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BGSU University Libraries

HIST 3190: The American Indian in History: Congressional Documents

Guide to library resources--books, journals, newspapers, websites, government information--for the History 3190 class.

Congressional Serial Set (House and Senate Documents and Reports)

The Serial Set includes various Congress working papers such as:

  • Documents
  • Reports
  • Early agency publications (pre-1860)

It does not include hearings.


House and Senate documents are available in the following places:

1st-14th Congresses (1789-1816)

Also called the American State Papers, this set precedes the Serial Set and is located in the documents stacks at Y 1.1/2. There are 38 volumes (vols. 01-038). Volumes 7-8 cover Indian Affairs. The BGSU Libraries own this set in print and also full text online.  See the database listed below for the online version.

15th-43d Congresses (1817-1878) Serial Set numbers 1-1662

These volumes are on microcards which are filed in boxes and are located in the documents collection following the American State Papers. Y 1.1/2:nos. WARNING:  This format is difficult to read. If you need documents from this time period, see Carol Singer.  She can usually retrieve these from the State Library of Ohio in digital (pdf) format.

44th-69th Congresses (1875-1926) Serial Set numbers 1663-8826

These volumes are on microfiche and are located in the Documents Microforms Area. Ask a staff member at the Research & Instruction Desk for help locating the volumes you need. Some of these are also in paper, so you can check the documents stacks first, if you prefer paper to microfiche.

64th - present Congresses (1915 - present) Serial Set numbers 6897 -

These volumes are generally in paper, although there are some gaps, particularly before 1933. Search for volumes in the documents stack area: Y 1.1/2: no.


To identify the House and Senate documents and reports that might be useful, use these indexes and databases:

Congressional Hearings

Finding Hearings in Jerome Library

Jerome Library has hearings and prints from the early to mid 1970s to date. All hearings start with SuDocs number Y 4. Most hearings are in print format and are housed in the documents stacks; however, some committee hearings are in microfiche. Microfiche are filed in the Documents Microforms Area. Some older hearings are housed at the North West Regional Book Depository and may be requested from the BGSU Libraries Catalog.


Finding Hearings Published before 1970

We do not have early hearings in Jerome but many are available in other libraries in Ohio. Search the Sudoc number or title (from LexisNexis) in OhioLINKcatalog.

Can't find a hearing in OhioLINK? Search the title in WorldCat. You can request material in WorldCat through Interlibrary Loan (Illiad).

Congressional Debates

You will find a wealth of information in the "floor debates" of Congress. Members of Congress discuss issues of the day, debating policy and arguing various solutions. Important events in history often ended up being debated in Congress. This can be a great source to identify differing points of view and supporters.

Annals of Congress (1789-1837) 1st. - 25th Congress
Online version of the Annals

Register of Debates (1824-1837) 18th - 25th Congress
This is an online resource containing the debates of the 18th Congress, 2nd session through the 25th Congress, 1st session. There is obviously some overlap with the Annals of Congress

Congressional Globe (1833-1873) 23rd-42nd Congress
Online version of the Globe
paper: X72-X179 (Documents Stacks)

Congressional Record (1874-to date) 43rd Congress-
We have all the Congressional Record in one format or another. The print set is shelved in the Document stacks in X
paper: (1874-1875, 1902-1976) 43rd-44th; 57th-94th Congresses
microfilm: (1876-1901) 44th-57th Congresses
microfiche: (1977-1982) 95th-97th Congresses
online via FDSys (1995-to date ) 104th - current Congresses


Congress Sessions by Date

Table of Congressional Publication Volumes and Presidential Issuances: 1789-1999 was created by Rick McKinney for the LLSDC's Legislative Source Book. It's a useful tool for finding dates of congressional sessions and corresponding volumes of publications such as:

  • the Statutes at Large
  • Congressional Serial Set
  • U.S. Congressional Bibliographies
  • Congressional Record
  • and Presidential Papers and Documents