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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.

America Preserved; a checklist of historical buildings, structures and sites. LC 1.2:H 62/7. 1994. Catalog of sites listed in the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record; includes some photographs and other illustrations.

Historic America: buildings, structures, sites. LC 1.2:H 62/5. 1983. Contains essays on the work of the Historic American Buildings Survey and a comprehensive list of the sites recorded by the survey.

The Library has several books detailing the history of important government buildings in Washington. For example:

National Park Service Series

  • Handbooks (I 29.9/5:). Each booklet gives detailed information on events and persons associated with a park or site; include national parks, national historic sites and parks and national monuments.
  • Historical Handbooks (I 29.58/ :). Earlier series which includes detailed information on different historic sites and national monuments.
  • General publications (I 29.2: ). Scattered throughout this general classification number are publications of various types, some of which deal with specific sites, mostly in Texas.

Many NPS publications are being digitized. Here is a portal to their electronic library. It includes a function for searching by park or site.

Other Agencies

  • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Y 3. H 62:)
  • U.S. Capitol Historical Society (Y 3.H 62/2:)
  • U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society (Y 3. H 62/3:)
  • White House Historical Society (Y 3. H 62/4:)

Also check the Archaeology tab for relevant resources, and some resources under the Military tab contain information on historical places.