Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set


The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, or “Serial Set”, is a compilation of all congressional publications except for hearings and debates. The Serial Set consists of the following types of publications:

  • House Documents
  • House Reports
  • Senate Documents
  • Senate Reports
  • Senate Treaty Documents
  • Senate Executive Reports

“Documents” are publications, often written by an outside source, which Congress has authorized to be printed in order to help members make informed decisions on legislation.

“Reports” concern the affairs of Congressional Committees. They are usually in-depth publications on the legislative and budgetary impact of a particular bill. They are important in determining the “legislative intent” of a law.

Senate Treaty Documents contain the texts of treaties which are presented to the Senate for ratification. Senate Executive Reports are specialized reports on treaties or on presidential nominations of high officials.

If you are unsure how to interpret a citation to the serial set, please refer to the box below "How to Read Serial Set Citations" for a brief guide. 

For more information on how to access the Serial Set from the URI Library please click on the "Library's Holdings of the Serial Set" tab. 

If you are interested in searching the Serial Set for specific documents, reports, treaties, or other information, go to the "Resources for Accessing the Serial Set" tab which will show you how to access indexes to the Set, and some online tools that allow you to search it. 

How to Read Serial Set Citations

Numbering for Documents

Documents include official communications, treaties, and some non-governmental material that Congress has authorized to be in printed in order to help members make informed decisions on legislation.  Numbering for documents is H. (House) or S. (Senate), Doc. (Document), number of Congress, number of Document.  For example:

     S. Doc. 104-9 "Semiannual Report of the Architect of the Capitol" is a Senate Document from the 104th Congress numbered 9.

Numbering for Reports

Reports are attached to bills that are approved by committees explaining their recommendation.  They are usually in-depth publications explaining why this legislation is necessary and the regulatory and budgetary impact of the bill.  They are important in determining the "legislative intent" of a law.  Numbering for reports is H. (House) or S. (Senate), Rpt. (Report), number of Congress, number of document.  For example:

     H.Rept. 110-54 "Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2007" is a House Report from the 110th Congress numbered 54.  

Numbering for Treaty Documents

Treaties are numbered in a similar way with Treaty, Doc. (Document), number of Congress, number of Document.  For example,

       Treaty Doc. 109-18 "Protocol Amending Tax Convention with Finland" is a Treaty from the 109th Congress numbered 18.  

Created & Revised by

Deborah Mongeau, created 1/92. 


Deborah Mongeau 3/98, 5/04, 5/06, 6/18, 2/22

Hailie Posey, 3/10


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.