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.
Notes on resources
Almost all of the resources described in this guide are freely available. The few that are limited to use by the St. Mary's community are labeled with this graphic: Some resources are located at the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library on campus.
Back to Basics
Of course, the Constitution is the blueprint for all of our government's actions:
Congress.gov is the go-to site for Congressional information past and present. Generally speaking, it is set up for efficient browsing if you don't have the exact information (a bill number, for example) that you need. Just limit using their wide variety of facets to whittle your search results down.
Official website for U.S. federal legislative branch. Includes information on bills, committees, the recent Congressional Record, nominations, and current treaties.
helpful definitions of concepts concerning Congress and legislation
List of changes to Congress.gov website
Congress.gov: Dates of Coverage
Current congress information is usually updated the morning after House or Senate chamber sessions adjourn. Page gives estimated availability times.
Congress.gov also offers a set a nice videos explaining the legislative process.
The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that works for greater transparency and openness in government. They "massage" freely available government information to make very useful and interesting tools for keeping track of what the government is doing.
Other Blume Library guides cover these aspects of government information:
- Government Information: general description of the Federal Documents collection of the St. Mary's University Blume Library, including its organization, locations and basic methods of access, descriptions and links to major government websites
- Census Research: describes the major online services and collections of the Census Bureau and related institutions, as well as the Library's collection of Census material in print, microfiche and CD/DVD
- Government Information in the Study of Science and Technology: description of major government internet resources in scientific and technical fields as well as indications of the Library's holdings in the area
- Government Information in the Study of History: identifies historically significant materials in the Library's documents collection and provides convenient access to government (and related) web sites of interest to the historian and history students
Within specific sections of this Congress guide, there are links to other guides dealing with particular types of information that have been developed by agencies and other libraries.
Useful auxiliary organizations
There are some institutions associated with Congress that produce very useful material for researchers at all levels:
Congressional Hearings - How Do You Find Them?