The following is a selection of sources that can be used to find already-compiled legislative histories. (This means that someone else has already done the legwork of gathering and compiling the documents – texts of bills, committee prints, reports, etc.). Please consult with a reference librarian for if you need assistance in using these sources.
Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories
By Nancy P. Johnson. Hein, 2003.
This is a checklist of legislative histories that have been compiled for enacted laws which are published in government documents, periodical articles, and books. It indicates whether the source provides citations only or reprints the documents that make up the legislative history. NOT ALL PUBLIC LAWS ARE INCLUDED! It begins with the 1st Congress and is updated periodically.
KF 49 J63 Reference Office
Federal Legislative Histories
Bernard D. Reams, Jr.
Greenwood Press, 1994.
Provides an annotated bibliography and index to officially published sources. Indexes allow user to find relevant legislative histories by author, popular name of the law, Congressional session / public law numbers and bill numbers.
US Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) (1941- )
USCCAN publishes the texts of all public laws enacted in a particular session of Congress. The legislative history volumes reprint selected Committee Reports (House, Senate, and Conference) for each of the laws. Both the biweekly advance sheets and the bound volumes contain a legislative history table which lists for each Public Law: date approved, Statutes at Large citation, bill and report numbers, committees that recommended the bill and dates of consideration and passage in the House and Senate.
CIS/ Index and Abstracts
(Also in available electronically as the LexisNexis Congressional Universe database. See entry in MAJOR ELECTRONIC SOURCES) CIS abstracts and indexes most congressional publications (except the Congressional Record) issued since 1970. Annual cumulations are in two parts: a subject index, and abstracts of the indexed publications. The legislative history documents can be located by bill number, Public Law number, report number, subject, title, author, or witness name. Multi-year cumulative abstracts have also been issued. Starting in 1984, an annual Legislative Histories volume was added. Arranged by Public Law number, this volume indexes and abstracts all documents relevant to a public law even if the documents are from Congresses prior to the enactment of the law.