How to cite US govt documents

I want to cite the following example of a US govt document from the catalog entry at Proquest Congressional. How do I do this in Zotero? I am using CMOS style endnotes and bibliography.

Serial Set Id: 1308 S.exdoc.20
Descriptive Title: Message of President communicating correspondence on recent events in Mexico
Document Title: Message from the President of the United States, communicating, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 8th instant, correspondence relating to recent events in Mexico.
Document Date: July 19, 1867
Author: Andrew Johnson, Not In Office
Committee: Committee on Foreign Relations. Senate
Document Number: S.exdoc.20
Serial Volume: 1308
Sessional-Volume: 1
  • I would use Hearing or Report for this.
  • edited May 19, 2018
    Let me add some additional information and see if I can get some help with this.
    According to CMOS such US govt documents should be cited as follows:
    Document Title, NNth Cong., 1st sess., year, S. Doc. NN, serial NNN, page nos.

    Turabian has this under Congressional publications, reports and documents ( which makes me think Zotero report or document might work, but the entries do not seem to correspond to those above. Nothing for number of Congress or session, for example.
  • edited May 19, 2018
    “Hearing” would probably be best. Generally don’t use Document for anything.
  • I'm working with hearing and I put in the Congress and session numbers in the session window. I entered the H. execdoc number in the document number. This is what I get:
    “Message from the President of the United States . . . in Relation to the Alleged Interference of Our Minister to Mexico in Favor of the French,” Pub. L. No. exdoc. 23, serial 1161 (1863), 22.

    The title should be in italics.
    "Pub. L. No." is coming from somewhere in Zotero, but I don't want it in the citation. In CMOS the date is: 1863, no parentheses.
    If I can't hack one of the existing items, I wonder if someone out there has created a customized style for Congressional publications that will conform to CMOS style? I see some discussion of this on the forum going back to 2007 but I do not see any solution in answer to these queries.
  • edited May 19, 2018
    Further experimentation: I went back to "book" style and hacked it by entering:
    Series: serial
    Series number: 1161
    volume: H. execdoc 23
    I deleted publishing place and publisher
    Date: 1863
    Here is what I came up with:
    _Message from the President of the United States . . . in Relation to the Alleged Interference of Our Minister to Mexico in Favor of the French_, vol. H. execdoc 23, Serial 1161, 1863

    Missing is the number for Congress and session which goes before the year.
    The year should go before the "H. execdoc ..."
    I need to delete "vol."

    Not sure "book" is going to be the solution here.

    Are there no other scholars out there working with Congressional documents and Zotero?
    I can't be alone here!
  • If you need specific cite forms for official documents, it's probably worth exploring Juris-M.

    It's designed with flexibility to handle this level of detail, and can apply jurisdiction-specific cite forms, if your work spans national boundaries.
  • Yes, Zotero has only basic support for legal citations. If you need to strictly follow specific rules, particularly across jurisdictions, I recommend switching to Juris-M.
  • Thanks, I'm going to explore Juris-M. If anyone has any good ideas about integrating Juris M software and Zotero, I'm all ears.
  • You can sync them using Zotero sync.
  • I see Jurism is essentially a version of Zotero. Can I use JM in place of Zotero and just migrate my library over to the former? I'm completely new to this, so forgive me if I'm asking something obvious, but I'd like to save time and cut to the best solution here.
  • yes, absolutely you can. Keep a copy of your Zotero database (I think juris-m should do that automatically, but better to be safe) in case you don't like it and want to revert to Zotero.
  • Yes, Juris-M makes a copy of your Zotero database, then renamed the copy and updates it to its expanded format.
  • After further trials and errors, I found Juris M did not add any item types that would help with Senate or House documents of the kind I am using. However, I believe I have found the solution to this problem. Using "book" as item type, enter on the series line: "39th Cong., 1st sess., S. Ex. Doc." (for example), then enter the number as "series number".
    My CMOS footnote came out as: _Message of the President of the United States, Communicating in Compliance with a Resolution of the Senate of December 19, 1865, Information in Regard to Plans to Induce the Immigration of Dissatisfied Citizens of the United States into Mexico, and Especially in Regard to the Plans of Dr. William M. Gwin and M.F. Maury._, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., S. Ex. Doc. 8 (Washington: GPO, 1866), 999.
    I believe this accords with Turabian
    Thanks for all the offers of help. I wanted to follow up on this with my solution in case it might help others.

  • Follow up: Long after this discussion, I discovered the best way to enter Congressional serial set documents is as a journal article. I discovered this by adding citations from the Hein Online site. It created a Zotero entry using journal article that includes all the necessary data for a proper CMOS endnote or bibliographical entry.
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