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Library Resources for Administrative History: Congressional Hearings and Committee Prints


Among the most valuable Government publications are the hearings of the various committees of Congress. Of special importance to the archivist are those held before the House Appropriations Committee on the budgets of the various Federal departments and agencies. These often contain detailed information on the organization and work of the agency involved, provided to justify its financial requests. Of the various classes of hearings, those most significant for administrative history are the appropriation hearings and hearings concerned with the investigation and improvement of Government operations.

Committees regularly hold hearings on particular legislation over which they have jurisdiction or on matters that fall within their general oversight responsibility. Transcripts of the proceedings are printed by committees as hearings publications and, for the most part, made available to the public.

Congressional committee prints are publications that individual congressional committees prepare or commission primarily to aid them in doing their work. In contrast to the public reporting function of hearings, reports, and documents, committee prints historically have been publications produced primarily for the internal use of congressional committees themselves. Commonly, prints contain background studies, bill drafts, or statute compilations to aid the committee's consideration of legislation, or they present analytical information or statistical data required by the committee for the exercise or its oversight functions. Usually published in limited edition, most committee prints generally were considered private committee documents and were distributed inconsistently, if at all. As a result, most prints became "fugitive" documents as soon as they were published. Committee prints were usually not announced in standard catalogs and bibliographies. Jurisdictional interests of congressional committees encompass an extremely broad range of economic and social subject areas and the breadth of topics covered by the committee prints reflects that diversity.

1833-1969
Congressional Information Service. CIS U.S. Congressional Hearings Index1833-1969. Washington: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 1980-1985.8 parts in 42 volumes.
REF Z1223. Z7C5. part, volume
See also: Congressional Masterfile 1
Index provides detailed, comprehensive access to more than 40,000 titles published from the 1830’s through 1969. The CIS Hearings Index provides access to source documents through a number of individual indexes and a detailed Reference Bibliography.
Entries in the Index by Subject and Organizations and the Index by Personal Names direct users to appropriate entries in the Reference Bibliography, and to corresponding publications. The Reference Bibliography gives full bibliographic information for publications. It also includes a list of witness names and affiliations, page locations of testimony, assigned subject descriptors, and a brief annotation. An Index by Bill Numbers lists numbers of House and Senate bills and resolutions on which hearings were held, with corresponding accession numbers for the hearings. Also included are indexes by titles, report and document numbers, and Superintendent of Document Classification numbers. This work is updated by the CIS Index.

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1823-1964
Congressional Information Service. CIS Index to Unpublished U.S. Senate Committee Hearings, 18th Congress-88th Congress, 1823-1964. Washington: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 1986.5 volumes.
REF KF. 40. C5. volumes 1-5
See also: Congressional Masterfile 1
This is a guide to the unpublished Senate hearings contained in Record Group 46. Many hearings that were initially held in executive session were never published. Thus, a large number of the unpublished transcripts in this collection are from closed, executive session meetings. (For example, hearings on nominations and committee business meetings to consider pending legislation were frequently held in executive session.) In addition to the holdings in RG 46, unpublished hearings located at Senate offices and other institutions are included in this guide. All of the hearings indexed are available on microfiche from CIS. Senate Resolution 474 provides for the opening of "investigative files" which concern national security or individual privacy only after fifty years. Pursuant to this provision, the files of the Subcommittee on Internal security [Committee on Judiciary] and the Permanent Investigations Subcommittee [Committee on Government Operations] were excluded from this collection.
Read the Users Guide, p. viii-x, for an explanation of Senate restrictions.
The hearings are indexed by subject and organization, personal name, title, and bill numbers.
This work supplements the CIS Hearings Index.

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1965-1968
Congressional Information Service. CIS Index to Unpublished U.S. Senate Committee Hearings, 18th Congress-88th Congress, 1965-1968. Washington: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 198?.
REF
See also: Congressional Masterfile 1
This work updates the CIS Index to Unpublished Senate Hearings 1823-1964 and supplements the CIS Hearings Index.

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1833-1936
Congressional Information Service. CIS Index to Unpublished U.S. House of Representatives Committee Hearings 1833-1936. Washington: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 1988.2 volumes.
REF KF40. C54. 1988. volumes I-2/NAR-OCLC 18830033
See also: Congressional Masterfile 1
This is a guide to the unpublished House hearings contained in Record Group 233. Provisions of House Resolution 288, passed by the House in 1953 (83d Congress) affected the scope, content and size of the CIS collection. H. Res 288 closed all transcripts of both executive session and public hearings, together with all other records of House committees, immediately upon transmittal the to the National Archives. They remain closed for fifty years. However, records remain closed if the Clerk of the House determines, in the words of H. Res. 288, "that the use of such records would be detrimental to the public interest." Although H. Res. 288 opens records "which have previously been made public," such records may be closed if the Clerk determines that their availability is inconsistent with the "rights and privileges" of the House of Representatives.
Due to H. Res. 288 and the procedures adopted by the Office of the Clerk of the House, CIS was not able to include transcripts of less than fifty years in age, even when recorded as hearings held in open session, and were similarly unable to film many executive session hearings regardless of age. Read the Users Guide, p. viii-x, for an explanation of House restrictions.
All of the indexed hearings are available on microfiche from CIS. The hearings are indexed by subject and organization, personal name, title, and bill number. This work supplements the CIS Hearings Index

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1937-1946
Congressional Information Service. CIS Index to Unpublished U.S. House of Representatives Committee Hearings 1937-1946. Washington: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 1990. 2 volumes.
REF KF40. C54. 1990. volumes I-2/NAR-OCLC 22753973
See also: Congressional Masterfile 1
This updates the CIS Index to Unpublished House Hearings 1833-1936 and supplements the CIS Hearings Index. Read the Users Guide, p. viii- x, for an explanation of House restrictions.

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1947-1954
Congressional Information Service. CIS Index to Unpublished U.S. House of Representatives Committee Hearings 1947-1954. Washington: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 1992. 2 volumes.
REF KF40. C54. 1990. volumes I-2/NAR-OCLC 22753973
See also: Congressional Masterfile 1
This updates the CIS Index to Unpublished House Hearings 1937-1946 and supplements the CIS Hearings Index.

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1830-1969
Congressional Information Service. CIS U.S. Congressional Committee Prints Index 1830-1969. Washington: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 1980. 5 volumes.
REF Z1223.ZYCe. volumes 1-5
See also: Congressional Masterfile 1
Detailed, five-volume index covers an estimated 15,000 committee prints issued during 1830-1969. Many of the prints have never been cataloged, and few have been listed in the Monthly Catalog. A Reference Bibliography presents full bibliographic data and lists assigned subject and author indexing terms for each committee print. The Index by Subject and Names is an alphabetical index to the basic subject matter of publications, the names of individuals and organizations as subjects and authors, the names of issuing committees, the names of bills and public laws, and selected publications and information types. There are separate indexes for title, bill number, and the Superintendent of Documents Classification number. This work is updated by the CIS Index.

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1970-to date
Congressional Information Service. CIS Index. Washington: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 1970 to date. Monthly with annual cumulative bound index and abstract volumes; periodic cumulative indexes.
REF KF49. 621. (year)
See also: Congressional Masterfile 2
A monthly index/abstract of all current Congressional publications [Documents, Hearings, Prints, Reports, Executive Reports, Treaty Documents], cumulated annually. There is a Five- Year Cumulative Index (1970-1974) and four Four-Year Cumulative Indexes, 1975-1978; 1979-1982; 1983-1986; and 1987-1990. CIS Index is issued in two parts: a Summary Section and an Index Section. The Summary Section publishes an abstract containing full bibliographic data, a summary of the publication’s nature and subject matter, and an outline of specific contents.
Individual testimony and insertions are abstracted and indexed. The main index is by subject and name. Five supplementary indexes are included: Index of Titles, Bill Numbers, Report Numbers, Document Numbers, and Committee and Subcommittee Chairmen. Each CIS annual cumulative issue includes an abstract and legislative history of each Public Law enacted during the year covered by that Annual.
Morehead, p. 85-87.

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