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Congressional Hearings Digital Collection: Unpublished Hearings

What is an Unpublished Hearing?

Many hearings are not printed. The law does not require publication, and each committee or subcommittee decides whether to publish a particular hearing.

Rules dictate when unpublished hearings are released from the National Archives. Senate hearings are usually released after 20 years; House hearings after 30 years. The exception is hearings that include classified or sensitive material; they can be held for up to 50 years.

About the ProQuest Unpublished Hearings

A quick note about unpublished hearings holdings from the ProQuest collections.

When the original collections of unpublished hearings (for both the House and the Senate) were released, they were separate microfiche collections from the published hearings. For the digital collections, the unpublished hearings that had been acquired prior to the creation of the ProQuest Congressional Hearings Digital Collections were included in the collections along with published hearings. This includes House unpublished hearings through 1972 and Senate unpublished hearings through 1984.

Since the initial retrospective modules were released, three modules of unpublished materials have been released. They are:

  • Part A: House hearings, 1973-79 (all of the Senate materials for those dates had been released previously).
  • Part B: House hearings, 1980; Senate hearings,1985 – 1990.
  • Part C: House hearings, 1981-82; Senate hearings, 1991-92; plus 104 recently declassified hearings from earlier dates.

Searching for Unpublished Hearings

On the Basic Search page enter in the Search term.  For example the search term could be the Subject of the Hearing.

basic search for unpublished hearings

The Basic Search will search Full Text for the Search Term and will return an unlimited number of results.

The Basic search will return all available content types such as Hearings Published, Congressional Record, Serial Set, CRS Reports, etc. (depending on institutional subscriptions).

advanced search for unpublished



Alternatively, you can use the Advanced Search form to search more specifically in Hearings only, for the term unpublished and the keywords describing your subject. 

unpublished results


Facets can be found on the left hand side of the search results screen. 

If available, Hearings Unpublished will be an available facet.  Click on the link for Hearings Unpublished to limit the search results.

Unpublished Hearings

Unpublished Hearings Collection A (House hearings, 1973-79)

Unpublished Hearings Collection B  (House hearings, 1980; Senate hearings,1985 – 1990)

Unpublished Hearings Collection C  (House hearings, 1981-82; Senate hearings, 1991-92; plus 104 recently declassified hearings from earlier dates)