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Congressional Serial Set

Black and white photo of the empty US Senate Chamber, circa 1873.

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, contains House and Senate Documents and House and Senate Reports bound by a session of Congress.

The Serial Set began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817). It includes, among other things, committee reports related to bills and other matters, presidential communications to Congress, treaty materials, certain executive department publications, and certain non-governmental publications.

About the Congressional Serial Set

U.S. Congressional Serial Set: What It Is and Its History by Virginia Saunders, Congressional Documents Specialist, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, DC.

Serial Set Indexing

CIS U.S. Serial Set Index (LC Call Number Z1223.Z9 C65)

About the Inventory: Greater Saint Louis Metro Area’s United States Congressional Serial Set

Washington University, Saint Louis University, the Saint Louis City Public Library, and the University of Missouri-Saint Louis have joined together to create a complete inventory of the United States Congressional Serial Set holdings in the Saint Louis Metro Area.

Please note that Washington University School of Law holds a nearly complete set of Serial Set microfiche ranging from the 15th Congress (1817) to the 91st Congress (1971). They also possess a complete set of microfiche documenting Congressional records prior to the publication of the Serial Set that ranges from the 1st Congress (1789) to the 14th Congress (1817).

Please see the table below for the complete inventory of holdings for the United States Congressional Serial Set in the Saint Louis Metro Area:

Saint Louis Public Library SLP
Saint Louis University School of LawSLUL
Washington University School of Law
(Mediums available: Microfiche, print, and online)
Washington University, West Campus
(Mediums available: Print and online)
University of Missouri, St. Louis
(Mediums available: Print and online)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
(Mediums available: Print and online)

Congressional Papers & Publications

The West Campus holds congressional activity dating from the late-18th and early-19th centuries. These items illustrate the early days of the republic with accounts of congressional debates, votes, and activities.

Atomic Energy Technical Reports

This collection of approximately 18,000 documents from 1945-1970 consists of declassified engineering and scientific reports on atomic energy manufacture, experimentation, and usage.

Additional Congressional Serial Set Resources

Resources at St. Louis Area Libraries

Database/WebsiteAccessCoverageAvailable at…
NexisUniAccess to Institutional Users Only1970-Present (91st Congress, 2d Session-Present)WU, UMSL
Lexis Nexis LawRestricted AccessWUL, SLUL
Readex/NewsbankRestricted Access1817-1869 (15th-41st Congresses)
WestlawRestricted AccessSLUL, WUL

Online Resources

  • | The Library of Congress’ website making legislative materials available on the internet.
  • Library of Congress Memory Project | Began digitizing documents from the 23d to the 64th Congress (1833-1917). The entire set has not been completed.
  • Office of the Clerk, House of Representatives | Contains information about House activities ranging from partial coverage from the 1st Congress forward to complete coverage of more recent Congressional Sessions.
  • ProQuest’s Congressional Publications | Allows users to track Congressional legislation, find Congressional hearings, committee reports and prints, legislative histories of public laws, Congressional Record, and information on members of Congress. Access to the historical Congressional Serial Set.
  • U.S. Government Printing Office | Allows users to browse the catalog of House, Senate, and Treaty documents, by Congress, beginning with the 104th Congress (1995-1996).
  • U.S. Senate Congressional Record | Contains information concerning the activities of the House and Senate. This website is searchable from the 85th Congress-Present (1957-Present).
  • The University of Maryland | The University of Maryland is in the process of digitizing Serial Set maps.

Access these Materials

The West Campus Library Collection includes the majority of the System’s U.S. documents in print. The West Campus Library is currently closed to visitors.

Please contact Associate University Librarian Leland Deeds for information on the Government Publications Collections.


Collections, Access, and Scholarly Communications
Leland Deeds
Job Title
Associate University Librarian
Phone Number
(314) 935-5400