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How to Find the Congressional Record

The Congressional Record is a record of the proceedings of Congress. It is published daily when one or both chambers of Congress is in session and is available the following morning.The Congressional Record is available on both and GPO's govInfo, in some libraries, or can be purchased from the Government Publishing Office.

Web Access

Congressional Debates 1789 to 1873; 1873 to 1875

The Congressional Record began publication in 1873; there are three earlier publications that cover the debates of Congress from 1789 through 1873. The full text of these earlier publications are available on the Library of Congress’ website.

  • Annals of Congress cover the 1st Congress through the first session of the 18th Congress (1789-1824).
  • The Register of Debates covers the second session of the 18th Congress through the first session of the 25th Congress (1824-1837).
  • The Congressional Globe covers the 23rd Congress through the 42nd Congress (1833-1873).
  • Congressional Record that covered 1873-1875; however, web access to the full text of the Congressional Record does not pick up again until 1989.

Congressional Record 1995 to Present

The full text of the contemporary Congressional Record is available on and on the govinfo (GPO) website. On, you can browse the Record or do a fielded search back to the 104th Congress (1995-96). On the GPO website, you can do fielded searches or you can retrieve a page (if you know the specific page number you are looking for) back to the 104th Congress (1995-96).

Congressional Record Index 1983 to Present

The Congressional Record Index is also available on govinfo, back to 1983. The GPO website also provides easy access to the History of Bills and Resolutions portion of the Congressional Record Index.


The Congressional Record and its index may be available in large library systems or college libraries, frequently as a part of their participation in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Over 1,100 libraries participate in the FDLP, collecting and/or providing public access to government documents. A list of depository libraries is available on GPO's website. Since most depository libraries are within a university or state library, calling ahead to ask about hours is advised.

Purchasing from GPO

GPO sells single issues of and subscriptions to the Congressional Record. More information is available from GPO by calling 202-512-1800 or 1-866-512-1800 or by visiting the online U.S. Government Bookstore. You may also fax or mail an order form.