November/December 2007 issue

Congressional Hearings to be Digitized

The Law Library of Congress contains approximately 75,000 volumes of printed Congressional Hearings. Congressional committees hold hearings for a variety of reasons: to determine whether legislation is needed to address a particular issue, to investigate a matter, to receive feedback on a bill, or simply to gather information.

When published, hearings contain transcripts of testimony along with any written testimony that was submitted, plus any exhibits that might have been part of the proceeding. As a result the Library’s hearing collection is an important resource for anyone interested in obtaining a historical perspective on the development of various laws.

In order to preserve these hearings and make them more accessible, the Law Library of Congress has teamed with Google to digitize the collection into searchable Adobe Acrobat PDF files. Best of all - this online collection will be free and available to the public!

Three test collections have been compiled to provide users with an idea of how the collection will look and function:

Census: U.S.
Freedom of Information/Privacy

Ultimately, both the Library and Google will provide full-text access to the entire collection. Read the full announcement here.