In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, legislative information has been made available to the public online by the Library of Congress, originally through its website THOMAS, and now through its new site, still in beta form, Congress.gov .
THOMAS was launched in 1995 at the behest of the 104th Congress. It was a joint project between the Library of Congress and the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR) at the University of Massachusetts, giving us a special local connection.
Since 1995, the scope of the material that THOMAS provided access to continually expanded. According to the Library of Congress, however, THOMAS “has been updated over the years, but its foundation can no longer support the capabilities that today’s internet users have come to expect, including access on mobile devices. Using best practices for retrieving and displaying information, the refined user friendly Congress.gov system makes finding and using legislative information more intuitive, comprehensive and accessible than the existing system.” Beginning Nov.19, 2013, users of THOMAS have been redirected to Congress.gov. The plan is to retire THOMAS in late 2014.