The New THOMAS

For several years now, THOMAS.gov has served as a valuable place to find free legislative information on the internet.   Researchers can find bills, public laws, legislative history information and more.  Today the Library of Congress unveiled the successor to THOMAS, Congress.gov.  The site is currently in beta, but will eventually replace THOMAS.  At first glance the new site looks to be well-designed and offers some new features, such as searching across all content, that will benefit researchers.  I especially like the options to narrow search results as well as the small graphic in the search results that indicate where each result is in the legislative process.

Once you go into a result the legislative history information is laid out nicely with tabs.

I didn’t notice a tab for “All Congressional Actions,” which they have in THOMAS, just “Major Actions.”  I imagine “All”  will be added eventually as it’s helpful to researchers.  I also did not notice any of the “Browse” features that are available in THOMAS.  Searching for a Public Law No. did not always bring me straight to the Public Law I wanted, so being able to browse by Bill or Public Law would be useful.

Overall I think the Library of Congress has done a nice job on the new THOMAS, Congress.gov.  I look forward to using it more.

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