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United States Serial Set

Overview of the U.S. Serial Set and search tips

History of the Serial Set

The U.S. Serial Set is a collection of U.S. Government publications compiled under directive of the Congress. It contains comprehensive, and often detailed, information on an extremely wide range of subjects. There has rarely been a published series of this depth and breadth of coverage, and none in this country as long-lived. Its earliest documents date from 1789 and additions are made continously. The earliest volumes, for the first fourteen Congresses, and some later materials, are also known as the American State Papers. All of the materials in those volumes are included in the online compilation of the Set.


Materials in the Serial Set are not limited to congressional publications. A diverse range of materials requested by Congress are included as House or Senate Documents. Included in these categories are presidential messages to Congress, annual or special reports submitted to Congress, special studies, and since the 96th Congress, Senate Treaty Documents. Among the popular topics included are the reports on presidential assassinations or attempted assassinations, the McCarthy era investigations, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Iran-Contra investigations.