POSC 110 GovDocs Page
The U.S. Government
provides a vast amount of information on just about any
subject a person can imagine. From significant laws and
regulations that affect us all to statistics on just about any
subject to scientific publications of all kinds. There are also
many consumer information titles such as tourist pamphlets,
overseas travel advisories, health information, etc.
These days the GPO
is putting almost all information on internet accessible
government websites, but many sources are still published in
Searching for older
information (usually pre-mid 1990’s) often requires a search
through print sources, some of which we have here at SU and some
of which may need to be ordered from (or searched at) the
Regional Federal Depository Library at College Park. But unless
you are doing some in-depth historical research, you probably
won’t need to access these resources from the library across the
topic, our Salisbury University
is a good place to start your search. You can find the link for
it on the left side of our library home page. It is listed on
the side bar as `Government Information’.
I have also listed
below a few other websites that may be useful for finding
information on whatever topic you may choose.
Primary Information Resource Portal:
commonly used starting point for just about any kind of
government information on the web.
Office (GPO) Information Resource Portal:
This is a pretty
comprehensive website that covers government information
from the GPO and has links to
core documents from all three branches of government.
Like THOMAS, this database can
also be a bit complicated to use at
times, but the site does have a relatively user-friendly home
page and also a useful
A-Z Resource List
However, once you get further into the portal it can get a bit
the Library of Congress) http://thomas.loc.gov
The THOMAS database is a comprehensive legislative
database that allows you to search just about any piece of
recent legislation. However, it can, at times, be a bit of a
maze to navigate.
God for C-Span! This site directs you to a plethora of
government information. It is especially good with legislative
information. A visit to the home page and a click on 'Resources'
button will lead you to the Legislative Resources page which can
offer much. C-Span even provides an easy way to see how your
Congress person voted on issues and an easy way to write them an
C-Span is not a
government website, but it is definitely a portal worth a look.
And take a look at C-Span TV. It gives a balanced perspective
on issues by letting the 'experts' on different sides provide
their point of view. On some programs C-Span gives the public a
chance to have their say on air. This is sometimes entertaining,
sometimes mind boggling, but C-Span offers insight into issues
and public sentiment that you are unlikely to see elsewhere.
There is much to praise about C-Span!
By the way, I have
a question: How is C-Span funded? :)
(online thru GPO Access) Print/microfiche: Documents Stacks
or Microfiche | X 1.1:
A sometimes verbatim (sometimes fictitious!) record of the
debate that goes on in Congress.
Members may enter testimony into the CG that never occurred in
the actual debate. Since 1995 it is better than before because
of some rule changes and C-Span video coverage of the debates.
GPO Access) Print Location:
Reference | Y 1.2/5:
The U.S. Code is
the compendium of laws of the United States categorized by
subject. The laws are broad directives from Congress from which
the regulations are derived. The regulations put the laws into
Office of the
– (online thru GPO Access) Print Location: Documents
Reference | AE 2.106:
Federal Register -
List of sections affected
(online thru GPO Access)
Location: Print: - Documents Stacks AE 2.106/2-2:
Code of Federal
(online thru GPO Access) Print: Documents Reference | AE
The Code of Federal Regulations, commonly called the CFR, is the
published list of U.S. Regulations
put in subject order (codified). These regulations affect all
aspects of our everyday lives. Food safety, licensing of
pilots, pollution regulation, etc.
( Online thru GPO Access) Print: Copy at the Research Help
Desk JK421 .A3
Among other things,
this manual gives a nice overview of the agencies of the
U.S. Government. This can be supplemented with a visit to the
individual agency’s website. We also have a paper copy of
the U.S. Government Manual at the Research Help Desk and older
print editions of the manual in our government documents
collection. Location: [ Documents Stacks | AE 2.108/2:]
Go to the A-Z Resource List and click on Federal
Agency Internet Sites
access the SU
page and then click on Agencies – for more links to agencies
click on the Federal Agencies Directory/LSU at the top of the
- U.S. Courts portal. Includes Supreme Court, Courts of
Appeals, District Courts, Bankruptcy Courts. Judicial
information can also be accessed thru the
The latter two sites will give additional links not accessible
from the Federal Judiciary Page.
A General Overview
of the U.S. Government Processes – Information Resources:
Ben's Guide to U.S.
Originally conceived as a website for kids, there is a lot of
good information here presented in a manner that the average
citizen can actually understand. Some detail is left out, but
if everyone knew what this site had to offer, they would be much
better informed citizens.
User-Friendly Guide to U.S. Government Information Sources 3rd.
Ed. Location: Reference ZA 5055.U6 R63 1998 (This is a
print publication on hold at the Research Help Desk.)
If you want a
easily readable book that does a very good job of
covering many of the intricacies of government and
which also covers the major publications that the
government puts out, THIS IS THE BOOK to read!!!.
One drawback to
this book is that it was published in 1998, so some of the web
addresses will not work. Also some of the government agencies
have been reorganized or renamed, but the major processes of
government are still the same and I have found no more clear
explanation of governmental processes than here. The Author has
some fascinating anecdotes that actually make this reading fun!
...or as fun as reading about the government can be! :)
NOTE: This is a
reference book, so it must stay in the library, but you may
read it in the library. I am going to put it on hold at the
Research Help Desk for this semester. You could also order a
used copy through Amazon or similar sites.
The library liaison
to Subj is Fname Lname,