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Legislative History

This LibGuide will help users locate documents and conduct legislative history research at North Carolina Central University School of Law's Library.

Why are committee hearings important to the legislative history process?

Committee hearings are used by the House and Senate to gather information and opinions on proposed legislation.  Committee hearings are held for nearly all big pieces of legislation.  This makes them important when conducting legislative history research because they allow allow researchers to ascertain what information Congresspeople knew when voting on legislation.  However, researchers should use caution when using committee hearings to interpret enacted legislation because the people testifying are generally biased.

Print Resources

NCCU's Law Library provides researchers with several access points for locating the text of committee hearings in print.

  • CIS Microfiche Library: The CIS Microfiche Library contains the text of committee hearings for the 41st Congress though the present Congress.  If you are using the CIS Microfiche Library to locate the text of a committee hearing, you will want to first consult CIS U.S. Congressional Hearings Index (microfiche), the Index of Congressional Committee Hearings (microfiche), or the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (GP 3.8/8: current 5 years, 2nd floor Law Library) to assist you in locating the proper microfiche set.  Please see a Reference Librarian or Circulation Assistant to gain access to the Law Library's microfiche collection. 
  • Compiled Legislative Histories: Many compiled legislative histories will provide researchers with either the text of committee hearings or a citation to a resource containing the text of the committee hearing.  Please see the Compiled Legislative Histories tab for information about how to locate these research tools.
  • Researchers may also be able to locate committee hearings for a specific piece of legislation by searching the Law Library's catalog for Congressional hearings and the name of the legislation.

Electronic Resources