Subject Guides

About the U.S. Congressional Serial Set

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set is America's oldest continuously-published series. Beginning in 1817 with the 15th Congress, the Serial Set is a sequentially-numbered compilation of bound House and Senate Reports and Documents. These publications are first issued individually throughout each Congress and are later permanently bound into the numbered volumes of the Serial Set.

Congressional publications from the first fourteen congresses (and some from later congresses) are in the American State Papers, a 38 volume set. Binghamton University Libraries has all but volume 23. (Bartle Main Oversize J33 v.1-22, v.24-38). They are also available online through the American Memory Project at the American State Papers site.

The Serial Set and American State Papers are available from the beginning through 2003 via Proquest Congressional

Serial Set publications since 2003 are available via FDSys : Browse Documents | Browse Reports

Publications included

  • House and Senate Journals through 1952 (after 1952 see SuDoc nos. XJH and XJS respectively)
  • House and Senate Reports: Committee Reports on proposed private and public legislation
  • House and Senate Reports since the 104th Congress are also available on Fdsys.
  • House and Senate Documents: Non-congressional publications ordered printed by Congress. These can include executive agency publications (e.g., Presidential messages to Congress), annual or special report to Congress, special investigations and background information, and annual reports of selected nongovernmental organizations (e.g., Boy Scouts, American Legions, etc.).
  • Senate Executive Reports since the 97th Congress (1980)
  • Senate Treaty Documents since the 96th Congress (1978-79)


For reference, Reports and Documents are assigned the following SuDoc classification numbers. 

Y 1.1/3: (Senate Documents) 
Y 1.1/4: (Senate Treaty Documents)
Y 1.1/5: (Senate Reports)
Y 1.1/6: (Senate Executive Reports) 
Y 1.1/7: (House Documents)
Y 1.1/8: (House Reports)



Indexing and full-text searching of the Serial Set are available in Proquest Congressional

The following print indexes may also be of use 

For 1789 to 1969:

  • CIS U.S. Congressional Serial Set Index 1789-1969  (Gov Doc Ref Z 1223. Z9 C65)

Subject and Keyword Index
Numerical List of Reports and Documents: sequential list of all the reports and documents in each session of Congress
Schedule of Serial Volumes: numerical list of serial set volumes and all the documents included in each volume.
Index by Reported Bill Number
Index and Carto-Bibliography of Maps

If you know the report or document number, and need to determine the Serial Set volume, use:

  • CIS U.S. Congressional Serial Set Index, 1789-1969 (Gov Doc Ref Z 1223 .Z9 C65)
    Includes a Subject and Keyword Index, Index by Reported Bill Number, and a sequential list of all the reports and documents in each Serial Set volume.
  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set Supplement, 1981/82 (Gov Doc Ref  Z 1223 .A15 1981/82)
  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set Catalog, 1983- 1994   (Gov Doc Ref Z1223 .A15)
    Sequential lists of all reports and documents from each session of Congress, and numerical lists of Serial Set volumes and all the reports and documents included in each. Bartle has 98th Congress (1983/1984) - 103rd Congress (1993/1994).

Subject Librarian

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Dave Vose
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