Recently, Texas State University began a subscription to the Serial Set, online through LexisNexis. The Serial Set is a phenomenal government information resource for researchers who need primary sources.
What is the Serial Set?
The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, contains the House and Senate Documents and the House and Senate Reports bound by session of Congress. It began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817). Documents before 1817 may be found in the American State Papers (which are actually included in our new access to the online Serial Set!). In general, the Serial Set includes: committee reports related to bills and other matters, presidential communications to Congress, treaty materials, certain executive department publications, and certain non-governmental publications.
A few of the unusual documents that may be found in the Serial Set are:
- annual reports of the Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts
- Commodore Perry's Expedition to the China Seas & Japan, 1852-1855
- Capt. John Gunnison's 1853 expedition to explore a route for a transcontinental railroad
- The Children of Immigrants in Schools (1910)
- An atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
How could Texas State University researchers use the Serial Set?
Serial Set documents are primary source materials. Anyone who needs historical perspective in their research would benefit from the source. The resource is not solely text; maps, charts, drawings, and illustrations are also included.
At Texas State University, in the Government Information unit, we have some of the print volumes of the Serial Set, starting in the late 1950s, though we also have scattered holdings dating back to the 1820s. The online access that we now have makes access to Serial Set information much easier, and our access to historical information is significantly increased.
How do you get to the online version of the Serial Set?
You can search the Serial Set online from this link, or you can access the database from LexisNexis Congressional on the Library’s Research Databases website. If you're searching in LexisNexis Congressional, in the “Search within” section of the page, clear all of the checkboxes except for the Serial Set boxes (note that you may search only Serial Set maps or by clicking on the Serial Set options, you may limit your search to items with illustrations or to items with statistical tables).
Our online access to Serial Set provides access to U.S. Serial Set I (1789-1969) and Serial Set II Prospective (2004-present).