Serial Set, began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817). Documents before 1817 may be found in the American State Papers. The Serial Set contains:
- House and Senate Documents
- House and Senate Reports.
- During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, executive-branch materials were also published in the Serial Set.
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The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress. For every day Congress is in session, an issue of the Congressional Record is printed by the Government Publishing Office or GPO. Each issue summarizes the day's floor and committee actions and records all remarks delivered in the House and Senate.
Publication of the Congressional Record began in 1873, but it was not the first printed record of congressional debate, proceedings, and activities. In 1824 (18th Congress, 2nd session), Gales and Seaton, a private firm, began publishing the Register of Debates, which summarized debates considered important by the editors. This publication continued through 1837 (25th Congress, 1st session). In 1834, Gales and Seaton began to publish the Annals of Congress, which retrospectively covered the First Congress through the 18th Congress, 1st session (1789-1824). In 1833, Blair and Rives, another private firm, initiated publication of the Congressional Globe, which began as a weekly report summarizing congressional debate, proceedings, and activities, and later moved closer to a substantially verbatim account. Beginning in 1863, annual appropriations for the Congressional Globe were authorized and publication continued through the end of the 42d Congress in 1873, when Congress decided that going forward the Government Publishing Office should be responsible for publishing the official record of Congress.