The following is a guest post by Anna Price, a legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress.
Back in May, in honor of Law Day, we introduced you to our new Research Guides service, using the LibGuides platform, where you can find research guides the Law Library has assembled on a variety of topics. Because we are frequently asked research questions related to congressional hearings, committee reports, and debates of Congress, today we are highlighting Compiling a Federal Legislative History: A Beginner’s Guide and the helpful tips and strategies found within it.
Digging through federal laws and legislative history can be overwhelming, even for the advanced researcher. But the Law Library is here to alleviate that fear! The “Compiling a Federal Legislative History: A Beginner’s Guide” research guide walks users through the search strategies one may take, beginning with explaining how to learn if a given law has changed over time by using information in the U.S. Code to navigate public laws in the Statutes at Large.
Understanding that many researchers want to glean more information about legislative intent, the research guide also provides information about other legislative history resources, including committee reports, debates of Congress, and presidential communications, among others. Additionally, each section lists resources where documents can be accessed either for free online, or through the Law Library’s print collection or electronic subscription databases.
Please enjoy browsing through “Compiling a Federal Legislative History: A Beginner’s Guide.” We hope it helps you with your research. If you have any questions, please contact us through Ask A Librarian.