Effective tomorrow, all searches for Thomas.gov will redirect to Congress.gov, the Library of Congress’ new enhanced legislative information website.
On January 5,1995, the Library of Congress launched THOMAS, named in honor of Thomas Jefferson (the principal founder of the library), at the request of congressional leaders. The website provided unprecedented free public access to legislative documents. When it first became available, THOMAS included full-text of bills from the 103rd Congress and was updated with new bills as they became available. Here’s how it looked in its early days:
Thomas’ user interface changed over time and was expanded to include the Congressional Record as well as bills since the 101st Congress, bill tracking since the 93rd Congress, and committee reports since the 104th Congress.
THOMAS approximately 10 years ago. Image courtesy of Andrew Weber, Law Library of Congress, Legislative Information Systems Manager.
Here’s how Thomas looks today:
For more information about the history of Thomas, please see:
- Jeffrey C. Griffith, Congress’ Legislative Information Systems: Thomas and the LIS, 18 Gov’t Info. Q. 43 (2001).
- Guy Lamolinara, Congress on the Internet: New Web Server Organize Online Information, Library of Congress Information Bulletin (Jan. 23, 1995), http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9502/thomas.html.
- Andrew Weber, A THOMAS Time Capsule, In Custodia Legis (Nov. 15, 2011), http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2011/11/a-thomas-time-capsule/.