House and Senate documents are issued by Congress, but typically consist of reprints of documents presented to Congress rather than documents originally authored by Congress. An example of such a document might be the report of an executive agency that it is required by statute to submit to Congress. As with committee prints, the value of a House or Senate document to a legislative history can vary greatly, but they are usually more useful in providing background information about the subject matter of a piece of litigation than in establishing Congressional intent. As with Congressional reports, House and Senate documents are assigned sequential numbers based on which house of Congress issued the report and the Congress in which the report was issued.
Sample citation: "S. Doc. No. 101-42" refers to the forty-second document issued by the Senate during the 101st Congress.
ProQuest Congressional has all House and Senate documents in PDF format through 1969, and most House and Senate documents in text format since 1995 (104th Congress). Indexing and abstract coverage, which includes the date and length of the document and a short description of its substance, is available from 1970 to the present. As with Congressional reports, there is a gap in electronic full text coverage, and thus the print version of the Serial Set will need to be consulted to find the full text of documents published between 1970 and 1994.