On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, Thomas will be retiring to be replaced by Congress.gov. Launched in 1995, Thomas provided a generation of legal researchers with federal legislative information. Why is this happening? According to Congress.gov, there are three primary reasons to retire Thomas and replace it with Congress.gov. They are: 1) single search platform; 2) meaningful, persistent URLs, and 3) refining search results with facets.
Congress.gov will continue to provide federal legislative information, including bills and recently enacted public laws . Bill records are available from 1973 onwards while bill texts are available from 1993 onwards. This coverage includes committee reports, treaty documents, and executive communications. The Congressional Record, from 1995 to the present, is also available and includes a digital index. House and Senate committee information and the names of current Congressional members can also be found here. A biographical directory of Congressional members, searchable by name, state, party, position, year of service, or Congress, from 1774 to the present is also available. Lastly a super digital index, named Resources A to Z, is available to help the researcher locate information that s/he cannot find with the above.
A commercial competitor, ProQuest Congressional, also exists and provides more extensive dates of coverage, in some cases from 1789 and 1824, and a more extensive search engine. The library subscribes to ProQuest Congressional which can be found on its databases page.
If neither Congress.gov nor ProQuest can provide the information sought, check with the nearest depository library.