The Library of Congress announced today that U.S. congressional records dating back to the days of printing presses and the telegraph are now easily accessible on mobile devices. With this latest update of Congress.gov — the official website for U.S. federal legislative information — the Library has transitioned over 33,000 bills and resolutions crafted by Congress between 1799 and 1873 (the 6th to 42nd U.S. Congresses) to a modern, user-friendly web format.
The Library’s “Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation” collection has been a premier source of historic legal documents since it was first published online in 1998, serving as an access point to the lawmaking of early America. The bills and resolutions provide insight into events during the nation’s most formative years, from the Louisiana Purchase to the American Civil War and Reconstruction.
These records from the Century of Lawmaking site join existing congressional data on Congress.gov beginning in the mid-20th century. Subsequent migrations over the next two years from the site will include other historical documents, such as “Journals of the Continental Congress,” the records of the daily proceedings of the first and second Continental Congresses, records from the Constitutional Convention and the state constitutional ratification debates.
This major update to Congress.gov marks its fifth anniversary since it replaced the former public legislative website THOMAS, and also adds other historical congressional material, including the Congressional Record Bound edition back to the 71st Congress (1929-1930). Other recent updates have made text available for public and private laws enacted from the 82nd Congress (1951-1952) onward and new usability features, including a new citation tool, ‘find your member’, enhanced search options and improvements to the congressional committee schedule.
Read the Complete Announcement