Department of the Interior employees are offered access to this database at their desktops. Other users must come to the Interior Library to use this database or contact a Reference Librarian for assistance.
The DOI Library now has access to two digitized collections offered by ProQuest: the Congressional Hearings Digital Collection, covering congressional hearings dating back to 1824; and the Congressional Research Digital Collection, offering digitized copies of Congressional Research Service (and earlier Legislative Reference Service) reports back to 1916, as well as congressional Committee Prints back to 1830. Both of these collections are now fully searchable through one online search screen.
ProQuest is in the process of digitizing the congressional hearings data, both published and unpublished hearings, so it is easily searchable with metadata tagging, as well as full-text searching. All hearings will be available in pdf format at the end of 2008.
Hearings can be located by searching for the bill number, committee, controlled subject headings, document or abstract full text, hearing number, public law number, Statutes at Large citation, title, or witness and affiliation. Searches can also be limited by date or Congress.
The ProQuest Congressional Hearings Collection is comprised of three modules, all of which are subscribed to by the DOI Library: Retrospective A (years: 1824-1979), Retrospective B (years: 1980-2003) and Prospective (years: 2004 and beyond), totaling close to 125,000 titles. Over 1,500 new hearings are being added annually.
The ProQuest Congressional Research Digital Collection provides access to the Reports of the Legislative Reference Service (LRS) and Congressional Research Service (CRS) from 1916-present, and Congressional committee prints from 1830-present. All documents contained in this collection have been digitized into PDF format and are full-text searchable.
The reports of CRS (1970 to the present) and the earlier LRS (1916-1969) consist of research reports (from brief summaries to full-length studies) prepared by subject experts for Members of Congress on a wide range of topics: foreign relations, natural resources, Federal case law, Medicare, the environment, national defense, and energy policy, to name but a few.
Committee prints are an even more diverse group of publications, being documents (but not formal House and Senate Documents) created in the course of the business of a Congressional committee, and approved for release by the Committee chair. Prints include items such as topical monographic studies; investigative field reports; analyses of bills, including comparisons with existing law; staff memoranda and reports; reports submitted to the committee by Federal agencies; directories, bibliographies, and other reference materials; statistical compilations; complete or partial texts of committee hearings; and preliminary drafts of reports and bills.