Locating a Compiled Federal Legislative History: A Beginner’s Guide

Locating a Compiled Federal Legislative History: A Beginner’s Guide by Robert Brammer.

From the post:

Compiling a federal legislative history may seem daunting, but it does not have to be. We hope, through our last few Beginner’s Guides, that we have made this process easier for researchers. There is another, possibly less complicated, option for finding legislative history documents that we wanted to be sure to highlight — determining whether someone has already done the work for you and created a legislative history report! There are many sources of pre-compiled legislative histories available that you will want to check before compiling your own. These compilations range from finding aids that help you locate a compiled legislative history to monographs that contain the legislative history for one act.

If you want less friction when researching federal legislative history, Robert has a number of suggestions to help with just that task.

On the other hand, if you want to have a sense of frustration, despair and ultimately joy at persevering, then compile a legislative history on your own. 😉

Seriously, government documents, to say nothing of legislative history, is a world unto itself. There are librarians who don’t do anything but government documents. They are a god-send if you do have to use a depository library.

Of course, legislative histories are for those who take the surface of legislation at face value. For all of the surface action, there are deeper currents of benefit and personalities that are being played out in the legislative dance.

By and large, official legislative histories don’t give you that view.

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