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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


The Smithsonian Institution complex of museums and research institutes is not only a favorite of tourists visiting Washington. It also has a considerable web presence, with online exhibitions, resources for children and teachers, and background information on the subjects of its many and varied collections. The primary focus of the museum system is science and technology, but there are units dealing with art and history as well. These are the most important components of the Smithsonian system online:

History sources from the other agencies:

arrowNOTE: Many resources under the Military tab cover scientific and technological history topics.

In the Library

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

Agriculture Yearbook. A 1.10:  . 1936-1993.Devoted to a different topic each year, they contain articles and illustrations, some statistics, and usually an index. 

The Library no longer has printed copies of the following USGS series (except for a few volumes of reference or local interest). But all are available from the USGS website and many are also represented in the Library Catalog, with links:

  • Bulletins I 19.3: .
  • Circulars I 19.4/2: .
  • Professional Papers I 19.16: .

NASA Special Publications, beginning with number 4201. NAS 1.21:4201—  . Histories of various NASA projects, such as Project Mercury (#4201), Skylab (#4208), etc.