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Legislative Histories: 08 - Journal & newspaper articles

Step-by-Step Research about a Federal Law

Begin Step-by-Step Research -- Research Tips

  1. Identify the Public Law number
  2. Locate and read overviews of the bill's history
    - Congressional Quarterly Almanac
    - U.S. Code Congressional & Administrative News
  3. Retrieve a compiled legislative history list of bills, hearings, reports, debate, etc.
    - CIS Index: Legislative Histories
  4. Retrieve the Bill Tracking Report
    - ProQuest Congressional
  5. Retrieve the brief "Guide to Legislative History" list of bills, reports and debate
    - U.S. Statutes at Large
  6. Retrieve the list of reports and documents by bill number(s)
    - CIS U.S. Serial Set Index, Part XIII, Index by Reported Bill Numbers, 1817-1969
  7. Retrieve the list of reports, documents, and hearings by subject
    - ProQuest Congressional, Historical Indexes, 1789-1969
    - CIS U.S. Congressional Committee Hearings Index, 1833-1969
  8. Retrieve articles from journals & newspapers
  9. Search for information from organizations concerned with the issue
    - Gale Directory Library
  10. Check other resources for information
    - Thomas
    - GPO Access
    - Other sites

Retrieve articles from journals and newspapers

If you haven't already done so, consider reviewing your topic in a specialized encyclopedia, e.g.,

Search for articles discussing the legislation in journals and newspapers. These articles may help in your analysis of the legislative history documents gathered in the previous steps.

CQ Weekly (1953-2010)

CQ Weekly provides a weekly analysis of Congressional activities. Some of this analysis is summarized in Congressional Quarterly Almanac (See step 2).

Congressional Digest (1921+)

National Journal (1969+)

National Journal provides weekly coverage of political and policy developments.

Inside Washington -- ProQuest Congressional (1977+)

Inside Washington (ProQuest Congressional) provides full text articles from several Washington, D.C. news sources:

  • Washington Post (1977+)
  • Roll Call (1989+)
  • The Hill (1995+)

Vital Speeches of the Day (1934+)

Vital Speeches of the Day provides the full text of speeches on a wide range of political topics.

  • Online version (1934+)
  • Microfilm PN 6121 .V52 (1934-1939, 1968-1996, 1997-2001)
  • General Collection PN 6121 .V52 (1939-1968)

Facts on File Yearbook (1941+)

Facts on File Yearbook provides "a detailed, objective and timely weekly distillation of the news and current information as reported in more than 70 major newspapers and newsmagazines from the U.S. and around the world."

  • Reference D 410 .F3 (1941+)

Wilson Indexes (1890+)

The UCF Libraries subscribe to the online versions of several indexes covering articles published in the early part of the twentieth century:

Other articles

Continue your research by looking for articles in other journals and newspapers.

Research Guides

Databases -- Some of the databases and indexes available at UCF can be used to locate professional journals in political science or in the discipline of the legislative topic. Note that you may find articles in more recent journal issues looking back at laws enacted much earlier than the publication date of the journal. Examples of some databases to consider include: