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US Legislative Materials & Histories: Bills

This guide is designed to help you find federal legislative documents in the Law Library, in the Graduate Library, and through online resources


For a detailed discussion on how to find bill numbers, please see the Preliminary Considerations section of this guide.

Indexed By:

  1. CIS Index to Publications of the United States Congress. 1970-present. 
  2. Congressional Index. 1939-present.

For details on using these Indexes, refer to the General Indexes of the Legislative Histories Indexes.

Obtaining Text:

Prior to 1933

The Law Library does not own bills prior to 1933. They may be at the Graduate Library or available through Interlibrary Loan. Please refer to the Finding Legislative Materials section of this guide.

1933 - Current

Beginning with the 73rd Congress (1933/34-present) bills are on microfiche, under the title “Bills and Resolutions” - coverage is usually one to two sessions of Congress behind, so you will need to consult the electronic resources indicated below for bills from the two most recent sessions of Congress. You will need the Congress and bill number to request the Bills and Resolutions microfiche at the Circulation Desk.

Bills from the 103rd Congress (1993-1994) forward are available on FDSys

Bills from the 104th Congress (1995-1996) forward are also available on

Finding Materials

Bills & Resolutions dating from:

  • 1993 to current - FDSys.
  • 1989 to currentProquest Congressional. Select search options under "Congressional Publications" on the left side of the page.
  • 1979/1980 to a few years before current - Grad Library Docs Center; fiche. Also available as a U.S. Govt. Printing Office microfiche set. You will need the Congress, Session and bill number. Use the finding aid entitled Superintendent of Documents Cumulative Finding Aid for Congressional Bills and Resolutions (Grad Docs Center).
  • 1933/1934 to a few Congress before current - Law Library; fiche. You will need the Congress, Session, and Bill or Resolution number.  This collection covers from the 73rd Congress, 1st Session to one or two Congresses before the current Congress.
  • 1900-1932 are not available on campus, but may be available through Interlibrary Loan. Formats will vary. Ask at Reference Desk for information about Interlibrary Loans.  (Non-law students, non-law faculty, and private citizens must obtain Interlibrary Loan materials through their home libraries--but the reference desk here can assist with finding the necessary information to give to your home library.) 
  • 1789-1899 - Grad Library; film. Arranged by Congress and bill number.

Links to additional Internet Resources can be found on the Internet Resources tab and on the Law Library’s Electronic Resources List.

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