We are excited to start adding the volumes of the Congressional Record (Bound Edition) (also referred to as the “Bound Congressional Record”) to Congress.gov. If you’re not familiar with the Congressional Record, it is a record of the debate and proceedings that occur on the floor of Congress. It is published in two different ways. The Daily Edition of the Congressional Record is paginated by day within a section. The sections of the Daily Edition include a summary of the day’s proceedings called the Daily Digest, as well as sections for the House and Senate, and a section known as the Extension of Remarks, in which members of the House publish additional statements that were not actually delivered on the House floor. The Bound Congressional Record is compiled later. Each volume corresponds to a session of Congress, is broken up into parts by date, and is paginated consecutively. We will be releasing the finding aids for the Bound Congressional Record in the future, such as the Daily Digest, History of Bills, and index, which are usually found in the last part of the Bound Congressional Record for a given year.
The Congressional Record is sometimes used as a source to determine the intent behind a legislative provision, but it can also serve as an invaluable historic record to allow future generations to see how Congress reacted to significant events of the day. I have enjoyed using the predecessors to the Congressional Record that are found on our site, Century of Lawmaking, to see how Congress reacted to political and military developments during the U.S. Civil War.
With the addition of the Bound Congressional Record to Congress.gov for the 98th to 103rd Congresses (1983-1994), you can research congressional perspectives on major issues from the 1980s and early 1990s. For instance, you can read about congressional reactions to the fall of the Berlin Wall (see page 28061) and the dissolution of the Soviet Union (see page 62).
We hope you find the addition of the Bound Congressional Record helpful. Let us know what sort of interesting discoveries you make in this collection in the comments.