Washington and Lee University

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Congressional Serial Set

The Serial Set probably can be considered the single greatest publication series of the U.S. Federal Government. It also arguably can be considered the single most important collection of primary source material for the study of U.S. history for the 19th century and most of the 20th century.

Still being published in paper form in the 21st century, the modern Serial Set is now almost exclusively a collection of Congressional Reports and Documents. However, for most of its history, it was much more than that, including hundreds of thousands of reports in a wide variety of subject areas from dozens of government agencies.

There is no single online database covering all of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.

Instead, Leyburn Library has access to separate databases for coverage of different time periods.

  • The U.S. Government Printing Office, via their free GPOAccess database, covers 1976 to date.
  • LexisNexis, through W&L's subscription, provides coverage from 1789 to 1969.
  • The Library of Congress' A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation site provides free access to early volumes of the Serial Set and its predecessor, American State Papers

Leyburn Library also holds printed volumes of the Serial Set in its U.S. Government Depository collection.  These volumes are listed in Annie by volume number.

For more information on this series, see this page.