Skip to main content

US Government Information in the Study of History

describes historically significant documents in the Library's collection, and important web sources for history


In the Library

NOTE that the Library ceased receiving new tangible government documents in Spring, 2016, and withdrew large numbers of tangible documents during the previous year.

Major Reference Sources

Capitol & tulipsBiographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, 1774-2005. Y 1.1/2:14902. Chronological section lists members by Congress and state; biographical section gives sketches alphabetically. There are different options for accessing the directory online:

  • Congress' version that allows searching by name, state, party and/or year
  • FDSys offers a PDF of the entire directory or separate files for each Congress

There are three specialized biographical directories of Congress, that include portraits and brief biographies:


Individual agencies often publish biographies of important figures in the history of the agency. Consult the Library Catalog for particular agency biographies. Here is an example of this type of biography: Donovan and the CIA PREX 3.10:D 71.

The important historical agencies listed in the General Sources and Military History sections of this guide also often produce biographical studies.

The lovely photo of the Capitol building in spring was borrowed from the House of Representatives website.