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Congressional Research Digital Collection: Searching in CRDC

Searching for a Topic - Searching for Keywords

basic formWith the Congressional Research Digital Collection (CRDC), it is easy to just enter a a few words and explore a myriad of relevant results. 

Among the topics covered in these document types:  Hurricane Katrina, polar bears, names of other countries, and much much more.



After the search results are displayed, review the facets in the right margin for document types, specifically, CRS reports and Committee Prints.  Use More Options at bottom of facets to see the list of all document types.

Searching for a Topic - Using Index Terms

climate in index terms

Using the subject terms can be helpful when you're not getting the expected results from a search. 

To improve results, consider using Index Terms, under the search term boxes--click on the hyperlinked "Index Terms."

You can browse terms using the A to Z links, or put a term in to see any related terms and select from those.

climate cut and paste from index

Once you've checked off the preferred term, click on the teal green button to Paste to Search and the system will insert the search term on the form.

Searching for Current Reports or Prints

searching for current materials


To see materials in which Congress is currently interested or topics in the news, you'll want to search for the most recent CRS Reports and Committee Prints.

To do this, type the document type name in the search box, select the correct publication as the publication type, and set the date to the previous 1,2, or 3 months.

To retrieve both documents types, use the OR command between the search term as shown in example.


Users can also use a wildcard (*) to search for all content.


Searching for publications related to legislation

search by number


Click on the Search by Number form, and select the type of citation you want to search--bill, public law and Statute at Large are shown, but there are other options on the form.




Once you have selected the desired citation,  you can input your legislative number (PL 88-352, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, is shown here) to retrieve the related materials. These materials are secondary source materials that can provide analysis and insight into the legislation pre- and post-enactment.