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United States Government Information

Welcome to the U.S. Government Research Guide

This guide shows the best places to locate United States government information from census data to congressional publications to environmental reports. 

Find information from the three branches of the U.S. government: executive (president & executive agencies), legislative (congress), and judicial (U.S. courts of law).

In addition, find out how to cite government documents and locate print holdings at MHC and the regional federal depository library, UMass Amherst. 

Don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian for research assistance or to schedule a research consultation.

Why United States Government Publications?

The United States federal government offers a wealth of historic and current information from presidential speeches, to congressional documents, to statistical data. 

You'll find sources to assist with your research papers and multimedia projects.  The majority of U.S. federal publications are in the Public Domain and offer a great resource for students working on multimedia projects.  See the Legal Sources for Multimedia Projects guide for more information. 

Quick Links to U.S. Government Publications

Discover: search for publications from 1976-Present held at the Five Colleges Libraries (some older publications are also listed).  For more refined searching, switch to the "Advanced" tab and in the "Format" menu select "Government Publications."

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications: search for publications from 1976-Present.

GovInfo: GovInfo from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Search electronic publications from U.S. government agencies. the "U.S. Government's Official Web Portal."

Google / U.S. Government Search: go to advanced search, then type in ". gov" into the "site or domain" field.

* Older government  publications may be found through the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, 1941-1976 located in MH Main Periodicals and the Checklist of United States Public Documents 1789-1909 and the Catalog of the Public documents 1895-1940 in MH Reference.

Quick Links to U.S. Government Multimedia

Library of Congress Digital Collections "Access online collections: view maps & photographs; read letters, diaries & newspapers; hear personal accounts of events; listen to sound recordings & watch historic films."

National Archives Records Administration (NARA) Online Exhibits Digitized materials ranging from letters, photos, & even telegraphs

Public Domain Collection (Government Sources) on Flickr photographs from U.S. government agencies


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