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Congressional Help: Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports


Please note: the content viewed in ProQuest® Congressional varies according to the subscriptions/purchases of individual institutions.

About CRS Reports  

CRS Reports are a source of information of all kinds - from historical research to current events, to information about how Congress works.   The researchers at CRS respond to requests for information from members of Congress on all topics - from information on economic indicators, the strategic petroleum reserve, public health issues, and international affairs.  CRS Rports are often the first place (within ProQuest Congressional) you'll see informative content about issues in the news, and they'll often also provide reviews of legislation, years after passage.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) was established within the Library of Congress to provide members, committees, and congressional staff with nonpartisan and objective research and analysis on all public policy issues. Originally established in 1914 as the Legislative Reference Division, CRS was originally organized as a typical library reference service. Under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, it was officially named the Legislative Reference Service, given permanent status as a separate department within the Library, and directed to employ senior specialists in various program areas. The Legislative Reference Service was renamed Congressional Research Service under the Legislative Reference Act of 1970.

Currently, the CRS research divisions are: American Law; Domestic Social Policy; Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade; Government and Finance; Knowledge Services; and Resources, Science and Industry. Many CRS reports are updated at varying intervals, so it is always important to note the exact date of issuance rather than just the title and the year of publication.

Accessing Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports  

Use the Basic Search Form, Advanced Search Form, or Search By Number Form

These forms are found under the Congressional or the Legislative & Executive Publications links in the menu bar across the top of the interface.

search forms from top of screen

  search forms from top of screen


The Advanced Search form allows you to search on specific segments of a document. The search segments below apply to Committee Prints.

Anywhere except full text Searches all search segments noted below, with the exception of full text.
Anywhere Searches all bibliographic information and the full text of the publication.
Congressional Source The committee or CRS division that authored the publication. A complete list of the committees and CRS divisions can be found by using the Index Terms links.
Subject Controlled vocabulary subject indexing. To see a complete listing of the vocabulary, click the Find Terms links.
Title The title as it exists on the actual publication, and titles of materials inserted into the document.
Author Author of a publication.

From the Search by Number pages, the following search options may be used

  • Bill number
  • Public Law number
  • Statute at Large citation
  • Publication number
  • Accession Number

Collections that include CRS Reports  

The ProQuest Congressional Research Digital Collection includes indexing and searchable PDFs available for a collection of CRS Reports (1916-current).  Click on the link immediately below for more information on this collection.

Some CRS reports have been issued as House or Senate documents, reports, or committee prints, while others are available as attachments to various types of publications.