Government Publications

Review research reports, pamphlets, or statistics published by the Government Printing Office (GPO).

You may find it useful to discover whether the United States Government Printing Office (GPO) has published any research reports, pamphlets, or statistics on your subject. The GPO, along with the United Nations organizations, prints countless essays, pamphlets and research studies on the law, history, and such everyday subjects as growing herb gardens.

The government also provides information to statistical reports on the census, the U.S. economy, criminal justice statistics, etc.

More and more government reports are being published directly to the Web, so you will find those publications when you use general search engines such as Google. Also, many recent publications are covered by GPO Access, which “provides free online use of over 2,200 databases of Federal information in over 80 applications.”

If you need to use reports prior to 1976, you may want to consult The Monthly Catalog to the United States Government Publications. The Monthly Catalog (from 1976 to date) is also available in searchable formats such as CD-ROM, online, etc. Other databases that index government documents material are PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service Bulletin) and American Statistics Index. A company called LexisNexis also provides access to government publications through their LexisNexisCongressional and LexisNexisStatistical services. Your library may provide electronic access to these databases.

Sample Government Web Sites

  • Fedworld provides access to widely used government Web sites, science and technology government Web sites, etc.
  • FirstGov: “, the official U.S. gateway to all government information, is the catalyst for a growing electronic government.”
  • GPO Access: As mentioned, GPO Access provides free online use of over 2,200 databases of Federal information.
  • A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies: Browse U.S. Government agencies and their publications.
  • United Nations: Click on “welcome” in the language of your choice.
  • UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Find statistics and papers on literacy, education, culture and communication world-wide. Many GPO documents are now available on the Web through various government sites:

  • Statistical Abstracts of the United States: Provides just about any statistic imaginable about life in the United States.
  • Federal Internet Guide: Sponsored by The Washington Post.Com, this site links to government resources, including job vacancies.
  • FedWorld Information Network: Managed by the National Technical Information System, this is an comprehensive, searchable government site.
  • Legal Information Institute: Sponsored by Cornell University, this site provides the U.S. Code.
  • Library of Congress: “The Library preserves a collection of nearly 121 million items, more than two-thirds of which are in media other than books. These include the largest map, film and television collections in the world. In addition to its primary mission of serving the research needs of the U.S. Congress, the Library serves all Americans through its popular Web site and in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill.”
  • State and Local Governments: Sponsored by the Library of Congress, this site provides links to essential Web sites sponsored by the U.S. State government.
  • First Government: “Our work transcends the traditional boundaries of government and our vision is global – connecting the world to all U.S. Government information and services.”