Research and Archives

  1. Where can I find a copy of a printed committee hearing or report?
    • For PDFs of the committee’s hearings, please go to the Government Printing Office’s Federal Depository System website, found here. Documents can also be found in print at all Federal Depository Libraries. Click here to find a library close to you.
  2. What if I cannot find the hearing on the website?
    • If the hearing does not appear on the Government Printing Office web site, it probably has not been published yet.  Official hearing prints can take up to six months to a year to publish, especially if they are part of a series or there are many documents for the record to collect and assemble.
  3. Where can I find information on non-printed hearings?
    • Refer to the Hearings tab on this website. Hearings are organized by date.  For most hearings, the hearing video, member statements, and witness testimonies are available and can be downloaded. 
  4. How can I obtain historic or unpublished committee records?
    • The National Archives and Records Administration stores a number of historical congressional materials. Documents from the Committee on Governmental Affairs and its related Committees, including the Committee on the Post Office, Civil Service, and District of Columbia can be found here and date as far back as 1816. These documents provide a wealth of information and perspective on the activities of the Committee. To view a finding aid, which provides useful information to conduct research, of the committee’s materials, click here.
  5. Are there any access restrictions on these materials?
    • Senate Resolution 474 (96th Congress) states that records will be made available to the public, in the case of investigative files and records of executive nominations, when such files and records have been in existence for 50 years; and in the case of all other such records, when such records have been in existence for 20 years.
  6. Does the Freedom of Information Act apply to Congressional records?
    • The Freedom of Information Act, P.L. 89-487, does not include the records of Congress.
  7. How can I access Oral Histories of Former Committee Staff?
    • The Senate Historian’s Office has been conducting interviews with staffers regarding their careers in the Senate since the 1970s. For information regarding the project, including a listing of those oral histories that are open to research, click here.