Breaking Down This Year’s Substantial Addition of Legislative Histories

8 MIN READ

Alongside the rest of our daily, weekly, and monthly content additions this year, we continued to expand the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library with additional statute coverage.

In total, 91 legislative histories were added to the database over the past 12 months, spanning more than 230,000 pages and covering a range of topics, from energy research and development to the president’s national emergency powers to music copyright in the streaming era.

About the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

The U.S. Federal Legislative History Library contains thousands of titles from a number of sources, including the Government Printing Office, Arnold and Porter, Covington and Burling, Kirkland and Ellis, Van Ness Feldman, Pepper Hamilton, and more. William S. Hein & Co., Inc. also contracts with legal experts to compile and publish legislative histories on major public laws in-house. Over the past year, the collection has surpassed 2,500 titles and 6.5 million pages of content in its entirety—a far cry from the nearly 400 titles and 1.2 million pages with which this collection began in 2011.

These compilations are composed of the text of the final public law, House and Senate bill variations, Congressional hearings, House and Senate reports, and more. Users can research legislative intent behind major public laws, follow the progression of a bill from its introduction to its passage, or gain insight into any ambiguous statutory language with this valuable tool.

All titles are indexed to the document level and are fully searchable, and all material available in HeinOnline is linked and accessible from this database.

Additions Over the Past 12 Months

See a breakdown of the legislative histories added over the past year below.

Locating a Compiled Legislative History

After entering the database, users can browse all legislative histories by title, author, date, and subject. If you have a particular statute in mind, see if the database contains its legislative history by browsing the complete list by publication title, popular name, or public law number.

Browse by options in the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

Each title displays the public law number, source, and a “More Information” link containing public law information, bill references, and related materials.

More Information Icon on Public Laws

Click the title of any document to access its full text within the database or a corresponding subject-specific database.

Screenshot of Administrative Procedure Act

Where a legislative history has been broken into multiple volumes, a search bar has been made available, enabling users to search across the entire compiled history.

Screenshot of Search This Title in U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories

Use the Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories subcollection available within this database to easily determine whether a legislative history of a public law has been compiled, even if it’s not currently available in HeinOnline. The Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories collection is derived from the loose-leaf publication Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories: A Bibliography of Government Documents, Periodical Articles, and Books originally created and edited by the late law librarian Nancy P. Johnson, and now updated by professional law librarians Ron Wheeler and Jenna Fegreus.

The collection can be searched, or browsed by Congress or by a list of public laws organized into an A-Z index by popular name. Locate the desired public law, and then click the title of the Act to view its entry. Each entry displays a list of available material pertaining to that public law, such as compiled legislative histories, books, and law review articles. Any material available within HeinOnline is hyperlinked.

Screenshot of Search Options for Sources of Compiled Legislative History
Screenshot of Public Laws Organized A to Z

To learn more about the U.S. Federal Legislative History database, including database-specific search tips and tricks, visit its dedicated LibGuide!


Need Help? Email Us.

Have a question? HeinOnline search gurus are here to help! Email us, chat us in the HeinOnline interface, or call us at (800) 277-6995 to speak with a HeinOnline expert.

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