Congressional and Legislative Branch Publications

This section deals with publications of the U.S. Congress and its committees, as well as boards, commissions, and committees established by an act of Congress. As in all classes, follow established patterns when classifying a new publication and general guidelines for formulating classification numbers unless a specific guideline in this chapter directs otherwise.

Letter Author Symbols

  • X and Y – Congress as a whole, House of Representatives as a whole, Senate as a whole
  • Y 1.1 and Y 4. – Congressional committees

Y 4. - Congressional Committee Publications

Congressional committee hearings and prints are classified under Y 4. Publications of the House, Senate, and Joint committees are all included as part of Y 4. Classes are not established for subcommittees.

Y 4. is followed by the committee Cutter number and a colon.

Y 4.EN 2:S.HRG.114-471 The Bureau of Land Management’s planning 2.0 initiative
Hearing before the Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forest, and Mining of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

At the beginning of each Congress, all committees should be reviewed to determine if a committee has been newly created, merged with another committee, has changed names, or has been dissolved.

Constructing the Committee Designation

The designation for a Congressional committee consists of a Cutter number based on the first significant word in the committee’s name.

Y 4.AG 4: Special Committee on Aging (Senate)
Y 4.W 36: Committee on Ways and Means (House)

If both the House and Senate have committees with the same or similar names, add a slash and the numbers 1 and 2 (respectively) to the Cutter number at the time the classes are established.

Y 4.J 89/1: Committee on the Judiciary (House)
Y 4.J 89/2: Committee on the Judiciary (Senate)

If a new committee is created and the committee designation would use the same Cutter number as an existing committee, use a slash and the next highest available number to distinguish between the two classes. Check all classification resources (GPO Shelflist, Monthly Catalog, ACSIS, Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, and others) to determine the correct number to be used.

Y 4.IN 8/18: Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (House)
Y 4.IN 8/19: Select Committee on Intelligence (Senate)

Reorganized Committees and Name Changes

If two or more existing committees merge and a new name is used, establish a new class for the committee.

Y 4.AG 8/2: Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Senate)
Y 4.N 95: Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs (Senate)
Y 4.AG 8/3: Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry (Senate)

The first two committees merged to form the third committee, which was assigned a new committee designation.

Sometimes a committee name changes to include other jurisdictions, but committees are not merged. When a committee name changes to add or remove a jurisdiction, but the first significant word in the committee name remains the same, use the existing class name and update the name in the List of Classes.

Y 4.B 22/3: Committee on Banking and Currency (Senate)
Y 4.B 22/3: Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Senate)

In this example, the committee changed its name, but since Banking remains the first significant word, the class does not change.

If the first significant word in the committee name changes, but the name still includes the word upon which the Cutter is based, use the existing class number and update the name in the List of Classes.

Y 4.G 74/7: Committee on Government Reform and Oversight (House)
Y 4.G 74/7: Committee on Government Reform (House)
Y 4.G 74/7: Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (House)

In this example, the committee changed its name twice, but since the Cuttered word Government remains a significant word in the name, the class does not change.

For more information about name changes in Congress, see: Senate and House of Representatives

Y 4. Committee Print or Y 1. Report?

Sometimes it is difficult to determine if a Congressional document should be classified as a report (Y 1.) or as a committee print (Y 4.) when the words House Report or Senate Report, with or without numbers, appear on a publication with a committee name or the words Committee Print. More than one committee may be involved with the publication, or it may be identified simultaneously as two different types of publication.

If the report number appears on the publication, it is classified as a report, not as a committee print, even if the words Committee Print appear. It should be included in the appropriate Y 1. class.

If the report number is not printed on the publication, classify it as a committee print in the appropriate committee class under Y 4.

Joint Hearings

The committee that requests GPO to publish a joint hearing appears first in the “Printed for the use of” statement on the title page. Classify joint hearings under the requesting committee and use the numbering of that committee for the book number.

When a hearing is held by two or more subcommittees of the same committee, the full committee is the requesting committee.

Y 4.R 31/3:114-20 EPA’s Animas Spill
(Joint oversight hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform)
Y 4.T 68/2:114-4 Impacts of the proposed "Waters of the United States" rule on state and local governments
(Joint hearing before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works)

Publications Prepared by One Committee for the Use of Another

Sometimes publications, often committee prints, are prepared by one committee for the use of another. In these cases it is necessary to determine which committee actually issued the publication. This situation occurs, for example, when the Joint Committee on Taxation prepares summaries, descriptions, and analyses of bills for the Senate Committee on Finance and for the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The following steps can help determine which committee issued the publication:

  1. If the publication reads Joint committee print, classify it under the named Joint Committee, usually the Joint Committee on Taxation.
  2. Review the list of committee members; classify the publication under the committee to which the members belong.
  3. If no members’ names are listed, research classification resources such as the CGP, GPO Shelflist, WEBTech Notes, and other classification files to determine what has been done in similar situations, and classify accordingly.

Individual Book Numbers

Individual book numbers follow the committee designation and colon. The individual book number consists of the serial or series number printed on the document, or a Cutter number if there is no serial or series number.

Separate category or series classes, with a few exceptions, are not assigned in the Y 4. classes. Most publications, including committee prints, hearings, manuals, bibliographies, etc., are included in a single class. The exceptions are annual reports and other serials.

House Book Numbers

There are three kinds of book numbers for House hearings:

  • Serial numbers
    • Sometimes without the word serial
  • Alphanumeric designations
  • Cutter numbers

Most House committees issue their hearings with serial numbers. These serial numbers should be used as the book numbers. The numbers may or may not include the word serial. They are generally comprised of:

  • The Congress number
  • One hyphen
  • A sequential number
    • Starting at one with each new Congress and continuing throughout both sessions

When committees use serial numbers for hearings and letters for prints, both types of publications are classified under the same class stem. As committees add, drop, or change their serial designations, the class should be modified to incorporate these changes.

Some committees, such as the House Committee on Ways and Means, identify their publications by letters rather than numbers or alphanumeric serial numbers. The numbers and letters should be used as they are presented on the publication as much as possible.

Y 4.W 36:113-FC 01 The debt limit

Some committees, such as the Committee on House Administration and Committee on Appropriations, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, do not use serial numbers of any format; add a Cutter number to complete the classification.

Numbered and Unnumbered Documents in One Class

A committee may issue its publications with various types of numbering or designations. The hearings may have serial numbers and the committee prints may not. When hearings and prints do not have numbering or designations, use Cutter numbers to complete the classification numbers. That means that part of the class may be numbered, and part Cuttered. Use the same class stem for both types of material.

Senate Book Numbers

The Senate implemented a numbering system for Committee publications beginning with the 98th Congress (1983). Three series are incorporated in the Senate numbering system: hearings, committee prints, and publications. An abbreviated designation for the type of publication is presented on each publication, preceding the number. The numbering consists of:

  • The Congress number
  • One hyphen
  • A sequential number
    • Starting at one with each new Congress and continuing throughout both sessions

The classification numbers for each type of publication will be in one sequence for the entire Senate, not in individual sequences for each committee.

S.HRG.114-1 Senate hearing from 114th Congress
S.PRT.114-1 Senate committee print from 114th Congress
S.PUB.114-1 Senate publication from 114th Congress

The S.PUB. numbers are used primarily in the Y 1.3: class.

The designation showing the type of publication and the numbering follows the colon in the class stem.

The Senate series numbers are not used in the class for two categories of documents:

  • Serials (except in Y 1.3:)
  • Joint publications which are classed under a House committee

Cutter Numbers

Cutter numbers are used for publications that do not have serial or series numbers. The rules for Cuttering hearings are the same as for other publications. See Cutter Numbers for additional instruction.

There are some issues that are unique to such hearings. One is the treatment of frequently occurring words such as United States and Legislation.

If Legislation or United States are the only significant words in the title, use them for Cuttering; otherwise, choose another word. If Legislation on energy is the title of a publication, Cutter under energy rather than legislation.

Similarly, a hearing may be on United States relations with another country. Even though the United States may appear first in the title, Cutter under the name of the other country.

Classify similar titles together even though they are not revisions or new editions of the same title. If a hearing and committee print would be classified with the same Cutter number, add a slash number to the second publication classified.

Multipart Works

Some hearings are issued in parts and also have assigned serial numbers. Some committees assign the same serial numbers to all of the parts, and some committees assign a different serial number to each part. When the same serial number is assigned to all parts, a single classification number is used. When different serial numbers are assigned to each part, a classification number is used for each part.

In the following examples, the part number is not used in the class because each part has a unique serial number.

When two or more numbered parts of a multipart work are classified, review other publications in the class to determine if a work should be designated as part 1, etc. In all likelihood, the committee is consistent in assigning serial numbers to publications issued in parts, and earlier examples can be followed. When part 2 or later numbers are received, determine whether to use the part number in the class by locating the earlier parts.

Errors in Numbering on Publications

Occasionally two publications are mistakenly issued with the same numbering. When neither of the publications is reissued with corrected numbering, add a slash followed by the number two to the classification number of the publication that was published last.

Y 1.-: - Congress as a Whole, House and Senate as a Whole

Publications of the Congress as a whole and each chamber as a whole are grouped into three separate classes regardless of type of material. The class stems are as follows:

Y 1.1: Congress as a whole, and conference committee publications without the names of specific established committees printed on them
Y 1.2: House of Representatives publications
Y 1.3: Senate publications

The publications may be manuals, bibliographies, compilations of laws, or any other type of material. Separate classes are not established for specific kinds of material, except for certain titles as noted below.

Individual Book Numbers

A few of the publications in these classes are not numbered. The individual book numbers for these publications consist of a Cutter number added after the colon. Revision dates and other additions are handled the same as in other Cuttered classes.

Y 1.2:P 88/2/2011 House practice

For Senate publications, follow the Y 4. guidelines.

Several titles among House and Senate publications are assigned separate classes.

These classes are completed in the usual way by adding a number, date, or Cutter number after the colon as appropriate.

House and Senate Documents and Reports

Each type of numbered House and Senate document and report has a separate class stem.

Y 1.1/3: Senate Documents
Y 1.1/4: Senate Treaty Documents
Y 1.1/5: Senate Reports
Y 1.1/6: Senate Executive Reports
Y 1.1/7: House Documents
Y 1.1/8: House Reports

The numbering consists of:

  • The Congress number
  • One hyphen
  • A sequential number
    • Starting at one with each new Congress and continuing throughout both sessions

Since the Congress number is incorporated into the House and Senate numbering systems, no adjustment to the class is necessary to differentiate between the publications of various Congresses.

Y 1.1/2: - U. S. Congressional Serial Set

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set began publication in 1817 and has contained various types of titles throughout its history, such as House and Senate documents and reports, House and Senate Journals, and executive branch publications including annual reports and yearbooks. Currently, the Serial Set volumes are composed of House and Senate documents and reports.

Each Serial Set volume is classified in sequential order using the volume number. The number as it is printed on the Serial Set follows the colon.

As documents and reports are published both individually and as part of the Serial Set, they are classified with the document or report classification number and with the Serial Set classification number.

Y 1.1/8:110-431 Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007
Y 1.1/2:15140  

Y 1.2/5: - United States Code

Each volume of the United States Code is classified by the publication edition year and volume./

Y 1.2/5:2012/V.39 United States Code, 2012 edition, volume 39

The supplement number is added after the edition year and before the volume number.

Y 1.2/5:2006/SUPP.4/V.6 United States Code, 2006 edition, supplement 4, volume 6

Boards, Commissions, and Independent or Temporary Committees Established by Congress

Boards, commissions, and independent or temporary committees may be established by an act of Congress or under authority of an act of Congress.  When such an agency issues a publication, it is necessary to determine how the agency was established and in which branch of Government it is located. This information may not be included in the publication and must be obtained from the agency, by reading the act itself, or through other research such as consulting the U.S. Government Manual.

For publications issued by commissions or committees appointed by the U.S. President, see Presidential Publications

Boards, Commissions, and Committees Established within the Executive Branch

Those entities established by Congressional Act which are designated as completely independent agencies or are placed within existing executive branch department are classed according to the general guidelines. If the entity is expected to exist for an extended period or issue a substantial number of publications, treat as follows:

NMB 1. National Mediation Board (an independent board)
ITC 1. International Trade Commission (an independent commission)

In the above example, independent entities were assigned new letter author symbols.

E 2. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (a commission within the Department of Energy)

In the above example, a commission within the Department of Energy was given its own classification number beginning with the letter author symbols for Energy.

Executive Branch Independent Agencies with Limited Duration or Publishing Output

If an independent commission or board designated within the executive branch is expected to be of short duration or to issue only a small number of publications, it may be classed in Y 3.2: rather than receiving its own letter author symbol. To classify these, see the Y 3.2: section below.

Y 3. Boards and Commissions Outside the Executive Branch

Those agencies established by an act of Congress or under authority of an act of Congress, not specifically designated in the Executive Branch nor as completely independent agencies, are grouped under Y 3. Included in Y 3. are publications from permanent and long-term boards, commissions and independent committees. The following Y 3. construction procedure is used for such agencies that publish frequently. Congress also establishes short-term agencies to produce a single report or a small number of publications; to classify these, see the Y 3.2: section below. 

Y 3.AM 3:2 OI 8/2014 Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial (American Battle Monuments Commission)
Y 3.EL 2/5:2 AL 7 Alternative Voting Methods (U.S. Election Assistance Commission)
Y 3.OC 1:10-6/ OSHRC decisions. Commission decisions.  (Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission)

The Y 3. classification numbers are composed of:

Y 3.N 88:25/6989 Methodology for estimating fabrication flaw density and distribution, reactor pressure vessel welds

 Y 3.         Author  
        N 88:         Agency designation [Nuclear Regulatory Commission]
              :25         Category or Series designation [Contractor Reports NUREG/CR (series)]
                    /6989         Individual book number

Agency Designations

After determining that the author symbol for a new commission, board, etc., should be Y 3., assign the agency designation. This is derived by Cuttering the first significant word of the agency name. The Cutter number is followed by a colon.

Y 3.AD 6: Administrative Conference of the United States
Y 3.SE 4: Selective Service System

A slash number is used to separate agencies having the same or similar first word in their names.

Y 3.F 31/20:  Federal Executive Board
Y 3.F 31/21-3:  Federal Labor Relations Authority

As many agency names begin with Federal, a more descriptive word in the name should be used for the Cutter number for new class stems. Avoid common words such as Advisory, Board, Commission, Committee, Interagency, and National.

Subordinate offices are disregarded in classifying publications in the Y 3. classes.

Y 3.EL 2/3: Federal Election Commission

Category and Series Designations

Category and series designations for publications of Y 3. agencies follow the colon instead of preceding it as in other classes.

Y 3.AD 6:1 ACUS Annual report
Y 3.AD 6:2 ACUS General publications

Assign the standard category classes 1 through 8 according to the general rules. See the Category Classes article for more information.

Y 3.N 88: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Y 3.N 88:1 Annual report
Y 3.N 88:2 General publications
Y 3.N 88:8 Handbooks, Manuals, Guides

Related Series or Subjects

Series on the same or related subjects are brought together by using the same basic number, followed by a dash and a sequential number.

Individual Book Numbers

Follow the general book number guidelines when classifying new publications.

For a numbered series, use a slash between the series designation and the individual book number.

A numbered publication carrying both volume and number is classified by adding a slash, after the volume number. The abbreviation NO. and the actual number then follows.

When a publication is issued quarterly, monthly, weekly, etc., use a dash after the 4-digit year and the number assigned to that particular issue. See Continuing Resources for more information about book numbers for serials.

Cutter Numbers

When a Cutter is used, leave a space between the category or series designation and the Cutter number. Do not use any punctuation to separate these two elements.

A slash followed by a sequential number is used to separate titles using the same Cutter numbers, in accordance with the general rules. Revision dates are added to the book number, with any other information, and separated by slashes in the usual manner.

Y 3.2: - Limited Boards, Commissions, and Independent Committees

Congress may establish boards, commissions, and independent committees to produce a single report or a small number of publications and/or to exist for a limited duration. New class stems are not created for these limited entities. The class stem Y 3.2: is used instead. Use Y 3.2: when the limited entity is either part of the legislative branch or is an independent agency within the executive branch.

Publications classed using the Y 3.2: stem will have a double Cutter number. The first Cutter number is based on the name of the commission, board, or committee, and the second Cutter number is based on the first significant word in the title.

Y 4.2: and Y 4.3: - Select and Special Committees (As Appointed)

Both the House and the Senate may establish select or special committees, generally to perform a particular study or investigation or to comprehensively address an issue that falls outside the standing committee system. These committees are created by a resolution in the parent chamber. Select or special committees are usually temporary however some are designated as permanent or are intended to exist long-term.

If a select or special committee is expected to be long-term or permanent, it is given its own class within Y 4. under the same instruction as any other committee (see Y 4. - Congressional Committee Publications above.)

If the select or special committee is of short-term duration, the stem Y 4.2: is used for House committees and Y 4.3: is used for Senate committees.The publications under these stems will have a double Cutter number. The first Cutter number is based on the committee name and the second Cutter number is based on the first significant word in the title of the publication.

Note: Prior to 2006, some publications from Senate committees were classed in Y 4.3: using the Senate serial number (S.HRG or S.PRT) after the colon instead of a Cutter number.

Y 7.1: - Memorial Addresses

Add to the stem the Cutter number for the last name of the member of Congress for whom the memorial address has been published.

Currently the Senate issues memorial addresses as Senate documents, which are classified in Y 1.1/3:.

Y 9. - Speeches

Y 9. is reserved for speeches by members of Congress published separately outside the Congressional Record. The Checklist of United States public documents 1789-1909, page 1667, describes how speeches were at one time printed by GPO using private funds. Such privately printed speeches are not included in the Catalog of Government Publications, however libraries who hold such publications may opt to use Y 9. for their classification. Speeches from individual Members of Congress are Cuttered by the last name of the speaker. The library may optionally further arrange by adding a second Cutter for the first significant word in the title after the colon.

Y 9.W 12:SA 1 X Safety at Sea: the steamship “Vestris” by Senator Robert Wagner (1929)

This example shows a classification number assigned to a speech held at a depository library but not in the CGP. The first Cutter is for Wagner and the second Cutter is for “Safety.” The final “X” designates that the number is locally assigned.

GPO will use the Y 9. class for speeches from Members of Congress that are determined to be in scope for the Cataloging and Indexing Program or the Federal Depository Library Program. For a collection of speeches by more than one Member of Congress, a Cutter for the first significant title word will be used.

Y 10: and Y 11: - Subordinate Offices

Publications of subordinate offices of Congress, such as the Congressional Budget Office, are classed in Y 10: and higher.

Class stems for the publications of new subordinate offices of Congress should be established using the next available sequential number after Y 10:.

Y 11.2:W 89 Workplace rights for congressional employees (Office of Compliance)

X 1.1: - Congressional Record

The class stem for the bound edition of the Congressional Record is X 1.1:. The colon is followed by the number of the Congress, a slash, the session number, and then a dash.

X 1.1:  Congressional Record (bound edition)
X 1.1:111/2-156/PT.4 Congressional Record, 111th Congress, 2nd session, volume 156, part 4, March 22-April 20, 2010.

The volume number, the abbreviation PT., and the part number complete the classification number.

The class stem for the daily edition of the Congressional Record is X 1.1/A:. The daily edition is treated as a preprint for classification purposes by using /A as part of the class stem, followed by the volume and issue number. The daily Congressional Record is only published when Congress is in session, so there may be gaps in the dates of the volumes.

X 1.1/A:162/1 Congressional record, volume 162, no.1, Jan. 4, 2016.
X 1.1/A:162/13-15 Congressional record, volume 162, nos. 13-15, Jan. 26, 2016.

XJH: and XJS: - House and Senate Journals

Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution of the United States, states: “[E]ach House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings.” Those publications continue to this day. The classification numbers are constructed as follows.

  • The Journal of the House of Representatives
    • Class stem - XJH:
    • Congress number
    • Session number
    • Part number
  • The Journal of the Senate
    • Class stem - XJS:,
    • Congress number
    • Session number
XJH:113-1/PT.2 Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States of America (113th Congress, 1st session, part 2)
XJS:113-2 Journal of the Senate of the United States of America (113th Congress, 2nd session)

Y and X General Issues

Serial Publications

Some serials are classified under Y 4. They have been treated in various ways.

The preferred treatment is to assign a sequential number before the colon, which is then followed by the date.

Y 4.F 76/1-18: Rules of procedure
(House Committee on Foreign Affairs)
Y 4.P 96/10:                   Rules of the Committee on Environment and Public Works
(Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works)

Another treatment is to assign a sequential number after the colon, followed by a slash and the Congress number, followed by a dash and the session number.

For the Congressional Directory, the policy is to list the Congress number alone.

Another treatment used has been to Cutter a word in the title and then add the date after a slash.

Y 4.EC 7:EC 7/2017-6
(June 2017) 
Economic indicators

Star Prints

Star prints are revised or corrected editions. A star is presented in the lower left-hand corner of the title page or cover. Sometimes the words ‘STAR PRINT’ also appear next to the star.

star print

Extradition treaty with the Republic of Kosovo with Star Print notation in lower left corner

Add the suffix /CORR. after the classification number assigned to the original edition.

Original edition:  
Y 1.1/4:115-2 Extradition treaty with the Republic of Kosovo
Star print:  
Y 1.1/4:115-2/CORR.  Extradition treaty with the Republic of Kosovo

Use /CORR. when the corrected edition completely replaces the earlier version.


An erratum or errata are pages or sheets issued to correct mistakes in a publication. Add the suffix /ERRATUM or /ERRATA after the classification number for the original publication. If the mistake is in the numbering of the document, the correct number is used in the class..

Y 4.ED 8/1:113-48 Culture of union favoritism
Y 4.ED 8/1:113-48/ERRATA Culture of union favoritism

Use /ERRATA when the corrected pages are intended to be filed with the earlier edition (virtually or physically), but do not completely replace it.