Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Logo

Pritzker Legal Research Center


Federal Legislative History

Sources and strategies for performing federal legislative history research.

Finding Legislative Histories and Legislative Documents

In many cases, one does not have to reinvent the wheel in looking for a statute's legislative history; that is, it has often already been compiled.  In other cases, however, and most often with regard to newly-enacted laws, a researcher might have to collect the individuals documents (bills, hearings, reports, presidential statements) herself.

Compiled Legislative Histories

Don't reinvent the wheel! In many cases, legislative histories have already been compiled for major laws. Check these resources for starters:

Partially Compiled Legislative Histories

Full or Partial Listings of Documents in a Legislative History

Sources for Individual Legislative Documents

Many of the resources discussed in the prior pages, such as Congress.gov, Proquest Congressional, HeinOnline, and Westlaw, can also be used to find individual legislative documents (in addition to compiled histories or listings of documents).  Here are a few more to consult when you have a particular document to look for.