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Researching Hein’s Uncontested Collection of U.S. Federal Legislative Histories


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.

U.S. Federal Legislative History homepage

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.

Free Customer Training Session

Maximizing the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

At HeinOnline we strive to provide our customers with essential help resources to give them a stellar research experience. We recently provided a free customer training session showcasing how to maximize the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library. With this database, users can research legislative intent behind major public laws, follow the progression of a bill from its introduction to its passage, and gain insight and clarification into ambiguous statutory language. If you have 20 minutes to spare, watch the recording of this training session to learn the following:

  • Browsing: Locate a federal legislative history by title, public law number, and popular name.
  • Searching: Learn helpful Advanced Searching techniques to easily locate government documents such as House or Senate reports.
  • Locating Related Primary & Secondary Sources: Discover related material using the Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories subcollection.

HeinOnline Help Resources

Have you ever found yourself struggling to construct a search query or locate a document in HeinOnline? Do you need help learning how to stay organized with a MyHein account? Before you get frustrated, check out our Help Resources when you’re in a crunch!

As always, our dedicated support staff is also available via phone Monday through Friday from 7:30am – 6:00pm ET. Call us directly at 800-277-6995.

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