News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.


Free Online Research Tools: Congressional Research Service Reports

US Capitol Building illuminated at night The Library of Congress announced on September 17, 2018 that a new website is now live, making reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) available to the public. The CRS is Congress’ nonpartisan “think tank” that conducts research and publishes reports for Congressional committees and Members of Congress. The experts and researchers at CRS provide analysis of an extensive range of topics. The thorough and nonpartisan nature of CRS reports makes them a valuable source on important and current topics for anybody, including legal researchers. CRS reports can be useful for legislative history research because they provide unbiased background information from a legislative perspective on issues before Congress.

Despite the fact that CRS reports are taxpayer funded, these reports were only made available to legislators. Some reports eventually made their way out to the public, if a congressional staffer chose to share. Recently, efforts had been made to make more reports widely available to the public with websites such as EveryCRSreport.com working to collect and share over 14,500 CRS reports. The new website from the Library of Congress serves as an official source of CRS reports, with over 600 of the active reports available at launch and more being added over time. Users may enter keywords to search the database or browse the index by clicking the search button without entering terms.

For more on legislative history or additional law and policy sources, check out our Legislative History Research Guide and Free Online Legal Research Guide.

Complete Historical Congressional Record Now Available Online

cover of the Congressional Record On January 3, 2018, the Government Publishing Office (GPO) issued the final release of its project to digitize the historical Congressional Record. This release covers the first issue of the Congressional Record from March 5, 1873, through 1890. All releases in this digitization project are available on Govinfo, the website that will eventually replace the GPO’s FDsys.

The Congressional Record is an important and useful source when conducting legislative history research. It is published daily while Congress is in session, and is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. Each daily edition contains the Daily Digest, House Section, Senate Section, and Extension of Remarks. The daily editions are later collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a bound edition when each Congressional session has ended. These permanent, bound editions are now available on Govinfo, covering 1873-2009. The daily editions are also available online, covering 1994-present, on both Govinfo and FDsys. Prior to 1873, proceedings and debates of Congress were published in The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (1789-1824), the Register of Debates in Congress (1824-1837), and the Congressional Globe (1833-1873). Those publications are available through the Library of Congress’s American Memory Project.

ProQuest Congressional: For All of Your Legislative History Needs

ProQuest Congressional provides users with efficient, targeted access to the most comprehensive collection of historic and current congressional information available anywhere online.

ProQuest Congressional [linked from our database page] is one of the best databases to use to answer any legislative history question. It is available on campus, or remotely with authentication (CSU ID and Pin). One great feature is compiled legislative histories.  A compiled legislative history means that someone else has gone to the trouble of gathering and organizing all the documents related to the passage of an important piece of legislation in one place.

For more information on conducting legislative history research, see our Legislative History Research Guide.

 

ProQuest Congressional

ProQuest Congressional provides users with efficient, targeted access to the most comprehensive collection of historic and current congressional information available anywhere online.

ProQuest Congressional [linked from our database page] is one of the best databases to use to answer any legislative history question. It is available on campus, or remotely with authentication (CSU ID and Pin). One great feature is compiled legislative histories.  A compiled legislative history means that someone else has gone to the trouble of gathering and organizing all the documents related to the passage of an important piece of legislation in one place.

For more information on conducting legislative history research, see our Legislative History Research Guide.

Ohio Legislative History and More with Hannah Capitol Connection

hannah-capitol-connectionHannah Capitol Connection for Ohio legislative history research is available remotely for Cleveland Marshall students, faculty and staff, for educational use only. Just use the link in this post, or a link from the library webpage (under Law Databases), and you can get in from home using your CSU ID and PIN. Capitol Connection provides one-stop shopping for Ohio legislative history documents corresponding to bills and acts from 1989 forward.

 

What does Hannah Capitol Connection have that is not on the Ohio General Assembly’s webpage or elsewhere on the Internet? Among other things …

 

  • Coverage back to 1989. The Ohio General Assembly’s page only goes back to 1997.
  • Summaries of hearing testimony (When you pull up a bill, click on “Bill History”).
  • Hannah Report news articles corresponding to each bill.
  • Executive Orders back to 1999.
  • A fifty state search to find legislation pertaining to particular topics in all or some of the fifty states.
  • A search for bills and acts that actually changed a particular Ohio Revised Code section, not that merely mentioned the section in passing.

For more information on researching Ohio legislative history, see our Legislative History Research Guide.