Congressional committee prints are documents created for Congressional committees about topics related to their legislative or investigatory responsibilities. Committee prints range from studies by committee staffers or outside experts on the subject matter of a proposed bill, to summaries of the legislative history of earlier failed legislation. Because of their varied nature, the importance of committee prints as pieces of legislative history is difficult to generalize. A print containing statements by committee members on a proposed bill, for example, might be useful in determining Congressional intent, but a historical report on a broad topic might not.
Because committee prints are primarily intended as internal documents for the use of the recipient committee, publication and distribution are often limited. Regenstein Library has all published committee prints since 1967 (90th Congress). Committee prints are arranged by their Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification number and can be located by searching the Library catalog or finding the relevant SuDoc number through LexisNexis Congressional.
LexisNexis Congressional has index information about Congressional prints through 1969 and index and abstract information beginning in 1970. The Congressional Research Digital Collection, scheduled for completion in 2008, provides full text access to committee prints from 1830 to the present. Index information includes basic information such as the name of the print, the date of its release, and its SuDoc number (if applicable). Abstract level coverage provides a brief description of the print's contents.