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Government Information

Federal, state, and local government information during a Donald J Trump administration

Depository Library: a distribution method

Notre Dame has been a selective depository for U.S. government publications since 1883. The publications can be in paper, maps, microfiche, and electronic formats. All materials received prior to 1968 are housed in the main LC classified collection. The present Documents Center collection in the lower level of Hesburgh Library has over 800,000 publications received since January 1, 1968. These materials are arranged by Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification covering a broad spectrum of subjects. Access to governmental information at the local, state, federal, and international levels are freely available online, in paper and fiche to the Notre Dame community; moreover, any resident of Congressional District IN-2 has access to federal publications.

The Kresge Law Library has been a selective depository for U.S. government publications since 1985 and collects in the area of Law, including patents.

For more information, contact: Laura Bayard or the Hesburgh Library Reference/ Research Desk: 631-6258.

Location Tools

Finding government information online:

One Search and ND Catalog are the easiest to use to find all materials available on campus.

  • USA.Gov - U.S government's web portal creates and organizes timely, needed government information and services and make them accessible to the public anytime, anywhere, via their channel of choice. Award-winning site.
  • FDsys - The Superintendent of Documents' website, a main source for federal government information that provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Through FDsys, you are able to:

    Search for documents and publications — FDsys provides advanced search capabilities and the ability to refine and narrow your search for quick access to the information you need.

    Browse for documents and publications — FDsys offers browsing by collection, Congressional committee, date, and Government author.

    Access metadata about documents and publications — FDsys provides information about Government publications in standard XML formats.

    Download documents and publications in multiple renditions or file formats — With FDsys, users can download a single file or download content and metadata packaged together in a compressed file. FDsys is:

    A Content Management System
    FDsys provides free online access to official Federal Government publications and securely controls digital content throughout its lifecycle to ensure content integrity and authenticity.

    A Preservation Repository
    The repository guarantees long-term preservation and access to digital Government content. To meet this critical need for permanent access to Federal Government information, FDsys follows archival system standards.

    An Advanced Search Engine
    FDsys combines modern search technology with extensive metadata creation to ensure the highest quality search experience.

Federal Information

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.

MetaLib provides access to about 53 unique databases from the Federal Government. An Advanced or Expert search groups the databases into 14 areas: General Resources, Environment, GPO Resources, Health & Safety, Agriculture, History, Business & Economics, Politics & Law, Catalogs, Recreation, Travel & Transportation, Defense & Military, Reference, Education, Science & Technology. Results from searches can be saved into several bibliographic management programs (e.g. RefWorks). is the public’s gateway to Government Information. It provides links to many things that can be done online (register your vehicle, find the cheapest gas in your area, find child care, buy stamps, etc.). It also allows you to explore useful government information such as grants & benefits consumer protection, health, nutrition, etc. You can find your legislators or governors with an interactive map and a great deal more.

The homepage for the U.S. Department of State. This page has a great deal of policy information an dreports on human rights, countries and a great deal more. Of note is a collection of Congressional Research Service Reports (CRS Reports).


2014 Green Book Also known as "Background Material and Data on Programs Within the Jurisdiction of the House Committee on Ways and Means". It provides program descriptions and historical data on a wide variety of social and economic topics, including Social Security, employment, earnings, welfare, child support, health insurance, the elderly, families with children, poverty and taxation. It has become a standard reference work for those interested in the direction of social policy in the United States. It is compiled by the staff of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "...invites viewers to search through an on-line biographical directory of the United States Congress from 1774 to the present. Visitors can begin searching by entering the desired criteria which includes: first and last name, position, state, party, and year (or Congress)." From OCLC. is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Publishing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the LOC's Congressional Research Service. is usually updated the morning after a session adjourns. Consult Coverage Dates for Legislative Information for the specific update schedules and start date for each collection.

The scope of data collections and system functionality have continued to expand since THOMAS was launched in January 1995, when the 104th Congress convened. THOMAS was produced after Congressional leadership directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public.

Until all data sets from the legacy system are available from the new system, THOMAS will be accessible. THOMAS Retirement - Frequently Asked Questions provides additional information.

Congressional documents from the first 100 years of the U.S. Congress (1774-1875) can be accessed through A Century of Lawmaking.

The Senate and House each conduct hundreds of recorded/roll call votes each year, used both to pass legislation and amendments as well as to approve motions and for quorum calls. Use the options to navigate the Votes link. (From site)

FDsys provides free online access to federal publications:

Congressional Bills 103rd Congress (1993-present)
Congressional Documents 99th Congress (1985-present)
Congressional Hearings 99th Congress (1985-present)
Congressional Record (1994-present)
Congressional Reports 104th Congress (1995-present)

The House of Representatives website lists current representatives, committees, legislative activity and provides the ability to Watch HouseLive. Legislative Activity is reported, its schedule, Floor proceedings, votes, and Bill & reports. In addition to public disclosure data (financial), the site provides information on Representatives.

OpenSecrets, from "the Center for Responsive Politics is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government..." From site.

The CRS published Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2011 which provides data on leadership in Congress over time.

Proquest Congressional indexes information produced by or pertaining to the United States Congress from 1789 to the present. Provides full text for many titles, generally from the early 1990's to the present. Includes bills, laws, legislative histories, committee prints, House and Senate documents and reports, the Congressional Record, Code of Federal Regulations, and Federal Register. Includes full text of Congressional Research Service reports, 1916-present; full text of Congressional hearings, 1824-2003; and full text of Committee Prints, 1830-2003.

The Senate web site lists and contains information on the current Senators and the committees on which they are serving. It provides access to THOMAS for a bill search, a floor webcasts of Senate hearings, roll call votes, Senate legislative calendar a listing of active legislation and much more.

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, contains the House and Senate Documents and the House and Senate Reports bound by session of Congress. It began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817). Documents before 1817 may be found in the American State Papers. In general, it includes: committee reports related to bills and other matters, presidential communications to Congress, treaty materials, certain executive department publications, and certain non-governmental publications.

Covering the years 1817-1994 (15th-103rd Congress), the Readex U.S. Congressional Serial Set provides full-text access to Congressional documents.

THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information available electronically to the public. THOMAS retires to Monticello on July 5, 2016.

House of Representatives

This “Popular Name Tool” that has a scroll down bar that lists acts alphabetically by popular name.

Cornell School of Law
This “Table of Popular Names” is organized alphabetically. The entries may have up to three types of links. One is the reference to the Public Law number (link to the THOMAS record or FDSYS). The link associated with the "Short Title" goes particular sections of the Code that describes how the particular law was incorporated into the Code.


Image result for federal register icon Mission

The Office of the Federal Register informs citizens of their rights and obligations, documents the actions of Federal agencies, and provides a forum for public participation in the democratic process. Our publications provide access to a wide range of Federal benefits and opportunities for funding and contain comprehensive information about the various activities of the United States Government. In addition, we administer the Electoral College for Presidential elections and the Constitutional amendment process.

The Federal Register is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, and consists of four types of entries.

  • Presidential Documents, including Executive orders and proclamations.
  • Rules and Regulations, including policy statements and interpretations of rules.
  • Proposed Rules, including petitions for rulemaking and other advance proposals.
  • Notices, including scheduled hearings and meetings open to the public, grant applications, administrative orders, and other announcements of government actions.

Title 21 covers regulations for food & drugs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a scientific regulatory agency responsible for the safety of the nation's domestically produced and imported foods, cosmetics, drugs, biologics, medical devices, and radiological products. It also covers the regulations regarding Clinical Research. provides access to information regarding Federal regulatory and deregulatory actions. - Your Voice in Federal Decision MakingThe E-government Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-347) was established to increase public participation in the rule making process. In 2003 eRulemaking launched as a mechanism to allow the public to comment on proposed new regulations. Topics and be searched or browsed. Links and contact information for Federal agencies can also be found on the site.



How to find a document that has SuDocs classification:

Michigan State University SuDocs Classification System Tutorial

Other (Government spending, campaign finance, CRS reports, etc.)

CIA World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities. Includes maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.

LLSDC Executive Orders and Other Federal Documents: Sources and Explanations, part of LLSDC's Legislative Source Book

The Federal Election Commission (FEC), an independent regulatory agency administers & enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which governs the financing of federal elections. The FEC discloses campaign finance information, enforces the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and oversees the public funding of Presidential elections.

For GIS information on local, state, and national mapping, see Center for Digital Scholarship.

The Richard O'Melia Collection, a special collection of U.S. Congressional Investigations of Communism and Subversive Activities, 1918-1956, is located in the University Archives.

  American taxpayers spend over $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, a "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events. Yet, these reports are not made available to the public in a way that they can be easily obtained. Open CRS provides citizens access to CRS Reports that are already in the public domain. From site.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) of 2006,), requires that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) establish a single searchable website (, accessible to the public at no cost, which includes for each Federal award the name of the entity receiving the award;the amount of the award; information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, etc; the location of the entity receiving the award; anda unique identifier of the entity receiving the award.

U.S. and World Population Clock

Note: The Population Clock is consistent with 2010 Census data and the most recent national population estimates.