Skip to main content

United States (Federal) Government Documents

What Are Hearings?

A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest.


For more information ProQuest Congressional has a helpful video on YouTube and also a white paper

What is an Unpublished Hearing?

Many hearings are not printed. The law does not require publication, and each committee or subcommittee decides whether to publish a particular hearing.

Rules dictate when unpublished hearings are released from the National Archives. Senate hearings are usually released after 20 years; House hearings after 30 years. The exception is hearings that include classified or sensitive material; they can be held for up to 50 years.

Source: ProQuest Congressional

What is a Committee Print?

Congressional Committee Prints are publications issued by Congressional Committees that include topics related to their legislative or research activities, as well as other matters such as memorial tributes. The prints are an excellent resource for statistical and historical information, and for legislative analysis. The subjects of the Committee Prints vary greatly due to the different concerns and actions of each committee. Some basic categories of Congressional Committee Prints are: draft reports and bills, directories, statistical materials, investigative reports, historical reports, situational studies, confidential staff reports, hearings, and legislative analyses.

Source: FDsys

Find Hearings & Committee Prints Online

Find Hearings in the Library

Published Hearings

Published hearings, 90th Congress (1967) to date:

Search for specific hearings in our Library Catalog for listings of print holdings and links to scans from the United States Government Printing Office (GPO).  The print copies are shelved by superintendant of document number (Y4).  All hearings should be in ProQuest Congressional as well.

Published hearings, Before 90th Congress (1967):

Search for specific hearings in our Library Catalog for listings of print holdings; they are shelved by Library of Congress classification numbers. The U.S. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary is an exception to separate cataloguing and the set of hearings is listed under the title Hearings before ... the Committee on the Judiciary.... from 1958-1966 under one call number J74.C3. The Law Library has kept the Committee on the Judiciary hearings as well.(inquire at the D'Angelo Law Library).

CIS US Congressional Committee Hearings Index

23rd Congress, Dec. 1833 - 91st Congress, first session, 1969.
Index by subject, provides descriptive information on the hearing, and an index by bill number.

Hearings are also indexed in the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications.

Unpublished Hearings

Unpublished House of Representatives hearings:
click on the links below for location and access information 

Full text:

Unpublished U.S. House of Representatives committee hearings [microform] 1833-1972



Unpublished U.S. Senate hearings:
click on the links below for location and access information

Full text:

Unpublished U.S. Senate committee hearings [microform] 1823-1984


    Find Committee Prints in the Library

    Ask a Librarian

    Ask a Librarian's picture
    Ask a Librarian
    Subjects:Help Guides

    Ask a Librarian

    Emily Treptow's picture
    Emily Treptow
    Regenstein Library Room 100B
    Subjects:Business, Economics