Skip to Main Content

History 311S: Men, Women and Sports: Finding Government Documents

Hearings/Congressional Publications

Note: Congressional Hearings have been held and published since at least 1824. Some hearings are not published and local news stories are the best sources. Duke has an extensive collection of hearings both in print and online. If you know the title of the hearing you are looking for, you can search for it in our online catalog. Printed hearings are held at the Library Service Center (LSC).

How can I find a hearing or congressional document on a particular issue?

For online access, Proquest Congressional is the database to consult. This database provides full-text access to hearings from 1824 to the present, but the coverage is incomplete.  In the advanced search mode, you can limit your search to hearings only.  You also want to limit your search by date or by Congress.  If you can't find the hearing you are looking for, please let me know. HeinOnline is another resource for government documents including hearings. This database also provides full-text access to other congressional publications including reports., maps, and bills. Also included in this database are Executive Branch documents from 1789 to 1945.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set provides full-text access to the reports, documents, and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Date coverage is 1817 to 1994. The Serial Set does not typically include hearings (though some hearings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are included), but it is a great resource to find other government publications on your topic. The Duke University Libraries does have in its collection some of the printed Serial Set volumes.  If you need to see a printed volume, let me know.

HathiTrust Digital Library, created by a partnership of research libraries and institutions, provides access to digitized full-text materials published prior to 1923 and those that are open access or Creative Commons-licensed.  It is a great resource for government documents.

Other resources to identify government publications:

Cumulative Index to the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications 1900-1971 is a printed 15 volume index which provides detailed bibliographic information about government publications including hearings (Perkins Reference Z1223 .B834 1973). You can use this index to identify publications on a particular topic.

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications began publication in 1895. It is issued each month by the Superintendent of Documents for the Government Printing Office and catalogs all publications of the United States government. The monthly catalog is available online for July 1976 to present. It can also be used to identity Census publications like Current Population Reports and other special publications.