Introduction to Government Resources
Documents created, published, and
distributed by domestic or foreign government agencies
and organizations traditionally fall under the umbrella
of “government information.” Government information is
generally authoritative, openly accessible, and in a
continual process of appraisal and revision,
particularly in more developed nations such as the
United States, where a certain degree of government
transparency and accountability before the public is
mandated not only by popular demand but by federal law.
Woodward Library participates in the
Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and receives a
percentage of all U.S. government publications released
by the Government Printing Office (GPO): either in
print, microfiche, or electronic formats. APSU’s
selections have been made in order to support the
research needs of the local academic community.
In recent years,
the GPO has increasingly focused its efforts on mass
digitization projects and other methods of introducing
contemporary and historical publications/data to the
electronic environment. While this undertaking has made
access to government information less dependent on
physical collections, it has not and cannot remove all
barriers to identification and retrieval. The U.S.
government bureaucracy remains highly complex. The
online world of government information often mirrors
Please consult a Woodward librarian if you require any
assistance while attempting to locate or properly
utilize government resources.
In addition to what you may find by way
of Woodward Library’s print, microfiche, and electronic
collections, a great deal of government information is
available free-of-charge online. The resources below
represent some of the best available tools for locating
texts, statistics, media, and other forms of primary and
secondary government information sources from around the
U.S. Federal Government Resources
FDsys (Federal Digital System) is the
U.S. federal government’s official web portal to its
publications. FDsys provides free, public
access to government information submitted by Congress
and the federal agencies.
was conceived and developed as an interagency portal to
official information and services from the U.S.
government. *Use to locate government departments,
agencies, bureaus, and their affiliates*
allows access to the full range of official statistical
information produced by the federal government without
having to know in advance which federal agency produces
which particular statistic. Searching and linking
capabilities to more than 100 agencies provide data and
trend information on such topics as economic and
population trends, crime, education, health care, and
The Library of
Congress’s gateway to federal legislative information,
includes access to Congressional bills and resolutions,
Record, committee information, and Presidential
The National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record
keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the
course of business conducted by the United States
Federal government, few are so important for legal or
historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those
valuable records are preserved and are available to you
Library of Congress Digital Collections and
This resource allows access to print, pictorial, and audio-visual
collections and other digital services of the Library of
is home to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s primary
collector and supplier of demographic statistics.
American FactFinder is a service of the U.S. Census Bureau offering
quick access to population, housing, economic, and
U.S. Historical Census Browser
Operated by the
University of Virginia Library, the site enables users
to access, sort, evaluate, and create graphical
representations of historical Census data from 1790
Statistical Abstract of the United States
Statistical Abstract is the authoritative and comprehensive annual
summary of statistics on the social, political, and
economic organization of the United States. Sources of
data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor
Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other
federal agencies and private organizations.
Official websites of the U.S.
House of Representatives, Senate, White House, and
Supreme Court, respectively.
includes policy reports, banking information and
regulation, economic research and data, consumer
information, and official publications from the central
bank of the United States.
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)
offers a wealth of economic data and information to
promote economic education and enhance economic
research. The database is updated regularly and allows
24/7 access to regional and national financial and
All companies, foreign and
domestic, are required to file registration statements,
periodic reports, and other forms electronically through
database maintained by the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC). Anyone can access and download this
information for free.
Bureau of Labor
is the principal federal agency responsible for
measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and
price changes in the economy.
National Technical Information Service
NTIS serves as the largest central resource for
government-funded scientific, technical, engineering,
and business-related information available today.
Bureau of Justice Statistics
analyzes, publishes, and disseminates information on
crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the
operation of justice systems at all levels of
National Center for Education Statistics
NCES is the primary federal entity for
collecting and analyzing data related to education.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This site is the online communication
channel for the CDC and provides users with credible,
reliable information and statistics on a variety of
Bureau of Transportation Statistics; Research and
Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
provides extensive and detailed transportation
statistics in both public and private sectors.
National Climatic Data Center
NCDC is a
premier service organization dedicated to providing
climatological services to every sector of the United
States economy and to users world-wide. It is home to
the largest climate archive in the world.
Survey Photographic Library
is designed to provide free viewing and downloading of
the entire USGS photographic collection.
modified search engine automatically limits results to
URLs containing the “.gov” domain name. Use the Advanced
Search feature for more precise searching capabilities.
U.S. State and
Local Government Resources
State and Local
Government on the Net
State and Local Government Internet Directory provides convenient
one-stop access to the websites of thousands of state
agencies and city and county governments. Indexed both
by state and topic.
Conference of State Legislatures
NCSL provides research, technical
assistance and opportunities for policymakers to
exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. The
Conference is an effective and respected advocate for
the interests of state governments before Congress and
Constitutions, Statutes, and Codes
Maintained by Cornell University’s
Law School, this resource hosts links leading to a range
of valuable political and legal state information
U.S. International Relations ;
Global Organization(s) & Publications Resources
U.S. Department of State
The Department’s website serves as a portal of
information on U.S. foreign policy.
CIA World Factbook [Central Intelligence Agency]
Factbook provides information on the history,
people, government, economy, geography, communications,
transportation, military, and transnational issues for
266 world entities.
Country Studies [Library of Congress]
Description and analysis of the historical setting and the
social, economic, political, and national security
systems and institutions of countries throughout the
world are found in the
Portals to the World [Library of Congress]
Links providing authoritative, in-depth
information about nations and other areas of the world
are available here.
Guide to Law Online: Nations of the World [Law Library
The Law Library of Congress has
assembled an annotated guide
to sources of information on government and law as well
as selected links to useful and reliable sites for legal
International Data Base [U.S. Census Bureau, Population
The IDB offers comprehensive
international population/vital statistics, trends,
rankings, and more.
The UN is an international forum of 192
maintaining international peace and security, developing
friendly relations among nations and promoting social
progress, better living standards and human rights.
Statistics Division [United Nations]
The UN Statistics Division compiles and disseminates
global statistical information, develops standards and
norms for statistical activities, and supports
countries’ efforts to strengthen national statistical
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to
developing countries around the world whose mission is
to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for
lasting results and to help people help themselves and
their environment by providing resources, sharing
knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in
the public and private sectors.
International Monetary Fund
The IMF is an organization of 187 countries, working to
foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial
stability, facilitate international trade, promote high
employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce
poverty around the world.
Human Development Reports, 1990- [United Nations
These publications address issues of
economic, social, political, and cultural advancement at
national, regional, and global levels.
Crime Statistics [United Nations Office on Drugs
cross-national crime statistics for over 120 countries.
Global Health Observatory (GHO) [World Health
The Global Health Observatory is
WHO's portal to data and analyses of the international
Country Dossiers [International Bureau of Education]
facilitate access to
basic data and a variety of information resources on
education for each United Nations Educational,
Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) member
International Organizations: Search & Browse
resource serves as
an excellent starting point for finding
information produced by international governmental and