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Research Guides

Government Sources by Subject: [U.S. Congressional] Serial Set

Starting Points

The U.S. Serial Set is a celebrated core resource for the field of American History. It is a specially bound, consecutively numbered version of all House and Senate reports and documents. Historians and researchers have been amazed by the Serial Set’s inclusion of such items as colored plates, maps, journals of land surveys, explorations and other materials one would not think of as dry Congressional fare. Because our federal government operated differently during its earlier years, many Executive Branch publications and general interest materials, like horticultural descriptions, were submitted directly to Congress and published as reports and documents.

Note: the older print editions of the Serial Set (1789-1969) in our collection are fragile; for the most part, we restrict their usage and encourage the use of the digital and microfiche versions of the Serial Set.

Additional Finding Aids

Component Parts of the Serial Set

House and Senate Documents and Reports
Also known as Committee Documents and Committee Reports, these materials are included in the U.S. Serial Set. Since 1990, duplicate copies of the separate Documents and Reports have been retained in both the GovPub U.S. Stacks (print) and in GovPub Microforms as well. For a fuller description of Documents, see House and Senate Documents, ProQuest (
Access for all on-campus; login required from off-campus), and for Reports, see House and Senate Reports, ProQuest (Access for all on-campus; login required from off-campus). The UW Libraries copy of the bound Serial Set ceased in 1996, post 1996 Documents and Reports can be found on CIS Microfiche M-5016.

Executive Branch and miscellaneous items
ProQuest provides a thorough explanation of the non-congressional materials in the Serial Set. The College of Wooster Libraries provides SuDoc and agency browsing in their extensive U.S. Congressional Serial Set Finding Aid.

Serial Set: 1981 - 1996 (years not yet digitized by Readex)

Use ProQuest Congressional Publications (Advanced Search feature), linked below. When asking for assistance in the library, please provide the following information for each item on your results list; we cannot locate items in the library without this info:

  • Title
  • CIS number
  • Doc. number
  • Congress & Session (ex: 96-1, 113-2)
  • Session-Date

We will assist you in locating the documents, which will be on microfiche (and are located in our Suzzallo Basement Closed Stacks).

Four yellow bound books from the Serial Set

Image: Alexis Jensen

Want to go directly to full text House or Senate Reports or Documents? Don't care about the Serial Set?