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HIST 3301 (Dr. Elizabeth Clark): Historical Methods (Govt. Docs)

Historical Methods - Research U.S. Government Documents

Serial Set - Print Volumes

The Serial Set is organized by each Congressional session.

For example, the 77th Congress is divided into the 1st Session (1942) and 2nd Session (1943).

Each book will have a Serial Number that serves as a volume number in the set.

Serial Set

Includes Congressional documents and committee reports.

U.S. Serial Set - Print Set

  • Has the numbered Senate and House Documents and Reports from 1817 to present
  • Does not have hearings and debates
  • Can find an item by using the CIS U.S. Serial Set Index
  • Can also search the database U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817 – 1980

CIS Serial Set Index

  • Located in: Gov Docs Reference - Congressional
  • Index covers 1789 – 1969
    • Has Subject Indexes
    • Has Finding Lists (numerical list of reports and documents)
    • Supplemented with CIS Annual Index from 1970 – 1998
  • Years 1817 – 1969 refer to Serial Set
  • Years 1789 – 1816 covered by references to American State Papers

Example of entry

Cuba: Situation in Cuba

S.rp. 2111 (87-2) 12420

S.rp. = Senate Report

2111 = Publication number (Senate Report # 2111)

(87-2) = 87th Congress, 2nd Session

12420 = Serial set "volume" number is 12420

Abbreviations for numbered series:

  • S.rp. = Senate Report
  • H.rp. = House Report
  • S.doc. = Senate Document
  • H.doc. = House Document
  • S.exdoc. = Senate Executive Document
  • H.exdoc. = House Executive Document
  • S.misdoc. = Senate Miscellaneous Document
  • H.misdoc. = House Miscellaneous Document

Database: U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817 – 1980

TIP:

  • Click blue link New Search every time you start a new search
  • If you do multiple searches that only get 0 (zero) results— exit the database completely and start over.

Database: U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817 – 1980 / Browsing Tabs

  • At home page of this database, tab is Subjects (see other tabs!)
  • Example: Click on link to Armed Forces and Conflicts
  • Click on item such as:
    • World War II (1939-1945)
  • You will then see a list of clickable documents
  • They are primary source documents
  • You can browse sub-topics
  • You may also search within the results
    • Example: Holocaust
  • You may  also click on suggested topics in the right column for a new search
    • Example: Nazi Party (Germany)