This is the "Step 4: Consult a Legislative History Database" page of the "Legislative History--Federal" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
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 4: Consult a Legislative History Database Print Page


Legislative History databases provide a bibliography or citation list of all of the legislative history documents associated with a particular public law.  LexisNexis and Proquest Congressional provide comprehensive legislative history bibliographies with full-text links to most of the listed documents from the 91st Congress, 1970, to the present. Thomas provides legislative history information from legislation from the 94th Congress (1975) to the present with links to documents in full-text from about 1996 to the present. If your legistation is pre-1970, go to step 3 or step 5.


Proquest Congressional

Proquest Congressional (formerly LexisNexis Congressional Universe) ( is an authoritative source of comprehensive legislative history documentation with a user-friendly interface. It provides comprehensive legislative history documents with links to the full-text for statutes passed from 1970 to the present.

  1. Click on Legislative Histories.
  2. Select keyword search tab to search by keyword or  select the Get a Document tab to search by public law number, United States Statutes-at-Large citation, or by enacted bill number.


LexisNexis compiles comprehensive legislative history bibliographies with full-text links to many of the listed materials for legislation from the 91st Congress (1970) to the Present.

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.

You can also try typing in the Public Law Number into the search box (example: for P.L. 107-110, type in 107-110)



Thomas ( is the authoritative source for federal legislative information from the 93rd Congress (1973-1974) to the present. Note: Thomas does not cite or link to committee hearings. 

  1. Scroll down and select Public Laws.
  2. Select the congress in which your law was enacted (for example, P.L. 107-110 was enacted in the 107th congress).
  3. Select the appropriate range.
  4. Scroll down to your public law using the serial numbers (not the bill numbers). For example, for P.L. 107-110, scroll down to the 110th item listed.
  5. The entry for your law will list the enacted bill number, the sponsor, the committees, the committee reports,
  6. For a comprehensive list of legislative activity surrounding the enacted bill and links to the legislative history documents associated with that bill, click on the hyperlinked bill number.
  7. The summary page for the enacted bill lists related bills, bill text, amendments, a CRS Summary, a list of all congressional actions, etc.
  8. Click on All Congressional Actions with Amendments for a full chronological list of all legislative actions with links to the documents associate with those actions.



Loading  Loading...