The following sample searches are provided as guides to general types of searches in the Congressional Directory. They are performed in the Congressional Directory for the 105th Congress. For the sake of space, only the top three hits in each results list are included with each example below.
This type of search returns documents based on the name of a member of Congress, including senior staff members and senior agency officials. A member's name may not be consistent throughout the directory; therefore, you must search for known variations of her/his name in order to receive a comprehensive results list.
The above query returns documents that list this member in two different manners. He is mentioned as William Thomas in the documents entitled "Congressional Advisory Boards, Commissions, Groups" and "Joint Committees," but his name appears as Bill Thomas in the document entitled "Standing Committees of the House." Thus, a query that specified only one of his first names would have returned an incomplete list of relevant documents. Depending on how common a Congressperson's name is, you may be able to search successfully on her/his last name only.
This type of search returns documents based on both the name of a member of Congress and a committee name.
Common committee documents include "Assignments of Representatives/Senators to Committees," which is an alphabetical listing of members of Congress and the committees and subcommittees to which they have been assigned; "Standing Committees of the House/Senate," which is an alphabetical listing of committees/subcommittees and their members; and "Select and Special Committees of the House/Senate," which is an alphabetical listing of select and special committees that is organized similar to the listing of standing committees. The documents that are titled by U.S. state contain information about the congressional members from that state, including the committees on which they have served.
This type of search returns documents based on U.S. state.
Documents that are titled by U.S. state contain the entire entry for that state from the Congressional Directory. They include biographical information, office locations, and contact information for the senators and representatives from each district. For an explanation of the "Congressional Districts" documents, see the following example.
This type of search returns documents based on congressional district. If you are interested in one state, you must include both the state name and the phrase "congressional district*" in your query. If you enter only the phrase "congressional district*", relevant documents for each state will be returned. It is best to truncate the word "district," because it may be singular or plural in a document, depending on how many congressional districts a state has.
The documents that are titled by U.S. state and congressional district(s), such as the first hit in the above example, contain a map of that state with the borders of its congressional districts. This type of document is retrievable only as an PDF file.
This type of search returns the entry for an agency in the Congressional Directory, as well as other documents that mention that agency.
The entry for an agency, such as the first hit in the above example, includes names, titles, office locations, and contact information for the officials of that agency.
In the list that displays your query results, the title of each Congressional Directory document is preceded by an identification code. The identification code consists of two elements: a database abbreviation and the number of the Congress being referenced. For example, in the listing "[Cong. Dir. 105] PRESS GALLERIES," "Cong. Dir." stands for Congressional Directory, 105 references the 105th Congress, and "Press Galleries" is the title of the document.