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Legislative History: Prints, Documents & Hearings

Legislative history details and resources at Paley Library

Prints, Documents & Hearings

Committee Prints and Documents

Materials prepared for the use of committees are published as committee prints. They provide documents legislators consulted while considering bills.

Results of some Congressional investigations are published as House or Senate Documents and occasionally are useful as sources of legislative history.

CIS, Ground floor


The Committee to which a bill is referred will hold public hearings if the bill is important or controversial. Written testimony may be submitted by various public officials, experts and private individuals who might also be allowed to give a brief oral summary of their testimony and be interrogated by members of the committee. A transcript of the hearings is made and is often printed for public distribution. Hearings on legislation may be held during several Congresses before the legislation is passed.

CIS, Ground floor


Prints, documents and hearings contain investigations, white papers, background and other research materials that the committee members considered when working with a bill.  These are the "inputs" of the process.  Review the materials the committee considered to reveal what information they were reacting to when drafting their recommendations.

For more information, consult the sources in the "For more detail..." box on the Legislative Process tab.


These items are numbered consecutively within each Congress.  "H.R. Doc. No. 112-89" is the 89th House Document from the 112th Congress.

House Document -- H.R. Doc. No.

Senate Document -- S. Doc. No.

House Miscellaneous Document -- H.R. Misc. Doc. No.

Senate Executive Document -- S. Exec. Doc. No.

Senate Treaty Document -- S. Treaty Doc. No.

Pro Tip

Check committee websites for very recent hearing transcripts or audio and video recordings. 

House committees

Senate committees