Digitized Bound Congressional Record 1981 - 1990 Now Available

News November 29, 2016 - GPO and Library of Congress provide first time public access to electronic versions of digitized historical content


The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), in partnership with the Library of Congress (LC), has made available on govinfo digitized versions of the Congressional Record (Bound Edition) from 1981-1990.

This release covers debates and proceedings of the 98th thru the 101st Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • Ronald Reagan’s Presidency and the first two years of George H.W. Bush’s Presidency
  • The Strategic Defense Initiative
  • The Space Shuttle program
  • The Iran-Contra Affair
  • The end of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act

GPO and LC released the digital version of the historical Congressional Record for the 1990s in September and will continue to release digitized versions of the Bound Congressional Record all the way back to the first volume published in 1873. GPO published the first issue of the Congressional Record on March 5, 1873, and continues to publish the daily Congressional Record in print and digitally on govinfo.


About the Congressional Record (Bound Edition)

At the end of each session of Congress, all of the daily editions of the Congressional Record are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a permanent, bound edition. This permanent edition, referred to as the Congressional Record (Bound Edition), is made up of one volume per session of Congress, with each volume published in multiple parts, each part containing approximately 10 to 20 days of Congressional proceedings.

The primary ways in which the bound edition differs from the daily edition are continuous pagination; somewhat edited, revised, and rearranged text; and the dropping of the prefixes H, S, and E before page numbers.


Searching the Digitized Congressional Record (Bound Edition)

The digitized volumes, Volume 144 (1998) and previous, are being added to more recent volumes, Volumes 145 (1999), 146 (2000), and 147 (2001) of the Congressional Record (Bound Edition) already available on govinfo. There are several differences between how you can access the digitized volumes and how you can access the more recent volumes:

  • The Congressional Record (Bound Edition) is available for full-text searching and you can use metadata fields to craft specific searches using either the basic search or advanced search. Searchable metadata fields for the digitized volumes (Volume 144 and previous) are: Full-Text, Branch, Category, Citation, Government Author, Series, SuDoc Class Number, Title, Congress, and Publication Name. Additional fields are available for searching the more recent volumes.
  • The digitized volumes (Volume 144 and previous) are available to browse and download at the section level (i.e. House, Senate, and Extensions of Remarks) while the more recent volumes are available at the article level.
  • The digitized volumes (Volume 144 and previous) are not searchable using the citation search feature.
  • The History of Bills, compilation of Daily Digests, resume of all business transacted during the entire Congress, and the subject index to the Bound Edition will be available in the final part(s) of each year in the digitized volumes.