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Congress, Legislation, etc.: About Congress

describes Library holdings and major internet sources dealing with the operations of Congress, legislation, and regulation at the federal level

Local legislators

Texas flagTo find detailed contact information for Texas' and the San Antonio area's Senators and Representatives (as well as officials in state and local government) check out our Contact Your Legislators Research Guide.

On this page

Government Sources

movie cameraIf you want to see what's going on in the House of Representatives RIGHT NOW, check this out (they also provide archived video on demand):

Non-government sources

News about Congress:

In the Library

booksDocuments Collection (2nd Floor; can be checked out)

  • Congressional Directory. Y 4.P 93/1: 1/ . Latest edition is at the Research Station; 98th Congress–present in the Documents Stacks; 89th-97th Congress in Storage.
  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, 1774-2005. Y 1.1/2:14902. Listings by Congress, with brief biographical information.
  • Congressional Pictorial Directory. Y 4.P 93/1:1 P/ . 98th Congress–present in the Documents Stacks; 90th-97th Congresses in Storage. 
  • The Senate. Y 1.1/2:13723-6. Two volumes contain Robert Byrd's addresses on the history of the Senate, one contains classic speeches (1830-1993) and one historical statistics (1789-1992).
  • History of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789-1994. Y 1.1/2:14248.

Reference books for use in the Library (in Learning Commons, 1st Floor):

  • Almanac of American Politics. REF JK 1012 .A44.Politician and district profiles, voting records, etc. 1972- present (some years missing)
  • Congress and the Nation. REF JK 1061 .C6. Summaries of Congressional action. 1945–2004.
  • CQ (Congressional Quarterly) Almanac. REF JK 1 .C66. An annual publication that reviews the work of Congress. 1960–present.
  • Encyclopedia of the U.S. Congress. REF JK 1067 .E63 1995.
  • Politics in America. REF JK 1012 .C63. The most biographical information on current and recent members of Congress. 1984–2008.

Congressional Timeline

The Dirksen Center's Congressional Timeline provides information about each Congress back to 1933 (73rd Congress). They've recently updated the Timeline and added features: in addition to major legislation passed, and basic information for each Congress, they now also offer measures of legislative productivity, information about women and African Americans serving, and links to lesson plans related to legislation for teachers. There's an accompanying collection of photos and documents, as well as video and audio, for each Congress as well.

image from the Dirksen Center of their Congressional timeline


Of course, lobbying and lobbyists are an important part of the legislative process. Here are some links to information about lobbying:

Congressional Archives

bookstack iconIn depth research about Congress, as well as historical research in many areas, may require access to Congressional papers.