Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

January 19, 1995

More Than 36,000 Persons Access New Library of Congress Database of Congressional Information

In just nine days of operation -- from January 5 through January 13 -- 36,534 users accessed the new online public Internet system called THOMAS, which offers free access to congressional and legislative information through the Library of Congress.

"The Library is pleased to have been Congress's choice to administer its new database. The workings of the 104th Congress are now accessible to more Americans than ever before, through the Internet," said James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. "The tremendous number of THOMAS users so soon after its introduction shows the public's thirst for knowledge about how its lawmakers do business."

THOMAS, a single public gateway to information about Congress, was initiated by the leadership of the 104th Congress and introduced on January 5 by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R- Ga.) and Rep. William Thomas (R-Calif.). House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) also supported the project.

Currently THOMAS offers:

  • Full text of all bills of the 103rd Congress and text of bills of the 104th Congress as they become available (searchable by key words or bill number).
  • How Are Laws Are Made, an explanation of the legislative process.
  • Electronic mail address of members and committees.
  • A link to the House of Representatives Gopher, and Internet system providing access to member and committee directories, floor and committee schedules and a yearly calendar.
  • A link to the C-SPAN Gopher, including program schedules, press releases and election results.
  • Links to the Library of Congress World Wide Web homepage and its Gopher system, called LC MARVEL.

Future enhancements will include:

  • The Congressional Record.
  • The Bill Digest.

The preferred method of access to THOMAS is via the World Wide Web at http://thomas.loc.gov. Access is also provided by direct telnet to thomas.loc.gov; then login as thomas.

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PR 95-006
1/19/95
ISSN 0731-3527

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