Public Access to CRS Reports – Finally.

Authoritative overviews of policy and legislative issues, written by the experts at the Congressional Research Service, are now available online to the public! See

For now, the site includes a limited set of reports: 1) The R-series of “active” reports that were published since early 2018 and 2) the “Appropriations Status Table,” which includes updates on legislative activity related to the appropriations process.

In the future, the Library of Congress plans to have a “full inventory” of reports, with a complete migration “targeted for completion by spring 2019.” See, archived at

UCI community members have access to a large archive of CRS reports in ProQuest Congressional at .

The public site is great news, because these non-partisan reports are fantastic starting points for researchers, and because policy experts, librarians, and other researchers have been pushing for access for years. See my earlier posts: “Public Access to CRS Reports” from July 2012, and “Public Access to CRS Reports (2015 update)” from October 2015.

Are you interested in even more background on making these reports public? Check out this July 2018 critique by several experts who developed a site that had put over 14,000 CRS reports online:

Our website cost under $20,000 to build and maintain with full functionality and fewer than 100 hours of programming time; the Library’s CRS website will cost $1.5 million, have limited functionality, suffer from significant design limitations, and not be completed for more than a year after the law was enacted and six months after the statutory deadline for completion.

Historical California legislative publications

are now available in HathiTrust, the home of scanned materials from research institutions and libraries. The new collection* is called “California Legislative Publications 1850-2009” and includes scanned versions of:

  • bills,
  • statutes (“Chapters”),
  • bill histories,
  • constitutional amendments,
  • final calendars, and
  • other materials.

These materials can supplement research into primary materials for the legislative history of California statutes, which we cover briefly in the “State Laws” section of our Research Guide to Legislative History.

Legislative history can be a complex area to research, and librarians often suggest starting with a secondary source. In California, that can include the January issues of the University of the Pacific Law Review, where new state legislation has been summarized every year since 1971.

* See “Thousands of Historical California Legislative Publications Digitized and Openly Available Online!” at

Flu shots in the Law Library

promo imageThe UCI Student Health Center is providing a walk-in flu shot clinic for students* this week, inside the Law Library. No appointment is necessary!

  • Thursday & Friday, August 23 & 24
  • 10:30 am — 1:30 pm
  • Downstairs in the California Room
  • Free for students on the UCSHIP plan.
  • $25 for students with private insurance; can be billed to a Zot account.

Questions? Call SHC (949) 824-5304

* Faculty and staff are welcome at other Flu Shot events on campus later in the school year. But this event is for students only.

Construction update

photo of downstairs doors under construction
July 25: Construction team member works on the new after-hours access doors in the California Room

Twenty-four hour library access for law students is coming soon!

This week, the construction team is working on a new doorway to the California room downstairs. When the law library is closed, law students will be able to use a key card to open the doors downstairs and get into the California room for late-night study.

The main entry to the Law Library will remain upstairs, and we’ll continue to use the existing lobby for check outs. This way, we’re doing a cost-effective building update that provides expanded access for law students who prefer to study late at night or early in the morning. We’re also preserving the quiet space downstairs when the library is open, to support our students who work best without distractions.

We are very excited about showing off these improvements next month when our students are back on campus. Look out for further updates!