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Government Information in the Study of History

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

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) and State Dept

Other Sources

Foreign Relations of the U.S. S 1.1: These volumes of diplomatic correspondence between the U.S. and foreign countries include text of treaties, Presidential and other special messages. Our collection begins in 1914. Because of the long delay in publication of this material, the latest year for which we have print volumes is 1980. Some volumes include supplementary microfiche sets which contain copies of related documents and other material. We stopped receiving the print items in 2016. The Law Library continues to receive print volumes.


In addition, Library has these other compilations of State Department primary sources:

  • Decade of American Foreign Policy; Basic Documents, 1941-49. S 1.69:415.
  • American Foreign Policy Annual Documents. 1956-67, 1981-90. (Also called Current Documents) S 1.71/2: .

These compilations contain documents (speeches, messages, press conferences, interviews, congressional testimony, etc.) expressing the goals and objectives of U.S. foreign policy by members of the Executive Branch. Beginning in 1981, annual supplements on microfiche have been included with some volumes. (S 1.71/2-2: ).

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Y 4. F 76/1-15:979-present.

These reports, published as committee prints from the House or Senate Foreign Relations committees, review the human rights records of all nations receiving U.S. foreign aid, plus some which do not, but are members of the United Nations. Appendixes include signatories of human rights agreements and statistical tables of U.S. aid.

Country Reports on Economic and Trade Policies, are shelved at: Y 4.IN 8/16:C 83/  (1983-2001). No further reports were produced.


The Library no longer holds printed volumes of historical or current treaties. Much material is available online. The Law Library has historical compilations and current treaties in printed form, as well as extensive reference materials on treaties and international law.


Other IS Sources

From the Library of Congress: Country Studies 

These monographs on foreign countries are individually cataloged and shelved on the 3rd floor; consult the Library Catalog for call numbers. They include detailed analysis of social, political and economic institutions for the countries profiled as well as extensive bibliographies.New Country Studies are no longer being published.

Many useful research bibliographies can be found under the classification number LC 1.12/2:... Several of these pertain to publications about, or from, particular countries or parts of the world. Some examples are:

  • The U.S. and Africa: 1785-1975 LC 1.12/2:Af 8/2/785-975.
  • Human Rights in Latin America LC 1.12/2:L 34/2/964-80.
  • Unveiling Indonesia: Indonesian Holdings in the Library of Congress LC 1.12/2:IN 2/5.

Other publications from the Library of Congress:

  • Guide to the Official Publications of the Other American Republics LC 1.16:  .
  • Hispanic World, 1492-1898 : A Guide to Photoreproduced Manuscripts from Spain in the Collections of the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico LC 1.6/4:H 62.
  • Revelations from the Russian Archives : Documents in English translation LC 1.2:R 92/5.
Other publications: Central Intelligence Agency

World Factbook PREX 3.15:983- present. - Brief entries for all countries give basic demographic, geographic, and social data.