Skip to Main Content
Bowdoin College Library <Ask Us!

The Pursuit of Peace, Gov 1030: Foreign & Int'l Documents

Foreign government documents and perspectives

Tips for finding foreign government publications and websites...

Browse to find government websites

The Wikipedia article for a nation or city may provide a link to the official website.

Links to foreign governments, along with some branches and agencies, are provided in Nations from the Library of Congress and List of Foreign Governments from Northwestern University. Governments on the WWW may also be useful.

To find foreign statistical agencies, use the U.S. Census Bureau's International Statistical Agencies or the United Nations' Information on National Statistical Systems. Northwestern University Library's List of Foreign Governments, including legislative and executive branch institutions may also be useful.

To find foreign laws and legislative materials, try one of the following:
Law by Source: Global, Cornell
Nations, Library of Congress
Foreign Law by Country, Boston University School of Law Libraries
Countries, World Legal Information Institute

Search for government documents

To find materials on foreign government websites, start by finding out what the domain name(s) for the official government websites for your country is. (Country code top-level domain provides this information.) For example, some Indian government websites are in the domain: Google as usual, including that domain name after site:, for example:
"call centres"
This will limit the Google search to webpages in the domain.

Use WorldCat to search for government documents held in libraries. Under "Search for:", enter your keyword or subject search terms. On a separate line under "Search for:", use the drop down menu to choose "Material Type" and in the search box type in ngp (for national (U.S. or foreign) government documents).

Search IGOs or NGOs

Search IGOs

intergovernmental organizations

Search NGOs

non-governmental organizations

(Updated 10 July 2023 from the IGO/NGO custom search engine project.)

Find U.N. Documents

United Nations, Geneva
Cedric Favero, Creative Commons License

Current and retrospective United Nations documents and publications. Documents from the six main U.N. bodies, among others, are individually indexed. Includes full-text resolutions from the General Assembly, Security Council, and Economic and Social Council among other full-text holdings. Dates of coverage: 1945-present

What UN documents are available online?
In addition to the information at this link, according to a UNDL librarian, as of March 2022, all plenary meeting records and resolutions are online; most official records are online. Not all records are fulltext searchable.

United Nations Digital Library
United Nations Digital Library Speeches
"The United Nations Digital Library includes UN documents, voting data, speeches, maps, and open access publications. The platform provides access to" (a) UN-produced materials in digital format and (b) "bibliographic records for print UN documents starting in 1979. System features include linked data between related documentation such as resolutions, meeting records and voting, and refining of searches by UN body, agency or type of document." (UNBISNET has been phased out in favor of United Nations Digital Library.)

Official Document System (ODS)
"ODS has full-text, born-digital UN documents published from 1993 onward, including documents of the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and their subsidiaries, as well as administrative issuances and other documents. The database also includes scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993, including all resolutions of the principal organs, all documents of the Security Council and the General Assembly Official Records. Documents are available in the official languages of the UN; some documents are also available in German. ODS does not have the following types of materials: documents issued before 1993 that have not yet been digitized, press releases, sales publications, such as the Yearbook and the Treaty Series, and documents that do not have a UN symbol."

United Nations
Substantial collection of official UN documents, for example, all General Assembly Resolutions and Decisions since 1977. Look under the name of the UN body, i.e. General Assembly, National Security Council, Social and Economic Council, etc. to find documents.

United Nations Treaty Collection
All current treaties registered with the United Nations.

United Nations documents and publications, microfiche edition, 1982-present, via Colby Library