What is the Index?
The letter tabs above lead to a keyword index of government information subject pages. For the most part, the index terms are taken directly from the subject pages. To save space, the institutions are referred to in shortened form in this index. For a full listing of the covered institutions, see the box below.
The links on the index pages are to each particular subject page within the websites. Please note that not all the links on these subject pages are to government publications and some resources on the pages may not be freely available to the general public.
If you're having trouble finding the topic you need, use the search box above on the right, changing the drop-down choice to "This Guide."
We are honored that the Government Printing Office accepted the Index as a Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Service Partnership in 2010. Thanks to GPO for this recognition and for publicizing and supporting the Index.
Sources for the Index
These are the libraries and other groups whose subject pages are included in this index, listed alphabetically by the shorthand version of their names used in the index:
More about the Index
The general purpose of the index is to provide starting points for browsing subject areas, bringing both broad and detailed subject listings from many libraries together in one index. It aims to provide a single place to find link collections on particular subjects, taking advantage of the varied organizational schemes and terminologies developed by depository libraries and other organizations.
For the most part the terms used by individual libraries are what are used in the index and there is little cross-referencing or combining of similar terms, except in broad subject areas. (For example, "Medicine" listings are all grouped under "Health.")
Closely-related terms are grouped under broader headings in some cases to keep the number of terms more manageable. (For example: under "Military," you'll find library pages dealing with "Military History, "Military Pay," etc.) Use the Search box at the top of each guide page to find terms if you don't want to browse alphabetically.
In deciding which listings to include in the Index, we look for value-added features, not simple pointing to single sites. Other features that we look for in listings are link annotations and useful categorizations of sub-topics.
Another important element is linking to free internet sites, with an emphasis on U.S. government sites (i.e., .gov and .mil). Most links on the page included are to government sites rather than to other internet sources. If more than a few links on a library's page lead to proprietary sources with limited availability (or to print resources), the library is not included in the Index. However, some of the pages linked to in the index do include a few sources not generally available online.
Final decisions about what listings to include, and how to handle terminology issues, are made by Kathy Amen, Government Information Librarian. But suggestions for improvement to the Index are always welcome.
Why look for government information?
- Comprehensiveness. With a few exceptions, research in almost any subject area is incomplete without consulting government sources
- Reliability. Government information can be the product of research at the highest level
- Authenticity. Many electronic government publications come with authentication seals
- Primary sources. Much government information—such as hearings, court cases, diplomatic papers—is considered primary source material
- Economy. Almost all government information is freely available to all users, not just members of the St. Mary's community (NOTE: it's free to you because, as taxpayers, you've already paid for it!)
- Responsibility. It's our duty as citizens of a democracy to be informed about governmental actions
Questions? Ask Us