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THOMAS was the first online database of United States Congress legislative information. A project of the Library of Congress, it was launched in January 1995 at the inception of the 104th Congress and retired in September 2014; it has been superseded by[1]


  • Contents 1
  • Library of Congress Legislative Data Challenge 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The resource was a comprehensive, Internet-accessible source of information on the activities of Congress, including:

The database was named after Thomas Jefferson, who was the third President of the United States. According to some sources, "THOMAS" is an acronym for "The House [of Representatives] Open Multimedia Access System", but as of November 2006 this text was not apparent anywhere on its site; this explanation might be a backronym.

The website allowed users to share legislative information via several social networking sites,[2] and there were proposals for an application programming interface.[3]

Library of Congress Legislative Data Challenge

The Library of Congress created the Markup of US Legislation in Akoma Ntoso challenge in July 2013 to create representations of selected US bills using the most recent Akoma Ntoso standard within a couple months for a $5,000 prize,[4] and the Legislative XML Data Mapping challenge in September 2013 to produce a data map for US bill XML and UK bill XML to the most recent Akoma Ntoso schema within a couple months for a $10,000 prize.[5]

  • In December 2013, the Library of Congress announced "Jim Mangiafico as the winner of our first legislative data challenge, Markup of US Legislation in Akoma Ntoso and the $5,000 prize".[6]
  • In February 2014, Jim Mangiafico and Garrett Schure as the winners of the Library of Congress Second Legislative Data Challenge.[7]


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): THOMAS Retirement".  
  2. ^ "Sharing THOMAS Content with the Share Tool". THOMAS.  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ Gheen, Tina (July 16, 2013). "Library of Congress Announces First Legislative Data Challenge".  
  5. ^ Gheen, Tina (September 10, 2013). "Second Library of Congress Legislative Data Challenge Launched".  
  6. ^ Gheen, Tina (December 19, 2013). "First Legislative Data Challenge Winner Announced".  
  7. ^ Gheen, Tina (February 25, 2014). "Jim Mangiafico and Garrett Schure Announced as Winners of the Second Library of Congress Legislative Data Challenge".  

External links

  • THOMAS (now redirects to

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