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Finding Government Information: a basic guide: On the Web

Provides general information on the organization and location of government publications in the Library; and on major website tools for finding government information online.

On this page

Quick Links

Library Catalog: one-stop-shop

The Library Catalog contains full records (author, title, subject, notes, etc.) for thousands of electronic government publications, and more are being added every month. Also, whenever we find online versions of documents we hold in print, links are added to these catalog records so that the publication can be accessed online if that's more convenient for you.


Major general indexes/portals/search engines

Three index/portals developed by the Blume Library offer other good starting points for finding online government information:

Here are some more good portal/indexes: 

Major subject-specific resources

Guides to Government Information. Find more in-depth information on these subjects:

The University of Memphis Libraries have a comprehensive listing of the websites spawned by this internet trend in portal naming: Dot Gov: One Word Says It All.


Find an Official or an Agency

Officials:


Agencies:signpost

FDSys: Federal Digital System

Note that the Government Publishing Office is unveiling an eventual replacement and upgrade for FDSys, called govinfo.gov. Try out the new site and find out more:


These clever (if somewhat irreverent!) videos from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Library answers this burning question: What is FDSys? And then give you tips on how to use it.


Non-governmental sources of government information

checkHigh-quality, reliable, non-governmental watchdog organizations are an important part of the government information environment. Here are some of these important groups:

The following organizations are particularly interested in analysis of federal budgets and financial activity:

Congress.gov and Thomas

newCongress.gov is out of beta testing and fully operational. With the exception of some historical content that has not yet migrated from Thomas, Congress.gov is the go-to site for Congressional information past and present. The old Thomas links will automatically redirect to Congress.gov, but if you need to access Thomas for the un-migrated material, you still can; just use the link below.

The new site has great new features and more content. Generally speaking, Congress.gov is set up for efficient browsing if you don't have the exact information (a bill number, for example) that you need. Just limit using their wide variety of facets to whittle your search results down.

They have a series of videos explaining the legislative process, as well as other useful tools like a glossary of terms and a gallery of educational resources.