Contact: Jill Brett (202) 707-2905
Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

January 5, 1995

The Speaker of the House and the Librarian of Congress Announce Online Public Access to Congressional Information

Speaker of House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced on January 5 the availability of THOMAS, a congressional online public access information system, named in honor of Thomas Jefferson. THOMAS was initiated by the leadership of the 104th Congress and is a bipartisan effort.

Citizens across the country and the around the world now have access, via the Internet, to congressional information, such as the full text of House bills beginning with the 103rd Congress, the House of Representatives Gopher (an information system), the C-SPAN Gopher, and the text of the resolution adopting the rules of the 104th Congress.

THOMAS makes available in one database much of the information about Congress available in disparate places on the Internet. Enhancements will be made to THOMAS to upgrade its features. For example, by the end of January, the Library will begin to make available the full text of bills of the 104th Congress.

Since 1993, the Library has been providing online information about the U.S. Congress through LC MARVEL. THOMAS will vastly expand that information when it becomes fully operational.

BACKGROUND

On Oct. 13, 1994, the Library opened its Digital Library Visitors' Center, which demonstrates how the Library supports Congress and the nation through technology. The center contains 15 workstations that feature: LOCIS, the Library's online catalog of more than 40 million records; World Wide Web, which offers digitized text and images from the Library's major exhibitions and collections; American Memory, which offers unique collections of the Library on disk and on the Internet; LC MARVEL, which gives users access to the vast amount of information available about the Library and access to other databases around the world; the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), a database of foreign statutes at LC's Law Library that provides electronic access to the international community; and the Copyright Imaging System, which allows automated copyright registration. The initiatives are also accessible to persons with disabilities.

The THOMAS Uniform Resource Locator is: http://thomas.loc.gov.

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PR 95-002
1/5/95
ISSN 0731-3527

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