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University at Buffalo Libraries

Members of Congress: Selected Information Sources



Directories and Encyclopedias

Current Congress

Almanac of American Politics (National Journal Group)
Lockwood Ref JK1012 .A44 (current edition)
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/Policy-Central.html
Profiles sitting members of Congress; their districts; committees on which they serve; key votes; ratings by public interest groups; and Presidential election returns for the districts.

Congressional Directory (U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on Printing)
Lockwood Documents US Y4.P93:1 (1872-present with gaps)
Lockwood Reference Desk JK 1011 (most recent edition)
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CDIR (1995-present)
Offers contact information and brief profiles of Senators and Representatives; committee memberships and committee staff; and maps of Congressional districts.

Congressional Staff Directory (Bobbs-Merrill Co)
Lockwood JK1012 .C66 (1992-present; most current in Reference)
A directory to Congress people, Congressional committees, and their staffs.

CQ's Politics in America (Congressional Quarterly)
Lockwood Reference JK 1010 .P64 (current edition)
Presents biographical sketches of Congress people, committees on which they serve, key votes, ratings by public interest groups, and Presidential election returns in the districts.

ProQuest Congressional
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/cis.html
Select "Members and Committees" to search for current Congress people by names, demographic characteristics, and committees on which they serve.

Project VoteSmart: Current Candidates and Elected Officials
http://www.vote-smart.org/
Locate biographies, voting records, issue positions, and performance evaluations.

U.S. House of Representatives
http://www.house.gov/
Search for Representatives by names or by zip codes.

U.S. Senate: Senators
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Retrieve U.S. Senators' contact information by name, state, or political party.

Previous Congresses

Almanac of American Politics

Art and History (U.S. House of Representatives. Office of the Clerk)
http://clerk.house.gov/art_history/index.html
Learn about art, artifacts, and architecture in the House of Representatives; histories of House party divisions, session dates, ceremonies and traditions; historical biographical information; weekly historical highlights; and women and African-Americans in Congress.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress (U.S. Congress)
Lockwood Reference JK 1010 .A5 1997 (1774- 1996)
http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp (1774-present)
Provides a one-paragraph profile for every member of Congress. The print edition also lists names by Congresses.

Black Americans in Congress, 1870-1989 (U.S. House of Representatives)
Lockwood Book Collection E185.96 .R25 1990
Lockwood Documents US Y 1.1/ 7: 101-117
http://www.llmcdigital.org/docdisplay.aspx?textid=26216768
Provides brief biographical profiles.

Congressional Directory (U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on Printing)

Congressional Staff Directory

CQ's Politics in America

Women of Congress: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey (Congressional Quarterly)
Lockwood Reference E747 .K37 1996
Provides profiles of 15 significant congress members and overviews of others.

Women in Congress (U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Office of the Clerk)
http://womenincongress.house.gov/
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30261.pdf
Law Reference JK1030 .W66 2006
Profiles women in Congress from 1917-2006.


Background Information

General sources for biographical information can be useful when researching members of Congress. See the Arts & Sciences Libraries Subject Guide Biographical Information: Selected Resources (http://library.buffalo.edu/asl/guides/biographical.html). Also note the following:

CQ Electronic Library
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/cq.html
Congressional Quarterly provides background news and legislative analysis. Three sections cover:

  • CQ Research Researcher : Presents detailed analysis of issues. (Print counterpart is at Lockwood H35 E35, 1939-2008 with gaps; Lockwood Reference H35 E35, 1999-2008; title varies)
  • CQ Weekly: Summarizes weekly happenings. (Print counterpart, CQ Weekly Report, is at Lockwood Reference JK1 C15, 1993-present)
  • CQ Public Affairs Collection: Collates information on over 20 key topics.

Newspapers
The following sources provide full-text access to major national and regional newspapers and magazines.

Politics & Elections: Selected Resources (University at Buffalo. University Libraries)
http://library.buffalo.edu/asl/guides/busdoc/elections.html
Includes links to sites with information about current members of Congress, as well as other candidates.


Legislation Sponsored

Congressional Record (U.S. Congress)
Lockwood Documents US X 1.1: (1873-present with selected gaps)
Lockwood Documents US X/a: (current edition)
Capen Multimedia Center US MicFiche X 1.1: 1873-1938 and 1977-2003 with gaps.
See http://library.buffalo.edu/asl/guides/busdoc/congress.html#7 for a description and access to online editions.

History of Bills and Resolutions via GPO Access (U.S. Congress)
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=HOB (1983-present)
The History of Bills and Resolutions database is part of the printed Congressional Record. It lists bills and resolutions in numerical order providing names of sponsors, relevant Congressional Record page numbers, and when appropriate, report and public law numbers.

ProQuest Congressional
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/cis.html
101st Congress (1989) - present
From the main page, select "Members and Committees," and then click "Bills Sponsored" to search for legislation sponsored by a particular congressperson.

THOMAS: Bill Summary & Status (U.S. Library of Congress)
http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d109query.html
93rd Congress (1973) - present
Search by sponsor/cosponsor, with options to limit by subject keyword/phrase and/or stage in the legislative process.


Voting Records in Congress

Congressional Record (U.S. Congress)
Lockwood Documents US X 1.1: (1873-present with selected gaps)
Lockwood Documents US X/a: (current edition)
Capen Multimedia Center US MicFiche X 1.1: 1873-1938 and 1977-2003 with gaps.
See http://library.buffalo.edu/asl/guides/busdoc/congress.html#7 for a description and access to online editions.
Consult "Votes in House"and "Votes in Senate" in the Index for references. Organization is by title of the legislation.

House History (U.S. House of Representatives. Office of the Clerk)
http://clerk.house.gov/art_history/house_history/index.html
101st Congress (1990) - present
The Office of the Clerk of the House maintains a list of roll call votes in reverse chronological order.

ProQuest Congressional
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/cis.html
100th Congress (1987) - present
Select "Members & Committees" and then choose the Key Votes option.

Voting Records of Members of Congress (U.S. Library of Congress)
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/legbranch/otherleg.html#vote
This Library of Congress page links to selected non-governmental Web sites that give voting records.


Statements in Congress

Congressional Record (U.S. Congress)
Lockwood Documents US X 1.1: (1873-present with selected gaps)
Lockwood Documents US X/a: (current edition)
Capen Multimedia Center US MicFiche X 1.1: 1873-1938 and 1977-2003 with gaps.
See http://library.buffalo.edu/asl/guides/busdoc/congress.html#7 for a description and access to online editions.
The Congressional Record Index lists statements by Congress persons' names under the subheading "Remarks."

Congressional Record via ProQuest Congressional
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/cis.html
99th Congress (1985) - present
Select "Members and Committees" and then choose Floor Statements.


Campaign Contributions

Federal Election Commission (FEC)
http://www.fec.gov/
Select Campaign Finance Reports and Data to access a searchable database, view and download electronic filings, or ftp datafiles. Congressional and Presidential candidates must register with FEC within 15 days after acquiring contributions of or expending $5,000

ProQuest Congressional
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/cis.html
1989/90 election cycle - present
Select "Members and Committees," and choose one of 3 options.

  • Campaign Contributors lists all contributors, individuals and political action committees.
  • Campaign Finance Reports are the final campaign contribution reports of an election.
  • Financial Disclosures are official financial disclosure statements for the given years.
Open Secrets: U.S. Congress Profiles (Center for Responsive Politics)
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/index.asp 1995/96 election cycle - present
Select names of Senators and Representatives and then choose either fundraising summary, top 5 contributors, top 5 industries, total amounts raised vs. average amounts raised, and source of funds.

Personal Financial Disclosure Reports

Each year, members of Congress must provide information regarding their earned income, honoraria income, assets, gifts, travel costs paid for by outside interests, liabilities, transactions, and positions or partnerships with outside organizations.  Access House Financial Disclosure Reports at http://clerk.house.gov/public_disc/financial-search.html.  The Senate Office of Public Records (http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/one_item_and_teasers/opr.htm) maintains comparable data, but provides access only within their office.

ProQuest Congressional ( http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/cis.html) reproduces personal financial disclosure reports of Senators and Representatives from 1990 to date. Select the "Members & Committees" link, and click "Financial Disclosures."

The University Libraries have selected financial disclosure reports from the House of Representatives on microfiche (1978-95); conduct a title search in BISON: The UB Libraries Catalog for "financial disclosure reports" and consult the volume holdings (call numbers vary).