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Finding Primary Sources

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 can provide useful  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.  Local, state, regional, federal, or international government information may inform 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
  •  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.
  • 100 Milestone Documents  Selected documents that chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.


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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