Selected Resources for: Legislative Resources, U.S.

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Subject Librarian:

Amy Riegelman

This subject covers: Congress, laws, and elections. See also Political Science (general aspects) and Politics, United States on the previous page.

Article Databases and Indexes

Academic or Scholarly Articles Subject Indexes

Humanities & Social Sciences Retrospective searches nearly 1200 of the most important journals in these subject areas. Updated, uniform subject headings facilitate your search, with the original subject headings also provided. Subjects Covered Include: Addiction Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Area Studies, Art, Classical Studies, Communications, Community Health & Medical Care, Corrections, Criminal Justice, Criminology, Dance, Economics, Environmental Studies, Ethics, Family Studies, Film, Folklore, Gender Studies, Geography, Gerontology, History, International Relations, Journalism, Law, Linguistics, Literary & Social Criticism Literature, Minority Studies, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Planning & Public Administration, Policy Sciences, Political Science, Psychiatry, Psychology, Public Welfare, Religion and Theology, Social Work, Sociology, Urban Studies.

Since its establishment in 1914, PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) has chronicled issues in the public debate through highly selective coverage of a wide variety of sources, including references to monographs, periodical articles, notes and announcements, government documents, policy reports and analytics. Addition of the Archive to our current PAIS International database extends comprehensive access to public and social policy information.

Catalogs & Indexes to Government Publications

Congressional Publications & Executive Branch Documents provides access to full-text, indexing, and abstracts of published and unpublished Hearings, Congressional Committee Prints, and Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports. The full list of searchable congressional publications and date coverages includes:

  • Legislative Histories 1969-Present
  • Bills & Laws 1789-Present
  • Committee Prints & Misc. Publications 1789-Present
  • Congressional Record Bound Edition & Predecessors 1789-Present
  • Congressional Record Daily Edition 1985-Present
  • CRS Reports 1916-Present
  • Hearings 1824-Present
  • House & Senate Documents 1789-Present
  • House & Senate Reports 1789-Present
  • Serial Set 1789-Present
  • Executive Branch Documents 1789-1939

General Indexes to Magazine, Journal & Newspaper Articles

LexisNexis Academic is a full text databases of business, legal, news, magazines, and wire services. It includes sources for accounting, environmental studies, health and medical care, government and politics, people, and consumer information. Legal publications include law journals, federal and state statutes, codes, cases, agency rules & regulations, patents and legal reference materials.

Catalogs and Bibliographies


Search with MNCAT to find books, journals, etc. owned by the library. Search by keyword, subject, title, or author for materials on your topic.

General Reference Sources


A dictionary that defines the current and historical phrases used by Congress.


The Congressional Directory contains standard directory information on the current Congress, plus session dates for each house since 1789, statistics on Congress, lists of Governors, a list of the Presidents and which Congresses met during their administrations and much more.

Complete directory of Congress and related organizations, including key staff, Home Page and e-mail, and pictures.

Periodical and Newspaper subscriptions

Magazine Titles

Useful for tracking federal legislation. Also known as CQ Weekly Report. After 1998, this publication is known as CQ Weekly. The online version contains the full-text of articles since 1983.

Primary Source Materials

Government Documents

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Printing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the LOC's Congressional Research Service.

The official publication for Presidential Documents and Executive Orders as well as Notices, Rules and Proposed Rules from federal agencies and organizations.

GPO Access provides official and free full-text access to a wide variety of congressional publications ranging from the History of Bills to the Congressional Directory. Dates of coverage vary, but generally start in the early to mid-1990s. Indexing of the Congressional Record goes back to the early 1980s.

Codification of the general and permanent laws of the U.S.

A rich source of primary source material on all aspects of American history, from the bound, sequentially numbered volumes of all the reports, documents, and journals of the US Senate and House of Representatives. Additional congresses are added each month.

Style Manuals and Writing Guides

Bibliography Software

RefWorks is a web-based citation manager that allows you to create your own databases of citations by importing references from MNCAT and other databases, and then in seconds automatically generate bibliographies in all major styles (MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago, etc.).

Research Guides

This guide describes the steps in the legislative process, the official publications that result from it, where they are located, and good sources for analysis of the legislation.

Style Manuals

Web site prepared by the Government Publications Department of the University of Memphis and based upon the Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: A Manual for Writers & Librarians. Locations for the book are below.

Library Information

Government Publications Library

Basement Level, Wilson Library
West Bank, Minneapolis Campus