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Finding Early & Non-Depository U.S. Government Publications

Specific Titles

Titles or Types of Materials

American State Papers - Z (Call Number)
3rd floor, New Stacks
LexisNexis/CIS microfiche collection
This is the earliest collection of Congressional and, especially, presidential materials. It is the precursor of the Serial Set and is in LexisNexis Congressional. The American State Papers are arranged in Series -

  • Foreign Relations - v. 1-6
    Indian Affairs - v.7-8
    Finance - v.9-13
    Commerce and Navigation - v.14-15
    Military Affairs - v.16-22
    Naval Affairs - v.23-26
    Post Office - v.27
    Public Lands - v.28-35
    Claims - v.36
    Miscellaneous - v.37-38


Bills - Microfilm Cabinets, 3rd Floor, East Wing
GIR owns microfilm of bills from the first 14 Congresses
The Library of Congress American Memory Century of American Lawmaking includes some early bills.
House of Representatives - 6th-42nd congress, selected bills only
Senate - 16th-42nd congress, selected bills only
See also the Guide to Laws & Bills for more information on finding ellusive early bills.

Census Materials - C 3.1790-C 3.1890- U.S. Documents Stacks (3New) & 3rd Floor, East Wing - Microfilms (filed with U.S. microfiche under "C")
Early censuses covered population, manufactures, farming. GIR also has the Virginia name rolls from 1790-1930, as well as very selected name rolls from other states. See the Guide to Census Name Rolls for further information.

Congressional Record -- X -- 1874 to present, 3rd Floor, New Stacks
Congressional Globe -- 1833-1873
Register of Debates -- 1824-1837
Annals of Congress -- 1789-1824
Avaliable in Full Text via LexisNexis Congressional and HeinOnline.  Cllick on the Congressional Record tab.
Also available in the LC American Memory web site
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings of the House of Representative snad the Senate. It does not include any committee deliberations or hearings, where the bulk of the business of Congress is done. There are annual indexes filed with the titles under X in the New Stacks.

Foreign Relations of the United States -- S 1.1: - 3rd Floor, New Stacks
Selected volumes of FRUS have been digitized by the University of Wisconsin.
FRUS began in 1861 and consists of sensitive correspondence, other documents of the State Department, and other materials affecting the foreign relations of the U.S. Materials are not released for publication until 25 years after they were originally produced. Prior to 1861 similar materials were printed in the Annual Report of the Secretary of State which can be found in the Serial Set, and indexed in LexisNexis Congressional. The State Department is beginning to digitize FRUS and put the texts online. However, they haven't done any of the early volumes yet.

Historical Statistics of the United States  (UVA only) -- Alderman Ready Reference, 4th Floor
This five volume set contains statistics from colonial times to present. The statistics are from a variety of sources, not just the U.S. government. Notes on the tables give the source and may lead to further information.  There are several older editions of this set in the Government Documents Reading Room (3rd floor) - C 3.134/2:H 62/789-970/.

Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800 - "Fire destroyed the office of the War Department and all its files in 1800, and for decades historians believed that the collection, and the window it provided into the workings of the early federal government, was lost forever. Thanks to a decade-long effort to retrieve copies of the files scattered in archives across the country, the collection has been reconstituted and is offered here as a fully-searchable digital database."

Presidential Papers - The LC American Memory project has many presidential papers availalbe, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. These vary considerably in scope and coverage.

Serial Set
1818 - 1924 - Ivy Stacks & LexisNexis Microfiche & LN Congressional
1924 - 1984 - 3rd floor, New Stacks -- Back Wall and East Side Wall
1970 - present -- Y 1.2/2: -- Law Library
1985 - present -- Y 1.2/2: -- New Stacks
American Memory Century of American Lawmaking -- selected volumes
LexisNexis Congressional -- 1789-1969 -
The Serial Set contains all Congressional reports and documents. During the 19th century it often contained departmental reports, reports on explorations, and much other materials. Indexed in LexisNexis Congressional.  See also the US Congressional Serial Set Finding List from the College of Wooster to agency publications within the Serial Set.

Statutes at Large -- AE 2.111: (earlier S 7.9: and GS 4.111:) -- GIR Reading Room, West Wall
HeinOnline - includes full text of Statutes at Large
American Memory Century of American Lawmaking contains the Statutes at Large from 1789-1875.
Compilation of laws passed by Congress during each session. There are two cumulative indexes, one from 1789- 1873, and one from 1873-1907. It is only indexed annually after 1907. the Statutes at Large was published by private publishers until 1873. There were three different private editions, each of which is slightly different from the others. Check in the microfiche editions (S 7.9) or in Century of American Lawmaking if the citation you have isn't available in paper.
Statutes at Large
citations are to volume number and page number, for example, "102 Stat 343."
Sometimes citations appear as "Act of January 2, 1800, ch. 3", sometimes "Act of January 2, 1800, ch. 3, 2 Stat. 4."

United States Reports -- JU 6.8: - 3rd floor, New Stacks
LexisNexis Academic - Legal Research (UVA Only) -- index and full text of all Supreme Court opinions
These are the opinions of the Supreme Court. Older editions may be referred to as Dallas, Cranch, Wheaton, peters, Howard, Black or Wallace (early compilers). Citations to the US Reports look like 345 US 567. The first number is the volume number, the second is the page.

Z call numbers - 3rd floor, New Stacks
American Memory Century of American Lawmaking
All materials from the Revolutionary period and the first 14 Congresses (1o 1817) are classed as "Z" SuDoc numbers. This includes such materials as the debates of the Constitutional Convention and the Journals of the Continental Congress.