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Civil War (U.S.) government documents resources

This is a guide for print and online government resources covering the Civil War and available via Milner Library, at Illinois State University.

Online Primary Source Material

Congressional Globe (via HeinOnline)

The Congressional Globe contains the congressional debates of the 23rd through 42nd Congresses (1833-73). It is the third of the four series of publications containing the debates of Congress. It was preceded by the Annals of Congress and the Register of Debates and succeeded by the Congressional Record. The Globe, as it is commonly referred to as, is located on Floor 4 in the Documents Stacks under the call number X. They are arranged chronologically by congress and then by session. Indexes are found at the beginning of each volume. Volumes are available online through HeinOnline.

Papers Relating to Foreign Relations (via HeinOnline)

This series dates to 1861 and encompasses over 500 volumes. It serves as the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. Memos and correspondence are reproduced between U.S. ambassadors and other Department of State staff and Washington after their declassification--typically 30 years after the event. Full text access available through HeinOnline. (Selected volumes available digitally through the State Department and others through the University of Wisconsin.)

Civil War volumes are

  • S 1.1:861
  • S 1.1:862
  • S 1.1:863, v.1-2
  • S 1.1:864, v.1-4
  • S 1.1:865, v.1-3 and appendix

U.S. Serial Set (Via ProQuest)

The Serial Set contains the House and Senate Documents and the House and Senate Reports. The reports are usually from congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. The documents include all other papers ordered printed by the House or Senate. Documents cover a wide variety of topics and may include reports of executive departments and independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, executive-branch materials were also published in the Serial Set. Most volumes in the Serial Set are not cataloged. Use the database Congressional Publications to search for items on the Civil War in this set.


Subject Guide

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Angela Bonnell
Milner Library, Office #417
309 438-2354