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Congressional Publications


Serial Set

This is a retired research guide because the U.S. Serial Set is digitized.

What is the U.S. Serial Set?

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, commonly known as the Serial Set, is a compilation of many types of government documents that has been published since1817. It is digitized by the Law Library of Congress, and is made publicly available through a partnership between the U.S. Government Publishing Office and the Law Library of Congress. The joint digitization project is a multi-year effort. Additional volumes of the Serial Set will be added to this collection as they are available.

About this Page

Except for a gap from 1970-1985 (a period for which the BC Law Library can provide coverage), O'Neill Library has complete holdings for the American State Papers and Serial Set. This page provides an overview of both sets of publications.

Two additional pages provide information on the types of Senate and House publications contained within the Serial Set.

Serial Set Overview

  • The U.S. Congressional Serial Set consists of House Reports and Documents and Senate Reports and Documents, as well as Presidential messages to Congress (but not executive orders)
  • Began publication in 1817 with the 1st Session of the 15th Congress
  • Continued the American State Papers
  • Up till 1952 House and Senate Journals were also included
  • Since 1979, Senate Treaty Documents included
  • Composition has changed over time: has sometimes included various executive agency publications as well as Congressional Directories


Electronic Databases

U.S. Serial Set (BC Community Only)

  • Ongoing digitization project providing access to the Serial Set; coverage up till 1980

ProQuest Congressional (BC Community Only)

  • Provides comprehensive indexing of congressional publications as a whole (not just the Serial set) from from 1789-present.

Indexes and Fiche Holdings

CIS U.S. Serial Set Index and Microfiche Library, 1789-1969

  • Gov Docs Reference KF49.C65 index
  • O'Neill Library has the accompanying U.S. Serial Set on CIS microfiche from the 15th Congress, 1st Session through the 91st Congress, 1st Session (1817-1969); O’Neill Microforms Microfiche KF49 .C65

CIS Index and Abstract, 1970-present

  • Provides comprehensive coverage of Serial Set publications from 1970-present.
  • O'Neill Gov Docs Reference KF49.C62 index
  • O'Neill has the accompanying CIS microfiche from 1985-2007; O'Neill Microforms Microfiche KF49.C62
  • The Law Library has the accompanying CIS microfiche from 1970-present

American State Papers 1789-1838 Overview

  • Consist of similar information as that found in the U.S. Serial Set
  • Include legislative and executive documents from the years 1789-1838

The American State Papers are arranged into ten sections: 1. Foreign Affairs 2. Indian Affairs 3. Finances 4. Commerce and Navigation 5. Military Affairs 6. Naval Affairs 7. Post Office Department 8. Public Lands 9. Claims 10. Miscellaneous

See the introduction to the Library of Congress' American State Papers database for a quick overview.

American State Papers - Electronic Databases

American State Papers - Fiche and Stacks Holdings


CIS Serial Set Fiche Library. O'Neill Microfiche KF49.C65. The ASP are found at the beginning of the collection.

  • Indexed by CIS U.S. Serial Set Index. Gov Docs Ref KF49.C65 index.


O'Neill Stacks J33 .A5.

Volumes are selective and do not circulate.