRASER From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, contains hundreds of digitized US federal government publications and unpublished archival collections relating to economics, banking, and public policy. Acrobat (.pdf) documents are fully searchable.
  • Digitization Projects Registry A listing of digitization projects of historical U.S. Government publications that were previously only available in print format.

Additional Specialized Access Points

Access to recent information and/or access or indexing to historical publications, archival information (unpublished records of government agencies and declassified documents), technical reports (quasi-governmental reports prepared by contractors), and statistical data.

Many of the databases listed are subscription services available only to Duke University users.