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U.S. Government: Reference


United States Government Manual via HeinOnline, 1935-2014 Best Bet
United States Government Manual (print and online)
United States Government Manual (latest)
Note: Even the current USGM may not be completely up-to-date.
Govt Index AE 2/108.2:date

A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies

Official register of the United States. Online via HathiTrust (1817-1921, with gaps) and govinfo.
Govt Doc S 1.11: (print; 1833, 1839, 1843, 1849, 1853, 1855, 1857, 1859)
Govt Doc I 1.25: (1861-1905, with gaps)
Govt Doc C 3.10: (1907-1932, with gaps)

Washington Information Directory (print, online)
Main Libr F192.3 .W33
Includes information on committee jurisdiction and committee and subcommittee membership.

List of historical offices in Federal agencies, Society for History in the Federal Government.
Some entries include a list of recent publications.

For more directories, see the Congress and Presidency tabs on this guide.

General Reference

"Political Science" via Oxford Bibliographies

Popular Names of U.S. Government Reports: A Catalog, 1976
via HeinOnline, via HathiTrust
Bowdoin Govt Ref LC 6.2:G 74/984

"The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government." Here you can search "agencies’ websites to see what is already publicly available online", collect data about FOIA requests, or make a FOIA request.

FOIA Libraries, Lisa DeLuca, University Libraries, Seton Hall. A list of over 3000 FOIA libraries and repositories.

General Political Reference

The concise Oxford dictionary of politics

Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Political Thought (online)
Main Ref JA61 .S37 2007 (print)

GovSpeak: A Guide to U.S. Government Acronyms & Abbreviations. "acronyms and abbreviations commonly used by the United States federal government."

Almanac of American Politics (online, 2000-; print, 1974-) Best Bet
Main Ref JK 1012 .A44 or Main Libr JK 1012 .A44
A volume is issued for each Congress. Organized by state. It includes for each member: biography, political activities, committees, key votes, group ratings, National Journal ratings, election results, and for members of the House, description of the district and demographics. Also includes leadership, state profiles, campaign finance, etc. The entries for the chairs and committee members may include discussion of those individuals' roles and activities on the committees.

Politics in America, 1990-2014 (ceased)
Main Ref JK 1010 .P64, Main Libr JK 1010 .P64
Similar to Almanac of American Politics. A volume is issued for each Congress. Organized by state, it includes for each member: biography, committees, key votes, CQ Vote Studies, election results, party unity, presidential support, and interest group ratings; and for members of the House, description of the district. Also includes committees, campaign finance, state profiles, member statistics, House and Senate committee rosters, etc.

Congressional Roll Call
1969, 1972-2013
Main Ref JK1 .C6635
Includes party unity, presidential support, key votes, roll call votes, etc.

The Oxford handbook of ... (online)
American bureaucracy
American elections and political behavior
Comparative Politics(online); Main Libr JF51 .O94 2007 (print)
International Relations
Law and Politics
Political Behavior
Political Institutions
Political Methodology
Political Theory (online); Main Ref JA71 .O95 2006 (print)
Public Policy
All can be searched simultaneously at Oxford Reference.

CQ publications (Congressional Quarterly)

Title Location Notes
CQ Magazine (formerly CQ Weekly)

Govt Index JK1 .C15, 1964-2012

online, 1983-present

Weekly. "In-depth reports on issues looming on the congressional horizon, plus a complete wrap up the previous week's news, including the status of bills in play, behind-the-scenes maneuvering, committee and floor activity, debates and all roll-call votes."
CQ Almanac

Govt Index JK1 .C66 (print), 1945-2020

online, 1945-2020


Annual. Exceedingly useful. Each volume summarizes selected Congressional action on a full range of topics: appropriations, defense, commerce, agricultural, health, economy, etc. Also includes congressional leadership, roll call votes, key votes, voting analyses (presidential support, party unity, voting participation), list of public laws passed, etc. For public laws, provides a brief history of a bill, including bill numbers, committee reports, date signed by the President, etc.
Congress and the Nation

Govt Index JK411 .C6 (print), 1945-present

online, 1945-present

Every 4 years (presidential term).