The history of the U.S. Congress is documented in the official records of Congress, the private and personal papers of members of Congress, and many other sources.
Official records and some personal papers are located in the National Archives at the Center for Legislative Archives, but most personal papers are geographically dispersed in repositories around the country.
The best printed sources for locating congressional papers are:
- Guide to Research Collections of Former Members of the United States House of Representatives, 1789-1987
- Guide to Research Collections of Former United States Senators, 1789-1995
This index is arranged by state thereunder the name of the holding institution or organization followed by the name of the member of Congress. To search for a specific institution or member of Congress hit "CTRL F" then type in the search term.
- Members' personal names are listed by legislative body ("H" for U.S. House of
Representatives, "S" for U.S. Senate or "D" for Delegate) and dates of service.
- When a collection is held at an institution outside the member's home state the home state is also identified.
- Some repositories provide detailed, collection-specific descriptions online; others mention their congressional collections only in the broader scope of their repository holdings.
Please direct research questions about these collections to the holding repositories.