About the Congressional Record
The Congressional Record was first published in 1873 and is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, published by the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO) and issued when Congress is in session. Indexes are issued approximately every two weeks. At the end of a session of Congress, the daily editions are compiled in bound volumes constituting the permanent edition. The Record is the most complete and accurate account of congressional matters to date.
Previously, congressional debates were catalogued in the Annals of Congress (1789-1824), Register of Debates (1824-1837) and Congressional Globe (1833-1873).
The Congressional Record consists of four sections:
- Daily Digest
- House section
- Senate section
- Extension of Remarks
The GPO has recently partnered with the Library of Congress to release an authenticated digital version of historical issues of the bound Congressional Record from 1951-1998. The issues are now available to the public via the GPO’s website. The project digitized more than a million pages, covering debates and proceedings of the 81st through the 105th Congresses.
What Does this Mean for HeinOnline Subscribers?
Subscribers of the U.S. Congressional Documents database have enjoyed access to complete coverage of the Congressional Record Bound version, as well as the daily version back to 1980. With the digital release of the GPO’s authenticated PDFs of the Congressional Record, users are now given the option to view the HeinOnline version of these documents, or to view the authenticated archival version directly from the GPO. The text and pagination in both versions are identical, as they’re both scanned replicas of the original. The HeinOnline version is available in black & white, fully searchable, and provides users with inline linking to previous citations various federal content in HeinOnline. The GPO’s version is available in government archival quality, fully searchable, but does not include the advantage of inline linking.
There are two ways to access the 1951-1998 PDF authenticated version from the GPO.
1. Within a Congressional Record document in HeinOnline, users will see a “GPO Authenticated PDF” link in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Selecting this option will link you to the GPO’s version.
2. Within the Congressional Record search results, users may view the page in HeinOnline, download the PDF from HeinOnline, or download the authenticated PDF from the GPO.
Selecting the “GPO Authenticated PDF” version from either a document or search result will direct you to the GPO’s version.
GPO’s Seal of Authenticity
Located on the bottom left-hand corner of the GPO’s version of the Congressional Record is the Seal of Authenticity. The Seal is a graphic of an eagle next to the words “Authenticated U.S. Government Information.” The Seal attests that the document has not been altered since it was authenticated and disseminated by GPO.
Interested in accessing historical pages of the Congressional Record in a fully-searchable format, but not a HeinOnline subscriber?
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