U.S. Congressional Serial Set  Connect to U.S. Congressional Serial Set
Also known as: Congressional Serial Set, Serial Set, United States Congressional Serial Set
Access: Internet-delivered database. There are three ways to connect:
  1. from a public computer in the University of Delaware Library
  2. from a University of Delaware campus connection in your dorm, lab, or office
  3. from an off-campus connection (University of Delaware ID required)

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set contains House and Senate Documents and House and Senate Reports bound by session of Congress. It began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817). Documents before 1817 are found in the American State Papers. The Serial Set does not include Congressional hearings and debates.

House and Senate Reports are usually from congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. House and Senate Documents include all other papers ordered printed by the House or Senate. Documents cover a wide variety of topics and may include reports of executive departments and independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Executive branch materials were also published in the Serial Set.

The serial number is a unique number applied to each book in the series of congressional publications running consecutively from the 15th Congress. The serial number may be useful for locating items, but not for citation. The documents and reports series have three numbers:

  • an individual report or document-publication number
  • a volume number of each series for each session of Congress
  • the serial number

After 1994, GPO and the Library of Congress provide digital access to most of the continuing Serial Set materials.

It is possible to search the U.S. Congressional Serial Set Maps directly.

Coverage: 1817-1994
Personalization: “My Collection”
Notes: U.S. Congressional Serial Set: What It Is and Its History, by Virginia Saunders, Congressional Documents Specialist, in GPO’s Congressional Printing Management Division, provides detailed information about the Serial Set.
Help: Click on “Help” in the upper right of the screen. For further assistance, Ask the Library.
Software Requirements: Browser requirements
Related Resources: American State Papers
Early Government Publications
Resources for U.S. Government Documents
Serial Set and American State Papers are also available in print. For volumes available see, United States Congressional Serial Set holdings (including American State Papers)
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This page is maintained by Erin Daix, Collection Development Department.

Last modified: 11/12/15