U.S. Congressional Serial Set



The much-anticipated release of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set in HeinOnline (Phase I) is here! This database is included at no additional charge for HeinOnline Academic subscribers, Core+ subscribers, and subscribers of HeinOnline’s U.S. Congressional Documents.

The Serial Set  is an enormous undertaking, which is why it’s being released in phases.


The Serial Set is an ongoing project in HeinOnline, with the goal to add approximately four million pages each year until the archive is completed. Moving forward, we will add newly released material, as well as fill in any missing volumes between 1817 and 1977.

Since its initial release in October 2018, nearly 4 million pages and more than 5,700 volumes have been added to the Serial Set. In the past month alone, nearly 500 volumes and more than 320,000 pages were added.

As of October 2019, the Serial Set in HeinOnline includes:

Complete indexing of the more than 17,000 volumes of the Serial Set
Full 40-year (1978-2018) content archive in HeinOnline’s image-based PDF format
Complete coverage of the American State Papers
87% of the Serial Set is available in HeinOnline or via HathiTrust Digital Library
65% of documents are available in HeinOnline’s image-based PDF format



The Phase I launch also includes custom features not available in any other resource.

Features Include:

  • Volume Quick Locator, which enables users to simply enter a Serial Set volume number to retrieve the content
  • Citation Quick Locator, which provides users the ability to enter a House or Senate document/report citation for quick document retrieval
  • Multiple browse options to accommodate different research methods
  • Color-coded H indicators to help users determine volume and document availability
  • HeinOnline’s user-friendly advanced search tool, which makes it easy to use the extensive metadata indexing or choose specific section types for quick and detailed searches



The United States Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, is considered an essential publication for unveiling American history. Spanning more than two centuries with more than 17,000 bound volumes, the records in this series include House and Senate Documents, House and Senate Reports, and more. The reports are usually from congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. The documents include all other papers ordered printed by the House or Senate. Documents cover a wide variety of topics, including reports of executive departments and independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, executive-branch materials were also published in the Serial Set.



United States Congressional Documents from the period 1789 to 1817 are published under American State Papers, which consists of 38 volumes. The two series overlap, as American State Papers covers through 1838. Full coverage of the American State Papers is available within this collection inside HeinOnline.


Select the U.S. Congressional Serial Set  from the HeinOnline welcome page to access all content in the database. The default landing page of the Serial Set directs users to the full list of Congress numbers available within the collection. Volume & Citation Quick Locator tools are provided which enable users to simply enter a Serial Set volume number or citation to retrieve the content.

Located on separate tabs users will also notice Congressional Documents and Congressional Reports from the 114th-115th Congresses which are available in HeinOnline, but have not yet been assigned a Serial Set citation. The American State Papers, which encompass the 1st through 25th Congresses are also available.

Once a Congress number has been selected, users are taken to the complete list of volumes within the selected Congress.

While searching or browsing the Serial Set in HeinOnline, colored icons appear next to various records. These icons indicate whether full-text coverage or indexing only is currently available for the material. Selecting a volume number within a Congress brings users to a complete list of titles within the volume. Availability is indicated by “H” icons.


Blue and Orange Icon: This icon indicates that this Serial Set volume has been digitized and is available within the HeinOnline database as well as the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Blue Icon: This icon indicates that this Serial Set volume has been digitized and is available within the HeinOnline database.

Partially Blue Icon: This icon indicates that this Serial Set volume is partially available within the HeinOnline database.

Orange Icon: This icon indicates that this Serial Set volume is available in HathiTrust Digital Library and will link to the specific Serial Set volume within the collection.

Red Icon: This icon indicates that this volume/document was assigned a serial number but it was not distributed or used.


Gray Icon: This icon indicates that this Serial Set volume is not yet available in HeinOnline or the HathiTrust Digital Library.


Selecting the Advanced Search link located beneath the main search bar allows users to search particular fields within the metadata (indexing) for more precise results. Users can also choose the method in which to sort search results from the Advanced Search area by relevance, volume date (oldest or newest first), or by document title.


The number of full-text volumes of the Serial Set in HeinOnline will continue to grow monthly by nearly 350,000 pages, or four million pages each year. Moving forward, we will add newly released material, as well as fill in any missing volumes between 1977 and 1817.

Phase one of this project will not include oversized foldouts or maps. We plan to include this content in future releases. Users will be notified on the status of the project via email, the monthly HeinOnline Newsletter, and the HeinOnline blog.


If your library holds all or part of the Serial Set, and you are willing to assist us in completing this project, please contact Shannon Hein at 716-882-2600 or shein@wshein.com. HeinOnline would like to give a special thanks to the following libraries for their generous contributions which have resulted in the steady growth of HeinOnline’s U.S. Congressional Serial Set.

  • Wayne State University
  • University of Utah
  • UC Hastings
  • University of Montana
  • Law Library of Louisiana
  • George Washington University

For more information about the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, please contact your sales representative or the HeinOnline Marketing team at marketing@wshein.com or 800-828-7571.

Missing Volumes

Download an Excel file of missing volumes of the Serial Set.