What is the Congressional Record?

There are two versions of the Congressional Record in ProQuest Congressional

The first version, available with the Congressional Basic subscription, is the Congressional Record Daily Edition.  For information on the Daily Edition, use the Congressional Basic guide.

The second version, the Permanent Digital Collection, contains both the bound Congressional Record (beginning in 1873 and currently available through 2009, and the predecessor titles including the Congressional Globe (1833-1873), the Register of Debates in Congress (1824-1837), and the Annals of Congress (1789-1824).

This second version, the Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection, is what we are highlighting in this guide.

Modules in the Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection:

  • Congressional Record (beginning in 1873-1997) and the predecessor titles including the Congressional Globe (1833-1873), the Register of Debates in Congress (1824-1837), and the Annals of Congress (1789-1824).  
  • Congressional Record 1998-2001
  • Congressional Record 2002-2005
  • Congressional Record 2006-2009
Congressional Record Appendix
The appendix volumes were not organized chronologically.  To fit this reality into the records for each day shown in the product, a composite appendix PDF was created for each day, pulling pages containing items from the relevant day.  The pagination for the appendix PDFs will thus always be passim., rather than a contiguous range.  Also, because of the the continuous two-column format of the appendix volumes, items from other days are included in these composite PDFs, when adjacent to the items for the relevant day.
For more information on the Congressional Record see

For more information on the Congressional Record, see the In-product Help (link in the upper right corner), or the

About the Congressional Record in ProQuest Congressional

You can easily see if your library has the Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection by looking at the Advanced Search form.

Just below it is the Congressional Record Daily Edition (which is included in the Congressional Basic subscription) so users who have access to both may search them simultaneously.

  bound Congressional Record on the Advanced Search page

Searching the Record
When searching only the Congressional Record  the fields pulldown displays the search options that are specific to the content types in the Record.      Note:  often users may be successful simply by using the All fields except full text.

When searching only the Congressional Record  the fields pulldown displays the search options that are specific to the content types in the Record. 


Note:  often users may be successful simply by using the All fields except full text.


Three of the pulldowns will cause a series of options to open up with additional content options.  They are:  Content Type, Full text by section, View of GPO Index volumes only, and Member of Congress.Three of the pulldowns will cause a series of options to open up with additional content options.  They are:  Content Type, Full text by section, View of GPO Index volumes only, and Member of Congress.
Searching using a member name now allows you to find remarks by that person on a particular topic.
Results from the Basic and Advanced Search tabs

When searching ProQuest Congressional from the Basic, Advanced, or Search by Number tabs, results for the Congressional Record (CR) are listed with the rest of the materials in the results.

Use the document filters, on the right side of the display, to limit to only the Record, or to select other document types.  More options (indicated by the arrow) allows you to choose both what you want to see, and what you want to block.

Below the document type filter (shown here) are additional options for filtering including Committee Source, Subject, and Agency.


Search Results - the details .

Once search results are returned and you've clicked on a day, the metadata (indexing information) corresponding to your search appears

On the left is is a guide to the contents of the page.  As Congressional Records results are often quite lengthy, these allow you to navigate to various parts of the page quite easily.  Only the document segments available for a particular day will appear.


The Title information contains information about the date, the session of Congress, and the pages covered by the day. It also gives you the permalink that you can easily create a link back to this content as well as links to the previous and next day.

The sections Members of Congress, Roll Call Votes, Other Speakers and Subjects, and Bills and Resolutions contains the four different ways information is indexed. 

At the bottom are the full text segments.  Note the Daily Digest (the cliff notes to what happened that day) are here. 


If you have searched using metadata, the section of the metadata corresponding to your search will be opened and the search term will be highlighted.

Click on the page number to open to the specific page of the content.


Not shown here:  The results are broken up into the entire document and the document broken into 50-page chunks. If you've searched using full text, the search term will display next to the 50-page increment where it appears.

Advanced Techniques

The Congressional Record is one of the more complex publications produced by Congress.  In addition to finding letters, speeches, tributes, etc., there is information included about legislation and what each chamber (the House and Senate) did as part of their work.   And often times there are bills inserted, or conference reports.   

There are two ways to track the legislation referred to in the Congressional Record using ProQuest Congressional.  The information below demonstrates

Using the Congressional Record Indexes
Listed under Search by Number, use the Congressional Record Citations tab to see options specific to the Congressional Record.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for Congressional Record Bound Index Volumes by Congress. This option allows the user to simply retrieve the index volumes for a particular Congress or dates to review.

Use the pulldown offered at the bottom of the page to select the year or Congress desired and click Search.

Once you've retrieved the index volumes, you can either open the record, or mouse over the Full text link to see the parts of the index.


For tracking legislation where you know the bill number, there are two sections of interest - House Bills and Senate Bills.



These sections will list all the pages within the Congressional Record that refer to specific bills from either the House or the Senate.

Here is an except from the Senate showing listings of bills, and the pages the bills are referred to.





Note:  This may be considered to be a complete index for the Congressional Record, however isn't a comprehensive record of all activities on the legislation. For example, often hearings are not included in this index because they take place in committee. The Congressional  Record contains information about activities on the floor of the House and Senate.

Searching by Number (bill number, law number etc)

Using the Search by Number tab, users can search bill number, Public Law number, or Statutes at Large citation. 


Using this technique, users retrieve not just Congressional Record citations, but also anything tagged with that information from institutional purchases (so there may be bills, public laws, reports etc., in the search results).  From the Results list, use the filters on the left to select the Congressional Record.

Once the index record is opened, scroll down to the Bills & Resolutions section to see the pages relevant to the needed citation.


Hint:  within the Congressional Record, the pending legislation is referred to by bill number or by name/topic, so if you searched using the Public Law (PL) or Statutes at Large citation, you'll want to note the bill number or title/topic to find the section on the page.

Search by date

Users can search the Congressional Record by date and pull back content - no search terms are necessary.

To do this,

  1. go to the Advanced Search form,
  2. Select only the Congressional Record Bound Edition in the document types on the left,
  3. select Limit by Date and Date is... and enter the date
  4. Leave the search box empty, and
  5. Click search. 

Your result will be the only one. 

Also, in the Title Info section of the metadata there are the links for Previous Day/Subsequent Day which can be used to browse content.

Note:  if Congress didn't meet that day, there will be no Congressional Record

Sample Content

This page provides examples of the types of content that can be found in the Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection.  Since the Congressional Record is printed every day that Congress is in session it includes a lot of content. 

A good tip for searching the Congressional Record is to limit to a date range so when searching for a specific speech, address or tribute limit by the date range to narrow the search.  Using the All Fields including Full Text is a good way to search for specific phrases in speeches that have been named later (such as Wilson's Fourteen Points) but may not have been printed in the Congressional Record using the speech name.

Also remember that speeches inserted into the Record (such as Martin Luther Kings I have a Dream speechare printed after the day the event occurred, unlike speeches by Members of Congress which are printed the day they happened.

Make Us Worthy: Mother Teresa
Interesting Speeches
Newspaper Articles