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Finding Primary Sources: Government Documents

Assistance with locating primary source material within and outside the WSU Libraries.

Government documents as primary sources



Government publications provide documentation on legal, judicial, and regulatory activities and as such are good for current and historical primary source materials.  This page points to databases and digital collections that provide government information such as statistics, bills and laws, congressional and agency reports, court cases and decisions, hearings, maps, and consumer information.  Consider local, state, regional, federal, or international government information for sources for your research. 

Selected Federal Databases  Free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.  The official website for U.S. federal legislative information. Library of Congress
Statistical abstract of the United States   Summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States.
US Congressional Serial Set 1817-1994  Reports, Documents, and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. A rich source of primary source material on all aspects of American history.
American State Papers, 1789-1838 Legislative and executive documents, many originating from the important period between 1789 and the beginning of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set in 1817  The official U.S. gateway to all government information.
American FactFinder  Census and survey data about the United States, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.
Proquest Congressional Access to publications by and about the U.S. Congress, including hearings, bill texts, legislative histories, voting records, congressional calendars, hot topics and more.

100 Milestone Documents   Documents that chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965. National Archives.

Selected Government Information Sources--State & International

UNdata (UN) United Nations statistics on trade, economics, demographics and education.

Country Statistics (UNICEF) Child mortality rates, nutrition, health, education, demographics and more.

World Development Indicators  (World Bank)  The most current and accurate global development data available

World Statistics Pocketbook (OECD)  annual; agriculture, balance of payments, education, energy, environment, food, gender, health, industrial production, information and communication, international finance, international tourism, international trade, labour, migration, national accounts, population and prices.

Intergovernmental Search (Google) Searches hundreds of intergovernmental organization web pages

Non-governmental Search (Google) Internet search of association, council, and institute web pages

Pew Center on the States - Data Visualizations  Compare states on topics and issues

State & County QuickFacts  U.S. Census Bureau

Maps & GIS Resources State by State   State government map and data resources

State Agency Databases  Agency information for all 50 states

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