Government Documents Guide
United States Federal Government
General Catalogs and Indexes
- MERLIN Library Catalog
- The catalog of the Libraries of the University of Missouri System. Not all government information resources held by MU appear in MERLIN. However, this is still the first place to look. Includes links to Internet resources.
- The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)
- The primary catalog for electronic and print publications from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government. The CGP contains descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online. Preceded by the Document Catalog (1893-1940), the 1909 Checklist (1789-1909), Ames Index (1881-1893), and Poore (1774-1881). See also: specialized indexes online, and below.
Internet Archive 1895-1970 Internet Archive Internet July 1976-present GPO Monthly Catalog Print (Monthly Catalog) 1895-2004 MU ELLIS DOCS REFERENCE Z1223 .A18
- The official U.S. gateway to government information. Also Includes information on state, local, and tribal governments.
Internet Current USA.gov
- United States Government Manual
- The official handbook of the Federal Government. Comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, as well as on quasi-official agencies, international organizations in which the United States participates, and boards, commissions, and committees.
Internet 1995-present FDsys Current edition MU ELLIS READY REFERENCE JK421 .A32 1973-present MU ELLIS JK421 .A32 1936, 1938-72 MU ELLIS JK421 .A3
- Congressional Directory
- The official handbook of Congress, with additional information on the Executive and Judicial branches, as well as international agencies. Contains: biographical information, Congressional District maps. Years 1817 to 1971 is also available online in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.
Internet 1997/98-present FDsys Current edition MU ELLIS READY REFERENCE JK1011 .U5 Older editions Congressional Directory 1789-1840 MU ELLIS JK1011 .U53
Constitution of the United States
- The National Archives (NARA) site has a digital facsimile of the original document
and biographies of the signers. The annotated edition contains extensive commentary,
historical background and legal analysis of each clause and amendment.
Internet NARA National Archives Internet Annotated FDsys Annotated MU ELLIS READY REF KF4527 .U54 2004
- Sessions of Congress
- Years and Sessions of Congress
- Stautes at Large
- A chronological arrangement of the public and private laws of the United States.
Internet 2003-2007 FDsys Internet 1951-1980 FDsys Internet 1789-1875 Library of Congress American Memory Internet 1789-present LN Congressional Internet 1789-2006 Hein Online Internet 1776-2007 (not complete) LLMC Digital Unbound "Slip Laws" MU ELLIS DOCS AE 2.110: 1937-present Location varies 1873-1936 UM Depository 1869-1873 UM Depository 1859-1869 UM Depository 1845-1859 UM Depository 1789-1845 UM Depository
- United States Code
- A consolidation and codification of the general and permanent laws of the United States. Provides subject access, collates the initial laws with subsequent amendments, and excludes repealed or superceded statutory provisions.
Internet 1926-present Hein Online Internet Current (Annotated) LN Congressional Internet 1994-present (Official) FDsys 1940-present (Official) Location varies
- Congressional Bills and Resolutions
- Legislative proposals before Congress. May include both public bills, which apply to the general population, and private bills, which only apply to a single person or to a select group of people.
Internet 1993-present FDsys Internet 1989-present Thomas.gov Internet 1989-present LN Congressional Microform 1979-2000 MU ELLIS DOCS MICROFORM Microform 1801-29;1861-99 MU ELLIS SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Microform 1789-1972 Center For Research Libraries (CRL) [Request using this form].
- Congressional Record
- The official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. Published daily when Congress is in session. Preceded by: Congressional Globe (1833-1873), Register of Debates (1824-1837), and Annals of Congress (1789-1824).
Internet 1789-1824 Annals of Congress - Library of Congress 1789-1824 Annals of Congress Internet 1824-1837 Register of Debates - Library of Congress 1824-1837 Register of Debates Internet 1833-1873 Congressional Globe - Library of Congress 1833-1873 Congressional Globe Internet (FDsys) varies Congressional Record (bound) 1999-2001; Congressional Record (Daily) 1994 to present; Congressional Record Index (Daily) 1983 to present Internet 1985-present LN Congressional 1873-present MU ELLIS J11 .R4
- Thomas: U.S. Congress on the Internet
- A full-text database of legislative information from the U.S. Congress. Includes major legislation (by bill number, subject, and title), bills (full text, summaries, and status), public laws, the Congressional Record and the Congressional Record Index, roll call votes, Congressional committee reports, some Congressional committee hearings, historical documents, and information about the legislative process.
Internet Coverage varies Thomas.gov
- Proquest Congressional
- A comprehensive collection of information by and about the United States Congress and the legislative process. It includes indexes to congressional publications (1789-date), a bill tracking service (1989-date), and extensive full-text, including the Congressional Record (1985-present), the Federal Register (1980-present), the Statutes at Large (1789-present), Congressional Research Service reports (1916-present) and Committee Prints (1830-present). It also includes biographical, financial and voting information on current members of Congress.
Internet Coverage varies Proquest Congressional
Regulations and Executive Branch Documents
- Federal Register
- The official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential documents. Twice a year, in April and again in October, the Federal Register includes the Unified Agenda, a comprehensive report on regulations under development or review.
Internet 1994-present FDsys Internet 1980-present LN Congressional Internet 1936-present Hein Online Latest 2 years MU ELLIS DOCS AE 2.106: 1936-present MU LAW DOC FED AE 2.106:
- Code of Federal Regulations
- A codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
Internet 1996-present FDsys Internet 1981-present LN Congressional Internet Title 3: 1936-present Hein Online Current edition MU ELLIS DOCS REF AE 2.106/3: 1938-present MU LAW FEDERAL AE 2.106/3:
- Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
- Published every Monday. Contains statements, messages, and other Presidential materials released by the White House during the preceding week.
Internet 1993-present FDsys Internet 1965-present Hein Online Unbound issues MU ELLIS CPRR 1965-present MU ELLIS J80 .A284
- Public Papers of the Presidents
- Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period. The material is presented in chronological order, and the dates shown in the headings are the dates of the documents or events. Technically, this series only goes back to the Hoover Administration, but I've included information on earlier sets that also cover presidential papers -- though these are not as complete.
Internet 1991-2005 and 2009 FDsys Internet 1789-present Hein Online 1929-33;1945-present MU ELLIS J80 .A283 1928-1945 FDR 1789-1897 Bureau of National Literature compilation 1789-1897 Richardson's compilations
- Foreign Relations of the United States
- The official documentary record of U.S. foreign policy. Includes a wide variety of primary source material, including declassified documents. Published approximately thirty years after the period covered.
Internet 1945-1976 Department of State Internet 1860-1960 (incomplete) University of Wisconsin Digital Collections 1861-present MU ELLIS JX233 .A3
- CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents
- Guides to executive branch documents not published in the Serial Set.
1789-1909 MU ELLIS DOCS REF Z1223 .Z7 C57 1910-1932 MU ELLIS DOCS REF Z1223.Z7 C59 1996
- United States Reports
- Official opinions of the United States Supreme Court.
Internet 1991-present Supreme Court Internet 1790-present LN Academic Internet 1937 - 1975 (FLITE database) FDsys Internet 1790-present Hein Online 1790-present Location varies
- Federal Reporter
- The primary source for opinions of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Inclusion of the opinions of other federal courts has varied over time. Preceded by Federal Cases.
Internet 1880-present LN Academic 1880-present MU LAW FEDERAL
- Statistical Abstract of the United States
- The standard summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Also serves as reference guide to other statistical publications and sources.
Internet 1878-present Census Bureau Current edition MU ELLIS READY REFERENCE HA202 .A38 1878-present MU ELLIS HA202 .A38
- A comprehensive web portal to statistics published by the U.S. Government. More than 70 federal agencies produce statistics. The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy maintains this site as a single point of access to the full range of these official statistical resources. Includes subject and geographic indexes, mapping tools, a cross-agency search engine, and direct links to statistical agencies and data access tools.
Internet Coverage varies FedStats.gov
- Census Data
- Population, housing, economic, and geographic data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Internet 1990-present Census Factfinder Internet 1790-present Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts Internet 1790-1960 University of Virginia 1790-present Decennial Census volumes
Selected Digital Collections
- The single most comprehensive source for official publications from all three branches of the U.S. government, as well as independent agencies. Provides access to a broad array of full-text databases and finding aids.
Internet Coverage varies FDsys
- Archive of Americana
- Includes the Early American Imprints (1639-1800), the American State Papers (1789-1838), and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set(1817-1897). All three sources contain legislative and executive branch documents.
Internet 1639-1897 Newsbank
- American Memory Project
- An ongoing attempt to digitize primary source materials relating to the history and cultural development of the United States. Includes written and spoken word, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music.
Internet 1400-present Library of Congress American Memory
- Avalon Project
- An extensive collection of digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.
Internet 1600-present Avalon Project
- Digital National Security Archive
- A comprehensive collection of significant primary documents central to US foreign and military policy since 1945. The Archive is organized into dozens of topical collections, each containing government documents declassified under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)."
Internet 1945-present Digital National Security Archive