Top of page

Screenshot of the PDF of the Congressional Globe on, p.2544
The PDF view of the Congressional Globe available from the Browse page

Congressional Globe in the News and Our Plan for Ongoing Modernization of the Globe

Share this post:

The following is a guest post from Rohit Gupta, systems architect for

As some of you may know, the Congressional Globe is one of the many historical document treasures that is part of the legacy Century of Lawmaking website. The Globe, as it is usually called, contains the congressional debates of the 23rd through 42nd Congresses (1833-73). The team has been working on a multi-phase modernization of the content on this website which includes congressional legislation, Annals of Congress, the Globe, and Register of Debates, as well as Senate, House, and Executive Journals.

To further highlight the importance of the collections in our historical legislative collections, the Supreme Court, in one of its rulings this week, referenced the Congressional Globe, specifically, a page from the Congressional Globe in the 39th Congress 1st Session, from 1866. If you search for this citation on a public search engine, the link for this page goes to the legacy soon-to-be-retired Century of Lawmaking site.

The first phase of our multi-year modernization effort for Century of Lawmaking content started with Congressional Bill Text. We talked about this modernization in our post “Century of Lawmaking–New Look, New Location.” We also reclassified some of the historical text that was put in a generic “Bill Text” class as Congressional Documents since not all the text was related to bills. This process of improving our classification is ongoing.

Screenshot of the Browse page showing Debates of Congress open for the 39th Congress to display the Congressional Globe PDF links
The Congressional Globe is available under debates of Congress on the Browse page

We then worked on moving all the content from the legacy website into consolidated PDFs on as part of the Browse pages. We talked about this in our post “ New, Tip, and Top – August 2023 – Browse back to the First Congress.” For example, the page that the Supreme Court referenced in its ruling is from the 39th Congress and is available in the appropriate PDF (p.2544) under Debates of Congress.

The next phase of Congressional Globe modernization will focus on migration of detail pages from the legacy website into a highly usable and searchable collection on as part of the Debates of Congress. The new Congressional Globe content will be available in global search results, through the Browse pages, through a “Page Headings” page per Congress, and will have both “detail pages” for each page as well as a page turner like the one we have built for another Century of Lawmaking collection called the Annals of Congress. The Annals of Congress cover the 1st Congress through the first session of the 18th Congress, from 1789 to 1824. We talked about the Annals of Congress modernization recently in our post “ New, Tip, and Top – February 2024, Part 2.

We plan to use similar navigation for the Globe collection as we did for the Annals of Congress collection. You can see Annals of Congress Page Headings on and a page turner in action for Annals of Congress content on pages like this Accountability of Public Officers example. If you want to try the page turner, you can see its full featured options for downloading the current page being viewed in the page turner, going to the previous or next page, zooming in and out, and rotating the page. We will use the same page turner model for Globe pages where you will be able to paginate through pages quickly and interact with each page.

Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.