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Union List of Legislative Histories

[Via Rick McKinney, Assistant Law Librarian, Federal Reserve Board Law Library, Washington, DC] “For several decades the Legislative Research Special Interest Section of the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C. published a Union List of Legislative Histories. The most recent edition is the 7th edition published in loose-leaf in the year 2000 and accompanied by a 2002 supplement. This work of nearly 800 pages is out-of-print, but is now available in PDF format at no cost to members of the Society (username and password required – see link at It notes the legislative history collections of more than 120 libraries in the Washington, D.C. area. The Union List, organized by public law number, lists several thousand U.S. public laws from 1790 to 2002 for which legislative histories have been compiled by one or more libraries listed. Most of the histories listed in the publication were painstakingly compiled in-house, and each compilation usually contains a copy of the public law as enacted along with the various bill versions, reports, and Congressional debates and remarks associated with the law’s development as well as a table of contents page. Often, hearings, committee prints, and other documents are also included. In addition to listing the holding library, each an abbreviation code, the Union List provides contact information, addresses, and interlibrary loan policies, but this information is out of date and many of the firms and agencies listed have ceased to exist or have been merged into other entities. Also, some legislative history collections may no longer exist in tangible form (such as those from Covington & Burling and Arnold & Porter digitized by HeinOnline or Westlaw) and many libraries will not loan or will only loan locally. Due to the increasing availability of digitized legislative histories (, HeinOnline, Westlaw, Proquest), this 7th edition and its 2002 supplement may become the last edition of the Union List.”

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