- United States Government Manual is the official handbook of the federal government.
- USA.gov is the U.S. portal to government information. This easy to use resource is a gateway for information on a wide variety of topics from all levels of government.
- Government Agencies and Elected Officials
- Benefits, Grants and Loans
- All Topics and Services links to government information by subject
- Documents to the People (DttP) is the official publication of the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Library Association (ALA).
- U.S. Department of State: Foreign Press Centers
- Library of Congress Government, Laws & Politics
- National Archives Catalog contains the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration holdings in the Washington, DC area, the Regional Archives, and the Presidential libraries.
- FEDLINK - United States Federal Collection
- Freedom of Information Act Resources LLSDC
- Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) - The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) have partnered to provide free online access to the Government information available through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP).
- Wilson Center Digital Archive
For more information explore the News guide
A Guide to Accessing Public Records for the First Time (Syracuse University)
The United States has three branches of government: the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial. The U.S. Constitution lays out the responsibility of each branch of government: Article 1 (Legislative), Article 2 (Executive), and Article 3 (Judicial). This organizational structure is key to understanding and finding federal government information.
- U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994 - Best database for locating primary source material on all aspects of American history. For executive and legislative documents from 1789-1938, see American State Papers, 1789-1838
- Policy File Index - This database indexes research and publication abstracts covering a range of U.S. public policy.
- LLMC Digital – Full-text digital archive includes some federal Government periodicals, constitutional documents, publications from Executive, Judicial and Legislative agencies (works best with Internet Explorer)
- HeinOnline – Database includes such titles as Pentagon Papers, U.S. Presidential Library, Federal Register Library, Code of Federal Regulations, etc.
- Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports - FBIS Daily Reports are transcripts of foreign broadcasts and news issued by the U.S. Government. For more current information, see, World News Connection Archive.
HeinOnline U.S. Presidential Library includes the Weekly Compilation of messages and papers of the Presidents (1789-1929), Presidential Documents (1965- ) , Public Papers of the Presidents (1931- ), Daily compilation of presidential documents (2009- ) and other statements of the President.
- Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
- Public Papers of President George Bush (The Bush Library)
- Public Papers of the President: Ronald Reagan
- President Trump
- Barack Obama Presidential Library
- William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
Directives are issued through the National Security Council. Many current directives are still classified.
- Presidential Directives and Where to Find Them (Library of Congress)
- Presidential Directives and Executive Orders (Federation of American Scientists)
- LLMC Digital
- Nexis UNI
- U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994
- U.S. Congressional serial set 2003-
- American State Papers, 1789-1838
- MetaLib – from Government Publishing Office includes all electronic and tangible government publications
- Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
- Center for Legislative Archives
- Congress.gov provides online access to legislation
- Legislative History Research : A Basic Guide (2013)
- How Our laws Are Made (2007) This document outlines the U.S. legislative process
- Legislative Explorer –Process Timeline (nongovernmental) – An interactive online simulation explains how laws are made
- Checklist of United States Public Documents 1789-1909, Congressional: to Close of Sixtieth Congress, Departmental: to end of Calendar year 1909 – Alphabetically arranged list of departmental and Congressional publications materials. You will also find materials from Congressional Serial Set arranged by Congress and session. (HathiTrust Digital Library)
- Internet and Online Sources of U.S. Legislative and Regulatory Information (2012)
- Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff (2017)
- US Legislative Materials & Histories (University of Michigan Law Library)
- Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, DC (nongovernmental) contains commercial as well as non-commercial (free) Federal legislative histories available on the Internet
- U.S. House of Representatives
- U.S. House of Representatives – Roll Call Votes (1990- )
- U.S. Senate
- GovTrack.us – Roll Call Votes – Tool tracks bills in the U.S. and representatives legislative record from 1789-current
Database: HeinOnline (1789-2011)
Online: American Memory (1789-1873)
govinfo (1951 to present)
Avalon Project - Selected Prior to 1989
Print: KF50.A2 (holdings: 1881/83, 1903/05-1905/07, 1913/14-1927/29, 1933-34-)
Limit: Includes earlier enacted law
Title: Public Laws (Slip Laws)
Database: HeinOnline (1789-2011)
Online: American Memory Project : A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation - House Bills (6th-42nd
Congress (1799-1873), missing 12th Congress
Senate Bills (16th-42nd Congress (1819-1873)
Congress. Gov (93rd Congress (1973- ))
govinfo (104th Congress (1995- ))
Title: United States Code
Database: HeinOnline, Nexis Uni
Online: Office of the Law Revision Council (New ed. Every 6 years)
govinfo (1994- )
Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School ( Current)
Print: KF62.A2 (holdings: 1964-1994)
Index: print: 1970, 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994
Limit: Contains the general and permanent laws of the United States
Regulations and Codes of Federal Regulations
US federal regulations information is made available to the public in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulation. However, with regard to the Federal Register, it makes available the draft versions of the regulations to allow plenty of time for public input. Hence the Federal Register could contain additional proposed regulations, not found in the final rule. The Code of Federal Regulations contain the final versions of regulations which are codified.
Title: Federal Register
Database: Hein Online (1936- )
Online: govinfo (1936- )
Title: Code of Federal Regulations
Database: Hein Online (1936- )
Online: govinfo (1996- )
Legal Information Institute (LII) (non-governmental)
- Congressional Bills Project
- National Security Archive
- Open Secrets
- Comparative Agendas Project
- Sunlight Foundation
- 100 Milestone Documents
List of 100 milestone document compiled by the National Archives Records Administration
- American Community Survey (ACS) is the annual survey collected on the economic and social data of communities. Local officials use the data to profile a community as well as make recommendations for better education, housing, transportation, and utility services.
- Budget of the U.S. - Government provides economic and historical analyses of the United States budget
- govinfo.gov - The Government Publishing Office digital repository for government publications and documents.
- Government Accountability Office - GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency responsible for investigating how the government spends public funds
- data.census.gov is the new platform to access data from the U.S. Census Bureau. More information on the transition from American FactFinder
- USA.gov Data and Statistics open data sources organized by topic
- The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Includes the Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.
- Historical Statistics of the United States: Earliest Times to the Present
- U.S. Census Bureau is the central agency for collecting demographic and economic data relating to the United States including censuses since 1880.
- Census 2010. See also the National Historical Geographic Information System site for data covering 1790-1960. More census data is available from the Bureau of the Census: Historical U.S. census data (1790-2000)
- State & County QuickFacts: provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more.
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data)
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
- Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
- International Trade Administration TradeStats Express for national and state trade data
Carleton University collects very little government publications at the State level. This guide highlights several state and local government web resources.
- State and Territorial Government sites
- State and Local Areas -contains statistical information at the state and local government levels.
- Stats America
- Open States
- USAspending.gov - Website tracks state distribution of federal funds.
- State Agency Databases (Godort libguide)
- State Agency Databases (non-governmental)
-links to databases provided by the various states. Learn more about the State Agency Databases Project here.
- U.S. Congressional Serial Set
- American State Papers, 1789-1838
Non-governmental States Sites
- BRB's Free Public Records links to sites for obtaining public records from all the states
- The Council of State Governments This Council represents all three state levels of state government and works with them to shape public policy.
- CountyOffice.org links to contact information by state and subject matter
- GovEngine.com A comprehensive directory of official federal, state and local government and court links.
- National Association of Counties Information resources from a national organization that represents the interests of US counties to the Administration and Congress
- Stateline.org – Site provides daily reports on public policies of all 50 states, plus socio-economic data
- The United States Conference of Mayors Includes sites relevant to cities with a population of 30,000 or larger
Laws and Regulations
- State Legislative History Research Guides Inventory links collected by the librarians at the Indiana University School of Law Library
- State Blue Books and Encyclopedias –A Wiki listing Blue Books, including State Encyclopedia
- State Legislatures, State Laws, and State Regulations: Website Links and Telephone Numbers
Find state legislatures and regulations
- State Legal Sources on the Web A comprehensive listing by state of state legal sources. List last updated May 1, 2009