Congressional documents originate from congressional committees and cover a wide variety of topics and may include reports of executive departments and independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations.

Browse documents, including committee prints, from the 94th Congress (1975-76) to the present, at the US Government Publshing Office. There are also select documents from the 8th Congress (1803-04) to 93rd Congress that have been digitised. 

Due to the high volume and complexity of its work, the United States Senate divides its tasks among committees, subcommittees, and joint committees.

The following titles can be checked for committee names, new committees, or changes of names in committees:

Current committees can be found online:

Library holdings

When you have identified a Committee title, use the Catalogue standard search to find documents published by that Committee. Example searches are:

Search tips

  • Use ‘United States’ and ‘committee’ as part of your search, along with the Committee name.
  • When you have a list of results, select the ‘Author’ hyperlink to ensure you find all the documents from that Committee.
  • Limit your search by year range in the right hand menu.


Most of the work of Congress is done at the committee level. Committees are subsidiary organizations of the Congress established for the purpose of considering legislation, conducting hearings and investigations, or carrying out other assignments as instructed by the chamber.

‘Standing’ committees generally have legislative jurisdiction, and most operate with subcommittees that handle a committee's work in specific areas. ‘Select’ and ‘joint’ committees are chiefly for oversight or housekeeping tasks.

See Chapter VI. Consideration by Committee of How our Laws are Made for more information

Not sure where to start?