THOMAS was launched on January 5, 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. Since that time THOMAS has expanded the scope of its offerings to include many features and content including those listed below.:
Bills, Resolutions Activity in Congress Congressional Record Schedules, Calendars Committee Information Presidential Nominations
Now, fifteen years later in response to user feedback and in celebration of its fifteenth anniversary, THOMAS has been updated for the second session of the 111th Congress.
As reported by Emily Carr of the Public Services Division at the Law Library of Congress, the new items include a bookmarking and sharing toolbar, top five bills of the week, a new RSS feed, highlighting how to contact Members of Congress, a tip of the week, enhanced visibility of bill PDFs, and an increased timeout interval.
The bookmarking and sharing toolbar, found near the top of most THOMAS pages, allows users to save or share a permanent link via bookmarks,email, or social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook. The toolbar also includes quick links to subscribe to THOMAS RSS feeds and to print.
The five most-searched-for bills from the past week will be listed in the center box on the right side of the homepage. Hovering the mouse over the bill number will display the title of the bill.
The new Bills Presented to the President RSS feed and email update lists bills that have passed both the House and Senate and have been sent to the White House for the President’s signature.
It’s now easier to contact your Members of Congress. A link to this page of tips about how to contact your Representative or Senator is included on the homepage.
Each week, a new tip about using THOMAS will be displayed on the right-hand side of the THOMAS homepage, below the “Top Five” list.
Based on user feedback, links to the bill PDF are more visible and accessible. Clicking on a PDF link will bring you to the Government Printing Office (GPO) PDF for a specific version of a bill.
Search results within THOMAS are displayed on temporary pages. The timeout interval has been increased from 5 minutes to 20 minutes..
THOMAS can be accessed at http://thomas.loc.gov.