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Finding Congressional Documents on the Open Web

This guide helps you find congressional documents on the open web for free, even if you do not have access to paid databases like Proquest Congressional, HeinOnline, Westlaw, or Lexis.


In this guide you will find freely available resources for finding Congressional documents without the use of ProQuest Congressional.  Finding these documents without the help of a paid database is possible, but definitely more difficult.  The best thing that ProQuest Congressional offered is the indexing.  You knew for sure whether or not the document existed, and could track it down that way.  Without such an index, you will have to determine on your own if the document exists.  Then the work of finding it starts!  The overall picture of finding Congressional documents on the web is that you can usually find early documents (think Founding Fathers and the 19th Century) and recent ones (late 20th century and 21st).  Everything in the middle (majority of 20th century) is much harder to find online.  

Feel free to contact the research librarians listed on this page for further assistance.

Bills: Indexes

Bills: Full text

"Congressional bills are legislative proposals from the House of Representatives and Senate within the United States Congress." -

These are the most reliable places to find freely available Congressional bills.

Bills and Laws at UVA

UVA has an extensive collection of Bills and Laws, but sometimes coverage is spotty. If you ever needed a copy of a bill from UVA, we might rely on these separate research guides to find it.