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Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection: Advanced Search Techniques

Advanced Techniques

The Congressional Record is one of the more complex publications produced by Congress.  In addition to finding letters, speeches, tributes, etc., there is information included about legislation and what each chamber (the House and Senate) did as part of their work.   And often times there are bills inserted, or conference reports.   

There are several ways to track the legislation referred to in the Congressional Record using ProQuest Congressional.  The information below demonstrates

Searching by Number (bill number, law number etc)  

searching for the record using bills, etc



Using the Search by Number tab, users can search bill number, Public Law number, or Statutes at Large citation. 


Using this technique, users retrieve not just Congressional Record citations, but also anything tagged with that information from institutional purchases (so there may be bills, public laws, reports etc., in the search results).  From the Results list, use the filters on the left to select the Congressional Record.

Once the index record is opened, scroll down to the Bills & Resolutions section to see the pages relevant to the needed citation.


Hint:  within the Congressional Record, the pending legislation is referred to by bill number or by name/topic, so if you searched using the Public Law (PL) or Statutes at Large citation, you'll want to note the bill number or title/topic to find the section on the page.

Search by date

searching by date

Users can search the Congressional Record by date and pull back content - no search terms are necessary.

To do this,

  1. go to the Search by Number form,
  2. Select the option for the Congressional Record on the left,
  3. Enter the date and select one or both editions
  4. Click search. 

when you are looking at the metadata for the date, note the links to previous day and next dayYour result set will be for that date only (the Daily Congressional Record will return results for the different parts of the content; the Bound Congressional Record will return a single file)

Also, in the Bound edition, Title Info section of the metadata, there are the links for Previous Day/Subsequent Day which can be used to browse content.

Note:  if Congress didn't meet that day, there will be no Congressional Record.