Tip of the Week: Where can I find a House or Senate Report in HeinOnline?

Tip of the Week, Tips and Tricks, U.S. Federal Legislative History


Committee Reports are considered to be one of the most important documents of legislative history research.  All House and Senate Reports are published in the United States Congressional Serial Set, which is not a resource available in HeinOnline.  However, HeinOnline may still have a House or Senate Report available in it’s  U.S. Federal Legislative History collection which contains more than 1,000 full-text legislative histories. So, how do you determine if we have the report or not?

Check out this week’s how-to video on YouTube, or continue reading below the video for a full-text version.

  1. First, determine what public law the committee report is tied to.
  2. Then, navigate to HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library.
  3. In this valuable collection you will find a collection of more than 1,000 full-text legislative histories, as well as Nancy Johnson’s Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories. This title contains all known sources of compiled legislative histories, and it’s in HeinOnline in an easy-to-use, searchable format.

So we are going to illustrate how to find a report in both the full-text collection and Nancy Johnson’s database by browsing to the public law.  In a subsequent post, we will illustrate how to search for a report in the collection.

Browse the Full-Text Legislative History Collection to Find a Committee Report

From the landing page in the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library, you can browse by the public law number, popular name of a public law, or the actual name of a legislative history.  If you know the public law number, click on Public Law No. next to the Browse By options at the top of the page.  The list is sorted in ascending order by the Public Law Number thus allowing you to easily browse through the list.  Or, you can use a “command FIND” function on your keyboard by hitting CTRL+F, and then enter your public law number in the find box.  If the public law number you enter is not found, then we do not have a full-text legislative history for that public law.

If you find your public law number, click on the name of the public law, then open the list of volumes.  Once the list of volumes appears, click on the link that says “Cumulative Contents” to view a complete list of documents included in the legislative history.  When the list appears, use a command FIND function again (CTRL+F) and search for the report number.

Browse the Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories Database to Find a Committee Report

You can also browse across Nancy Johnson’s Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories Database to find a legislative history.  To do this, click on the link “Sources of Compiled Legislative History Database” from the landing page.  From here you can browse by Congress or by an alphabetical list of Public Laws.

When you click on the name of the public law, it will bring up a database entry containing the public law number, links to law review articles that cite the public law, the bill number, U.S. Statutes at Large citation, bibliographic information for relevant law review articles with direct links to the full text of the article if it’s in HeinOnline, as well as bibliographic entries for compiled legislative histories.  If a compiled legislative history is available in HeinOnline, we will link you directly to the volume listing for the compiled history.  Once you see the volume listing, you can click on the “Cumulative Contents” link to view a list of all the documents included.  Then use the command FIND function, CTRL+F, and search for the report number.





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