Resolution on the U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the Bound Congressional Record

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July 19, 1996

WHEREAS, The U. S. Congressional Serial Set and the bound Congressional Record together comprise a significant portion of the official historical record of Congress; and

WHEREAS, The U. S. Congressional Serial Set has been produced since 1813 in a bound, numbered edition, and includes Senate and House documents, congressional committee reports, presidential and other executive publications, treaty materials, and selected reports of nongovernmental organizations; and

WHEREAS, The bound Congressional Record has been produced since 1873 as the official record of the proceedings and debates of Congress in a uniform, numbered edition, superseding its predecessors, the Annals of Congress (1789-1824), the Register of Debates (1824-1837), and the Congressional Globe (1833-1873); and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the bound Congressional Record are important historical materials for the legal and research communities, particularly for the compilation of legislative histories needed to determine legislative intent in interpreting federal statutes; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the bound Congressional Record are available through the Federal Depository Library Program, providing ready no-fee access to the official version of these important titles in nearly every Congressional district; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the print bound Congressional Record, as official, authoritative records of the deliberations of Congress, are produced on acid free permanent paper to ensure their preservation for future research and scholarship; and

WHEREAS, The production and dissemination of these historically-significant titles in microfiche, CD-ROM or other electronic formats do not at this time meet required standards to ensure permanent long-term access and preservation, nor are they the official, authoritative versions; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to continue to fund the production of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the bound Congressional Record in the permanent, print versions required for long-term access and preservation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to recognize the historical significance of these print titles as the official record of their deliberations, and to guarantee their continued availability to the American public through local depository libraries; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries transmit a copy of this resolution to Members of the House and Senate Legislative Appropriations Subcommittees, to other appropriate congressional committees, and to the Public Printer.