HeinOnline's Tip of the Week: Search for a specific date, page number, and term in the Congressional Record

We have modified the search fields in the U.S. Congressional Documents collection to allow you to add a specific date to your search query using a section date field. This is especially helpful when searching the Congressional Record. This will allow you to search on a specific date and/or a specific page for a word or a term. To illustrate this, let's search for the Senate Amendment to H.R. 4986 on page 26099 as it appeared in the House of Representatives proceedings on November 14, 2000.

When searching for a specific date using the Section Date field, you must enter the date in the following format: MM/DD/YYYY (i.e. 11/14/2000).

First, if you want to see everything that took place on November 14th, 2000, you can simply run a search for the date. To run this search using the Field Search option, enter 11/14/2000 into the first search box, select Section Date from the drop down menu, click on word, select the Congressional Record from the title listing, leave all section types checked as is, and click search.

The results will show links to the Senate and House proceedings, as well as a third link to the Extensions of Remarks, all of which occurred on 11/14/2000.

You could also enter this search into the advanced search option by inputting the following query:

Now, let's narrow our search to look specifically for the Senate Amendment on page 26099. First, we'll show you how to build it using the Field Search option.

Enter 11/14/2000 into the first search field, select Section Date from the drop down menu, and click on word. Then enter 26099 into the second search box, select Text from the drop down menu, and click on word. Then enter Senate Amendment to H.R. 4986 into the third search box, select Text from the drop down menu, and click on phrase. Select the Congressional Record from the title listing, leave all section types checked as is, and click search.

This search returns 1 result that is an exact match to the page and terms we are looking for.


To enter this search using the Advanced Search option, input the following query:
section_date:11/14/2000 AND text:26099 AND text:"Senate Amendment to H.R. 4986"

Select the Congressional Record from the title listing, leave all section types checked as is and click search.

If you don't know the page number but you know the Chamber, in this case the House of Representatives, then you can add that to your search query instead of the page. So, the query would be:
section_date:11/14/2000 AND description:house AND text:"Senate Amendment to H.R. 4986"

When searching for a specific date using the Section Date field, remember to always use the MM/DD/YYYY format. Also, if the day is between the 1st-9th of the month, be sure that you have included a leading zero (01, 02, 03, etc.).

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