The word “unpublished” can often be misleading in today’s legal research environment. These days documents that are “unpublished” are now often published even though we still call them “unpublished.” Confusing, I know. Take for example, unpublished hearings from Congress. Hearings can be a useful tool when conducting legislative history research. However, not all hearings are officially published by the Government. Those that remain unpublished wind up in the National Archives. After a certain amount of time, 20 years for the Senate and 30 years for the House, these hearings are released and can be published by outside entities–but of course they’re still called unpublished.
The Law Library has recently added a collection of unpublished Congressional hearings to our Proquest Congressional database. These hearings will now show up in a ProQuest Congressional search along with other Congressional hearings and legislative documents. Researchers can now find unpublished hearings regarding the Federal Election Campaign Act, Financial Institutions Regulatory Act, and much more. In addition to unpublished hearings, executive sessions, conference sessions, business meetings and markups are also included in this session. Details on searching unpublished hearings in Proquest Congressional is available here. In addition to the link above, Proquest Congressional is available from the Library’s A-Z Resource List.