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Research Guides

Government Documents: Research Help

This guide will help you find information sources created by or about the federal government


Welcome to the Government Documents Research Guide

This guide contains some popular government websites and resources for finding information by and about our government.


General Information & Popular Government Sites


“ helps you locate and understand government benefits, programs, and information.” ( You can find information about elected officials, disaster and emergency aid, student aid, immigration, and starting a small business. You can also find a list of all the federal agencies on USAGov at


Center for Disease Control

CDC is the nation’s leading science-based, data-driven, service organization that protects the public’s health.” (


Library of Congress

The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress, and it is the largest library in the world with millions of books, films, audio recordings, and photographs. The Library preserves and provides access to these collections. 

Library of Congress Digital Collections

Through the digital archives, the Library of Congress provides access to rich collections of all kinds of materials. One of those collections, Chronicling America (, allows you to search the pages of newspapers from 1770-1963, and find directory information about newspapers from 1690 to the present.


National Archives & Records Administration

The National Archives is charged with preserving and documenting government records and making them accessible to the public. 


Census Records at the National Archive

Search the census records from 1950 back to 1790. 


Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) provides information on what workers do; the work environment; education, training, and other qualifications; pay; the job outlook; information on state and area data; similar occupations; and sources of additional information for more than 300 occupational profiles covering about 4 out of 5 jobs in the economy.” (


United States Government Manual

The Government Manual lists federal agencies in all three branches of the federal government, the agency's purpose, their contact information, and the top officials.

“ is your authoritative, trusted source for voting information. Because voter registration happens at the state level, directs Americans to registration rules for their own states.” (


World Factbook (CIA)

The World Factbook provides basic intelligence on the history, people, government, economy, military and more for 266 world entities.

Government Publications

U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)

The GPO produces and distributes information products for all three branches of the Federal Government in digital and print formats.


Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)

The CGP is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive information for historical and current publications as well as direct links to the full document, when available.” (



MetaLib is a federated search engine that searches multiple U.S. Federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while providing direct links to selected resources available online.” (



GovInfo provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.” ( It allows you to browse or search for government documents in a variety of ways. It includes an advanced search that allows you to search within collections of information such as the Code of Federal Regulations (


Congress.Gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public.” (

Congressional Research Service

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides authoritative, nonpartisan policy and legal analysis to Members of Congress. 

Compilation of Presidential Documents

“These documents consist of the Daily and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and are the official publications of materials from the White House Press Secretary. 


Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

The Public Papers of the Presidents are published by the Office of the Federal Register and began in 1957 .

Government Codes and Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations

“The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the official legal print publication containing the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) is a continuously updated online version of the CFR. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR.” (  


United States Code by Volume

“The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 53 titles and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.” (


Federal Register

The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.” (

Statistical Information from the Government

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

BJS collects, analyzes, publishes, and disseminates information on all aspects of crime and the justice system.


Census Bureau

The Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the nation's leading provider of quality data about its people and economy.” (


Census by Decade

This is the decennial census going back to 1790. 


County Business Patterns

County Business Patterns (CBP) is an annual series that provides economic data for industries on a county level across the country.


Economic Census

The Economic Census is the official, comprehensive five-year measure of American business activity on the national, state, and local levels.


National Center for Education Statistics

NCES collects, collates, and reports complete statistics on American education.

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

NCSES collects statistical data on research and development, the science and engineering workforce, U.S. competitiveness in science, and the condition of STEM education in the United States.

Statistical Abstracts Series

Published from 1878 to 2012, the Statistical Abstract is a summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. 


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects statistics in the broad field of labor economics. It is home to the Consumer Price Index, the Producer Price Index, and tracks the unemployment rate.

Government Data Search Engines 

Census Bureau Data

Search that data tables at the Census website for data about people, places, and the economy. provides access to datasets published by agencies across the federal government. searches over 60 databases and over 2,200 scientific websites to provide users access to authoritative federal science information.

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Manage and Cite your Resources

For information on research and citation management, go to the Specialized Resources tab at the top of this page, and scroll down to the Manage and Cite your Resources box.