Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909, Third Edition Revised and Enlarged, Volume 1, Lists of Congressional and Departmental Publications Page: XX


bring both Journals and both series of Reports ahead of the Documents, and the
order has since been as follows:
Senate journal.
House journal.
Senate reports.
House reports.
Senate documents.
House documents.
A serious problem in the arrangement of committee reports arose in the middle of
the 58th Congress, 3d session, when under the provisions of the act of Jan. 20, 1905,
the "usual number" of reports on private bills and on simple and concurrent resolutions
could not be printed. This act necessitated the splitting up of committee
reports into numbered volumes for reports on public bills and lettered volumes for
reports on private bills and on simple and concurrent resolutions. The situation is
very awkward, for the committee reports so separated into numbered and lettered
volumes form in each House of Congress one consecutive set of report numbers, irrespective
of their public or private nature. The solution of this difficult problem in
arrangement is made evident by reference to the entries and footnotes for Senate
and House reports of recent Congresses as listed between p. 139 and i64 of"'this
Numbering of series
For many years Senate and House reports were each numbered consecutively
through the whole Congress, no matter how many sessions were held, but for Senate
and House documents a new series of numbers was begun with each session. Whereas
this is true as a general rule, important exceptions must be noted, as follows:
From the 16th Congress to the 46th Congress, inclusive, House reports received
new numbers at each session.
Beginning with the 2d session of the 60th Congress, in compliance with the act of
Mar. 1, 1907, the documents as well as the reports are numbered throughout a Congress.
Sessional indexes to the Congressional set
Indexing was begun at the 15th Congress, 1st session, by the Senate, and at the 16th
Congress, ]st session, by the House. At first these indexes were mere tables of contents,
and it was many years before they really deserved the name of index. For the
15th, 16th, and the first half of the 17th Congress, the indexes were contained sometimes
in the first and sometimes in the last volume of the series indexed, and on
occasions they appeared in more than one volume of the set. It was not, however,
until the 2d session of the 17th Congress, that the various indexes of the several series
were systematically repeated in all volumes of that series, except when a single
document filled a whole volume, in which case the index was sometimes omitted
from that volume. This was the general practice until the close of the 53d Congress,
at which time there were 6 series of Congressional documents and reports, each of
which had its own index, and that index was repeated in all volumes of that series.
The repetition of these indexes was done away with by sec. 62 of the act of Jan. 12,
1895, which substituted for the 6 indexes a one-volumed "consolidated index."
This "consolidated index," or "Document index" as it is popularly called, has been
prepared and issued by the Superintendent of Documents regularly, beginning with
the 54th Congress, 1st session. The Document index is an integral part of the Congressional
series and bears its own House document number, usually the last, or the
next to the last, document number for the session.

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United States. Superintendent of Documents. Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909, Third Edition Revised and Enlarged, Volume 1, Lists of Congressional and Departmental Publications, book, 1911; Washington D.C.. ( accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library,; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.