How to Locate an Unpublished Congressional Hearing: A Beginner’s Guide

Source: Barbara Bavis, Robert Brammer, Law Library of Congress, In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress blog, September 17, 2015

Our previous post discussed how to locate a Published Congressional Hearing. In this guide, we will show you how to locate unpublished congressional hearings, which can often pose more of a challenge to researchers new to the area. Congressional hearings have not always been consistently published. In fact, the transcription of congressional committee hearings was not required until the passage of the Legislative Reorganization Act in 1946. Further, despite the requirement for transcription, the retention and publication of these transcripts is not guaranteed. As such, it is not out of the ordinary for a congressional committee or subcommittee to have not officially published a hearing. Many of these “unpublished” hearings have since been made publicly available from sources including the National Archives, the Congressional Information Service (CIS), Congressional Quarterly, and ProQuest, among many others. Please read on to determine how to start your unpublished congressional hearing research.