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Collection A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774 to 1875

About this Collection

Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774, America's national legislative bodies have kept records of their proceedings. The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress make up a rich documentary history of the construction of the nation and the development of the federal government and its role in the national life. These documents record American history in the words of those who built our government.

A screenshot of the previous website--the Minerva statue with the collections included on either side on a salmon background. Visible to read is only the title: Century of Lawmaking For a New Nation U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates. The organization and links are replicated below and under Articles & Essays.

Books on the law formed a major part of the holdings of the Library of Congress from its beginning. In 1832, Congress established the Law Library of Congress as a separate department of the Library. It houses one of the most complete collections of U.S. Congressional documents in their original format. In order to make these records more easily accessible to students, scholars, and interested citizens, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75.

This collection is organized in five categories:

Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention

Statutes and Documents

Journals of Congress

Debates of Congress

Century Presentations