This is the "Step 3: Try to Find a Compiled Legislative History" page of the "Legislative History--Federal" guide.
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Fordham University Law Library
This is a step-by-step guide for locating or compiling the legislative history of federal statutes. Read the General Introduction below and then follow the steps. To track a bill in the current Congress, go to the Bill Tracking tab.
Last Updated: Dec 5, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Step 3: Try to Find a Compiled Legislative History Print Page


Legal Publishers, librarians, lawyers, and other researchers have compiled and published in print and online a large number of legislative histories.  Comprehensive legislative histories compilations attempt to bring together in full text every relevant legislative history document related to a particular congressional enactment.  Basic legislative histories compilations bring together only the materials that the editor deems most indicative of legislation intent, usually either the House or Senate report and the conference report (if available).    Comprehensive histories are likely to be available for landmark legislation only and have never been compiled systematically.  Basic legislative history compilations are available for most legislation.

Below you will find an explanation of the resources that you can use to locate compiled legislative histories for particular legislative enactments.  However, if you are looking for a comprehensive history for a particular enactment and can not quickly find an already compiled one, move on to Step 4. 


    Finding Aids

    • FULLPAC: Search the Fordham University Law Library catalog for selected comprehensive legislative history compilations. FULLPAC will also locate legislative histories that are part of Westlaw's online Arnold & Porter collection of comprehensive legislative histories.  Search on the popular name of the legislative enactment, e.g. Clear Air Act, Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
    • Union List of Legislative Histories (7th ed.) (Ref: KF4.U55) This print publication lists the legislative history collections of more than 120 libraries in the Washington, D.C. area and includes thousands of legislative history compilations to U.S. public laws from 1790 to 1998.

    Comprehensive Legislative History Compilation Databases

    • HeinOnline U.S. Federal Legislative History Library.  Select the U.S. Federal Legislative HistoryTitle Collection and browse for comprehensive legislative histories by Public Law number or popular name.
    • LexisNexis Legislative Histories: A very selective group of compiled legislative histories.  Login to Lexis Advance. Underneath the search box, pre-select the following filters: Content-Type:Statutes and Legislation; Jurisdiction: Federal; Practice Area: All. Then search using your search terms. Under "Content Type" select Legislative Histories.
    • Arnold & Porter Collection-Legislative Histories (Westlaw) Very select list of compiled legislative histories from the D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter.
    • US GAO Federal Legislative Histories (Westlaw) Comprehensive legislative histories for most U.S. Public Laws enacted from 1921 to 1995, and PL 104-191, as compiled by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, including the text of laws, bills, committee reports, Congressional Record documents, transcripts of hearings, and other documents in pdf format.



    Basic Legislative History Compilation Databases

    • United State Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) - Legislative History Reports: Available in print (Open Reserve: KF48.W45 and on Westlaw (USCCAN-REP). USCCAN reprints fell text of selected committee reports for laws enacted from 1944 to the present.
    • Legislative History - U.S. Code, 1948 to present (LH) - This Westlaw database collects all congressional committee reports, including reports on bills that did not become law, beginning with 1990. Also contains the legislative documents appearing in U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) from 1948 through 1989.


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