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Government Information & Statistics: United States

Government Information & Statistics -- UNITED STATES

Major & Gateway Sites

  • govinfo (formerly FDsys)
    U.S. Government Printing Office site providing access to official U.S. government documents from all three branches of the federal government. See What's Available.

  • USA.gov (formerly Firstgov)
    The U.S. government's official web portal for federal government information. Also links to the official state and local government sites and hundreds of aboriginal tribes.

  • State and Local Governments, by Library of Congress
    Links to the official government web sites of individual states. Scroll down for links to some city, county and other state and local government gateway sites.

  • U.S. Government Manual.
    The official handbook of the U.S. federal government provides information on departments, agencies, boards, committees, commissions, etc. Searchable and browsable from 1995 on.

Law & Legislation

  • C-SPAN Video Library. Includes most of the live proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate without editing, commentary or analysis taped since 1987. Also includes congressional hearings; White House, Pentagon and State Department press briefings; campaign and election coverage, etc.
     
  • Caselaw Access Project (CAP) by Harvard Law School Library. Keyword searchable digitized collection of all officially published U.S. federal and state court decisions from 1658 to 2018. To view the full text signing in is required.
     
  • Congress.gov by the Library of Congress. This is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. (Replaces the former THOMAS site.) Provides access to bills, laws, House and Senate votes, committee reports, the Congressional Record, information on the legislative process and links to key U.S. historical documents and debates.
     
  • Indigenous Law Portal: United States by the Library of Congress. Includes tribes listed by region and state, digitized historical constitutions, and a large selection of links to Indigenous law sites.
     
  • National Conference of State Legislatures. Links to all State Legislatures and provides comparisons of state legislation on many subjects.
     
  • Supreme Court of the United States. The official site, with information from recent terms.
     
  • The Supreme Court Database. Funded by the National Science Foundation.
    Contains over two hundred pieces of information about each case decided by the Court between the 1946 and 2014 terms. Examples include the identity of the court whose decision the Supreme Court reviewed, the parties to the suit, the legal provisions considered in the case, and the votes of the Justices.
     
  • Supreme Court Collection, by the Legal Information Institute and Cornell University Law School.
    Provides all official Supreme Court decisions and summaries from 1990 to the present day and for hundreds of significant historic cases as well. Can be searched by date, topic, party or author name. Also links to oral arguments and briefs.
     
  • United States Code, by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.
    A consolidation of "the general and permanent laws of the United States" organized by subject.

Statistics & Data

Maps/Geospatial Data

  • AnyplaceAmerica.com
    Provides access to over 1 million U.S. topographical maps and photos of landmarks in the United States. Data sources include the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, National Weather Service, U.S. Census Bureau, NASA, and Google.
     
  • Census Bureau Geography
    The gateway to U.S. Census Bureau maps and geography files.
     
  • Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
    By the U.S. Geological Survey, this is the official repository of geographic names for physical and cultural geographic features in the U.S. with location by state, county and geographic coordinates.
     
  • Library of Congress American Memory Map Collection.
    Hundreds of digitized historical maps from the collection searchable by subject, keyword, geographic location, or seven topical categories.
     
  • National Geospatial Program
    By the U.S. Geological Survey, this is a gateway to U.S. government base data, map products and geospatial services online. It includes "The National Map" - the national atlas of the U.S. with hundreds of map themes, topographical maps, hydrographical charts, land cover database, orthoimagery, etc., "Geodata.gov", for federal, state and local geographic data, "Nationalatlas.gov" with map layers on many themes easy to assemble and print, dynamic maps and lots of related information, "Geonames" - a gazetteer for the U.S., and more.
     
  • Office of Strategic Services World War II Maps
    A collection of over 700 maps of the over 5,000 produced by the U.S. OSS between 1942 and 1945. Areas covered include Africa, China, Japan, France, Germany, and the Philippines. Digitized by Stanford University Libraries.
     
  • USGS (United States Geological Survey) Main federal government source for geographic information system (GIS) data and maps. Includes topographical maps, topical maps, The National Map, Earth Explorer, GloVIS, LandsatLook, and more.
     
  • USGS Historical Topographical Map Collection Explorer
    Over 178,000 maps dating from 1882 to 2006 can be viewed online and downloaded as high-resolution georeferenced images in GeoTIFF format for use in web mapping applications and GIS. Includes scales ranging from 1:10,000 to 1:250,000. All maps were georeferenced, and metadata was captured as part of the process. 

 

Finding Aids

  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, by the U.S. Government Printing Office.
    A finding tool for electronic and print publications from the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government dating from July 1976 to the present. The print Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications should be used for earlier publications. Digitized volumes of the Monthly Catalog  from 1895 to 1970 are here.
     
  • Congressional Collections, by the Center for Legislative Studies.
    A list of archival repositories and congressional collections to assist researchers in locating the papers of U.S. senators and representatives.
     
  • Finding U.S. and International Statistics.
    A subject-based list of the major online sources for statistical information, by Laine Ruus, U. of Toronto Data Librarian. (Note: Where access restrictions apply, please contact the Mount Allison Library Research Help Desk.)
     
  • MetaLib, by the U.S. Government Printing Office.
    A federated search engine that searches and provides access to reports, articles and citations in U. S. federal government databases. Each database can also be searched separately through the "A-Z Resources" tab.
     
  • State Agency Databases Project. Key U.S. State government databases identified and annotated by librarians and other government information specialists on behalf of the State and Local Documents Task Force of the ALA Government Documents Roundtable.

 

Research Guides

  • Congressional Information on the Library of Congress Web Site, by Kenneth Drexler, Digital Reference Specialist.
    Annotated links to full-text congressional publications include descriptions of the documents and the years available. Also links to related sites and a glossary of Congressional terms.
     
  • Fundamentals of Government Information: Mining, Finding, Evaluating, and Using Government Resources.
    by Cassandra J. Hartnett, Andrea L. Sevetson, and Eric J. Forte, ZA 5055 .U6 F67 2nd ed. 2016 and ebook in Novanet.
     
  • Guide to Law Online, by the Law Library of Congress Public Servcies Division.
    An annotated guide to sources of information on U.S. federal government and law online; includes bills, resolutions, laws, debates, journals, roll call votes, etc. Also links to other guides for the states and territories, specific subjects, etc.
     
  • Legislative Source Book, by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C. (LLSDC)
    A large collection of research guides such as An Overview of the Congressional Record and Its Predecessor Publications, 2018 and A Research Guide to the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, 2019 both by Rick McKinney, and many more.
     
  • Tapping the Government Grapevine: The User-Friendly Guide to U.S. Government Information Sources
    by Judith Schiek Robinson. ZA 5055 .U6 R63 1998 Reference.
    This book is an easy to use, practical guide to the major sources of U.S. government information in print and on the web.

Special Collections

  • American Congress Digital Archives Portal. A collaborative, non-partisan project by West Virginia U. Libraries and partners, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The portal provides access to primary materials generated by Congress that document its work, including official records and personal papers of Members of Congress.
     
  • American Memory Project, by the Library of Congress.
    Over 130 digitized collections under the subject "Government, Law & Politics" include the "Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation", with the earliest congressional documents and debates.
     
  • The AVALON PROJECT: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. By the Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library. Includes several large collections of digitized American documents from earliest times to the present.
     
  • Congressional Research Service Reports. The CRS,  a federal legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, provides Congress with research and analysis to support their legislative, oversight, and representational duties. Reports aim to be authoritative, objective and nonpartisan, and range in length from several pages to more than one hundred pages and cover the full breadth of topics of interest to Congress. U. of North Texas collection: https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/CRSR/
     
  • Congressional Russia Investigations Public Documents Clearinghouse. Compiled by Just Security, contains significant documents in Congress’s various Russia investigations dating back to the 2016 election cycle, such as letters, subpoenas, deposition transcripts, hearing transcripts, press statements, contempt resolutions, criminal referrals, and any subpoena enforcement litigation.
     
  • Congressional Serial Set. Digitized by the U.S. Government Printing Office and the Law Library of Congress.
    Numbered Senate and House documents and reports from 1817 on (digitization in progress) in order by session of Congress.
     
  • Core Documents of Our Democracy, by the U.S. Government Printing Office.
    A collection of online federal government documents that define the U.S. democracy and about the democratic process.
     
  • CyberCemetery, by the U.S. Government Printing Office and U. of North Texas Libraries, this searchable and browsable site provides access to web sites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions.
     
  • End of Term Web Archive: US Federal Web Domain at Presidential Transitions,a collaborative effort to capture government websites at risk of changing or disappearing at the end of each President's term since 2008. 
      
  • FBI Records: The Vault.
    Thousands of documents from FBI investigations digitized as a result of Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOIPA) requests.
     
  • Foreign Relations of the United States, by the U.S. State Department.
    This series of hundreds of volumes contains official documents from Presidential libraries, the Dept. of State, Defence, National Security Council, CIA, Agency for International Development and others, as well as the private papers of individuals involved with formulating U.S. foreign policy.

    - 1936 to present: JX 233 .A35 Stacks
    - 1943-45: Micro 5035
    - 1945 to present: http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments
     
  • Gov404: The Web Integrity Project, by the Sunlight Foundation
    Tracks, aggregates, and verifies the most significant cases of information removals from U.S. federal websites since Nov. 2016.
     
  • HathiTrust US Federal Government Documents Registry
    A database of metadata intended to represent the comprehensive corpus of U.S. federal documents produced from 1789 to the present. Includes many digitized documents.
     
  • Indigenous Digital Archive, by the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, New Mexico.
    Includes thousands of photographs, government reports, letters and other archival material documenting the history of US government residential schools, or "Indian boarding schools" in the 19th and 20th centuries.
     
  • The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President, by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration.
    - 1932/33 to the present: J 80 .A283 Stacks
    - recent issues: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/pubpapers/searrch.html
    Each volume contains the papers and speeches that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary at the time.
     
  • Science.gov
    A search engine and portal for U.S. government science information. Searches over 60 databases and over 2,200 websites from U.S. federal agencies.

Featured Publications

The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Vol. 2: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States, completed in November 2018, is a comprehensive and authoritative report on climate change and its impacts in the United States, by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, made up of 13 federal agencies.