Congressional Serial Sets

The United States Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, contains the House and Senate Documents and the House and Senate Reports. The combined Congressional Serial Set contains items from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but volumes can be bought individually from either the House or the Senate or both.

The Reports are usually from congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. The 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, 1st session in 1817. The serial number may be useful for locating items, but not for citation. The documents and reports series have three numbers: 1) an individual report or document-publication number, 2) a volume number of each series for each session of Congress, and 3) the serial number.

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