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Core Documents of Our Democracy: Searching in ProQuest Congressional Databases

The resources found in this guide are vital sources of information that support the public's right to know about the workings and essential activities of the Federal Government.

How to Get to ProQuest Databases from the Library's Catalog

Go to the Library's website (, click on the Databases tab and choose the letter P

TCU Library database page

The databases under P are listed in alphabetical order.  Scroll down to ProQuest and choose from the list of Congressional databases.

Letter P database page

You will be taken to the ProQuest Congressional Homepage where you are able to:

  • Do Basic & Advanced Searches
  • Search by Bill, Law and/or Resolution Number
  • Find Member & Committee Records and Demographics
  • Search for Regulations in the Federal Register or the Code of Federal Regulations
  • And much more...

ProQuest home page

Advanced Search

Advanced search is the best way to search for Congressional documents in ProQuest.

On the homepage click on the Legislative & Executive Publications tab and select Advanced Search OR just click on Advanced under the basic search bar.

ProQuest advanced search example

In Advance Search you may limit the types of documents in your search.  The dates of what are available for the type of document are also listed.

ProQuest advanced search example

You are also able to limit your search by Date or Congress.

ProQuest advanced search example

EXAMPLE:  Searching for Documents on "UFOs".  Limited the search to Hearings only by clicking on "Select all" to clear out the check marks and checked the Hearings box only.  Then the dates were limited to Prior to 1970.

ProQuest advanced search example

Two hearings were found from prior to 1970 regarding UFOs.  Notice that you have the options on this page to see the Citation/Abstract, access the Full text and get the Permalink to the document.

ProQuest advanced search example

Search by Number

If you happen to know the number of a Bill or a Law or if you have the SuDoc number for a document you have the ability to specifically search for those.

On the homepage click on the Legislative & Executive Publications tab and select Search by Number.

ProQuest search by number example

Under Search by Number you have three options to choose from: 

  • All citation searches -- a list of all the Search by Number options
  • Legislation
  • Publication Search

Image of seach options in Search by Numbers in ProQuest

Search by Number -- LEGISLATION

There are four options under the Legislation tab in Search by Numbers:

  • Congressional Bill
  • Public Laws
  • Statutes at Large
  • Public Resolutions

Image of the Search by Number Legislation options in ProQuest


In this section you are able to narrow your search by:

  • Congress
  • Bill Type
  • Bill Number

Image of Congressional Bills options in he Search by Number function in ProQuest


In this section you are able to search by Congress and Law Number.

Image of the Public Laws search boxes on ProQuest


In this section you are able to search by Volume/Page or Chapter


Image of the Statutes at Large Volume and Page search option in ProQuest


With this option you may choose by Congress or Date

(Congress example)

Image of Chapter by Congress search option in Statutes at Large section  in ProQuest

(Date example)

Image of Chapter by Date search option in Statutes at Large section  in ProQuest


In this section you are able to search specific resolution numbers by Congress or Date.

(By Congress)

Image of Public Resolution by Congress search option inProQuest

(By Date)

Image of Public Resolution by Date search option inProQuest

Search by Number -- PUBLICATION SEARCH

There are four options under the Publication Search tab in Search by Numbers:

  • Publication Number
  • Sudoc Number
  • Accession Number
  • Serial Set Volume

Image of the list of option under Publication Search in ProQuest


With this option you are able to choose:

  • Publication Type (examples: House Report (H.rpt.), Senate Document (S.doc.), Executive Order (EO)
  • Congress

Image of Publication Number search highlighting the type of publication in ProQuest


The SuDoc Number (Superintendent of Documents) is a classification number assigned which groups together publications by the same government author. Within an agency or department, publications are grouped by subordinate organization.

Citations vary, depending on the agency.

Examples: Y4.R31/3:113-13 is a hearing from the House Committee on Natural Resources, C3.2:W29/2/no.2 is a document from the Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

Our library has a Virtual Shelf Browser which allows you to peruse the historic and current U.S. government publications available in our library as well as online. It also helps make sense of the complicated classification system.

When searching by SuDoc in ProQuest DO NOT use spaces (example: Y4.Ag8/1:102-9)

Image of Searching by SuDoc Number in the Publication Search option in ProQuest



An accession number is a unique identifier to a specific document in ProQuest Congressional. The number is assigned by ProQuest.

Image of search by Accession Number in Publication Search in ProQuest


Use this search to retrieve all publications and maps from within a particular volume.

House and Senate Reports and Documents were bound into volumes in the Serial Set. Each volume was sequentially numbered.

Image of search by Serial Set Volume in Publication Search in ProQuest


Congress in Context

Under the Congress in Context tab ProQuest created historical profiles to discover more about the setting, personnel and events which may have influenced the legislation created during a particular Congressional period.

EXAMPLE:  President Donald Trump

ProQuest Congress in Context example

Related Databases

From the homepage, ProQuest gives you the option to access other available ProQuest databases from the Congressional database.  As of 4/12/2021, the following databases are available:

  • History Vault
  • Statistical Abstracts US
  • U.K. Parliamentary Papers

Image of ProQuest's  Related Databases