The Center for Legislative Archives

Search Tips for Congressional Records


The Center for Legislative Archives created a Research Portal to help users find records and digital content in the Center's holdings.

The search box located on the research portal page will find holdings from the Center by searching the National Archives Catalog. These search tips will help you use the search box.

Search Our Records




Enter one or more keywords to search records at the Center for Legislative Archives.


If known, enter all or part of the committee or creator name. A list of names will auto-populate in the box. The list used to auto-populate the box contains names for nearly every committee/creator for which there are open records. If you don’t find the committee/creator you’re looking for, please contact the Center.

For unofficial names or nicknames, we've included a reference to the official name to help you with your search.

For example, if you enter 9-11 Commission in the Committee/Creator box, the official name, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, will automatically appear in the box.

Limit To

To limit your search to a specific group of records, select one of the Limit To buttons.

For example, to limit your search to Senate records only, select the U.S. Senate Records button.

General Tips

Use the keywords, committee/creator, or limit to search options individually or in combination to build your search.

Use quotes to search an exact phrase. For example: "farm bill" or "Committee on Armed Services"

Click the Search button to complete your search or use the reset button to clear your search and begin a new search.

When you click the Search button, you will be directed to the National Archives Catalog, where you'll find a list of relevant records and digital content.

Within the National Archives Catalog, you can refine your search by using the refinement options on the left side of the screen or by clicking the Refine Search link at the top of the page.

Ready to start your research?

Visit our Research Portal to browse and search legislative records.

If you're still not sure where to start, visit Getting Started with Your Research.