An Overview for the
International Conference on Government Info rmation and Democracy

Western European Language
Translations Russian/English Translations

Business | Congress | Constitution | Consumer Protection | Crime | Education | Environment
Foreign Policy | Grants | Health | Historic Documents | Judiciary | Laws | Overview
Organization | President | Public Policy/Politics | Regulations | Science
Search by Agency | Search by Subject | Statistics


Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

Describes federal government for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and teachers/parents. Includes the nation, historic documents, branches of government, national v. state authority, how laws are made, elections, and citizenship. Pleasing graphics, a glossary, games and activities. List of federal government web sites for children.


Description of U.S. Government structure, economics, and culture for foreign visitors and potential immigrants. Textbook on U.S. history. Visa and passport information; English phrases; time and measurement.


United States Government Manual, 1995/96+ (National Archives)

Directory of agencies and officials, primarily in the Executive Branch. Describes agency activity and cites legislative authority. Arranged by Cabinet section or agency with a "Search" option at the top of the page.


Constitution of the United States Annotated

Constitution and Amendments annotated with references to Supreme Court cases as of 1992.

United States Code (GPO Access)

Subject arrangement of existing laws in force. Laws are approved by Congress and signed by the President. Latest version and annual updates searchable by keyword. Cornell Law School (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/index.html) provides alternative version which is both browsable and searchable by section.

Code of Federal Regulations (National Archives)

Text of existing regulations in force. Regulations are written by the Executive Branch and independent agencies to carry out the intent of the law. Search CFR by keyword or browse. Cornell Law School (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/cfr/) is browsable by title and searchable by subject or title/section number.

Federal Register (GPO Access)

Daily publication with the text of new regulations, proposed regulations, and notices of grants and agency hearings since 1995. Both the new and proposed regulations provide background on the reasons for the regulation. The public is invited to comment on proposed regulations, and modifications to the final rules are common. Search by keyword and date or section (final rules, proposed rules, notices, sunshine act meetings, etc.).

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Contacting Congress (Non-Governmental)

Congress does not provide a consolidated directory of e-mail addresses and committee assignments. Grace York and Juan Cabanela worked separately and then joined forces to main the most current lists. Cabanela now provides the best web interface to members with their phone, fax number, district office, and e-mail address. A separate section includes committee and subcommittee assignments. York continues to maintain a text interface at http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/congdir.html

THOMAS (Library of Congress)

Full text of Congressional bills, 1993+, searchable by bill number, sponsor, stage of legislative process, committee, and date. Provides detailed legislative status and links to roll call votes. Also includes search mechanism and legislative status for bills, 1973-92. Full text of Congressional Record (floor debates) since 1993, both searchable and browsable by date. Most popular of all legislative web sites despite stiff competition from GPO and commercial vendors.

GPO Legislative Collection

Full text of bills, 1993+, Congressional Record, 1994+, committee documents (messages from Executive Branch), 1995+ and committee reports (recommendations on legislation), 1995+. Selected committee hearings (testimony) and committee prints (research reports) are incorporated, 1997+.

Congressional Publications (Non-Governmental)

Congressional hearings cover the broadest possible range of scientific and public policy subjects, from agricultural protection to government funding, foreign policy, and endangered species. Members of the Executive Branch, private citizens, and lobbyists are invited to attend. The paper hearing usually includes submitted statements and documents as well as question-and-answer testimony. Individual committees decide their own means of distribution so there is no one place on the Internet that has them all. This web site is arranged by committee and cites a variety of sources, including GPO Access and the committee's own web page when applicable. Many libraries purchase a commercial product entitled Congressional Universe to obtain the text of pre-publication hearings.

General Accounting Office Blue Book Reports(GPO Access)

Full text of "Reports to Congress" on government resource management, October 1, 1994+. Reports identify wasteful practices in numerous government programs and make suggestions for improvement. Searchable by keyword in text, report title, report identifier, and date. For a known report number, use quotation marks and type the number as shown: "PEMD-95-1"


Federal Courts

Directory of automated access to court records arranged by type of court and district. Circuit and District Court web sites are listed under its links section.

Meta-Index for U.S. Legal Research (Non-Governmental)

Boolean searching for Supreme Court decisions as well as all of the Federal circuit courts.

Supreme Court

Text of Supreme Court decisions, oral arguments, and calendar since 1999.


Supreme Court Decisions, 1893+ (Non-Governmental)

Decisions searchable by citation, title, and full text. Also browsable by year or volume number. Full text of opinions include hypertext links to footnotes and related cases.


Presidents of the United States (Non-Governmental)

Extensive web site with pages for each President, Washington to Clinton. Picture, biographies, election results, first ladies, cabinets,highlights of administration, historical documents, and links to related Internet sites. Special attention paid to links describing historical events and biographies of cabinet members.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1993+ (NARA/GPO)

Full text of Presidential executive orders, speeches, press conferences, names of nominees. Boolean searching with phrases in parentheses. Table of contents search (contents AND "july 28, 1997") Provides permanent public access to Presidential materials even when White House web site changes.

White House (2001+)

Highlights major Presidential initiatives, speeches, and briefs. The Clinton era web sites are available from the National Archives at http://search2.nara.gov/.

Presidential Libraries (National Archives)

Links to Presidential Libraries from Herbert Hoover to George Bush Sr. Most libraries are digitizing declassified documents relating to key issues in foreign and domestic policy.


Commerce Business Daily (GPO Access)

Daily bid requests (RFPs) for goods and services to be purchased by the federal government. Searchable and browsable. Archived since 1995.

Small Business Administration

Guide to starting a small business, tips on financing, loan application loans, and location of local Small Business Assistance Centers. The U.S. Small Business Advisor links to other federal agencies which provide small business assistance.

Tradeport Country Library (Non-Governmental)

Web site designed to encourage U.S. exports. Arranged by country with political and economic information, State Department reports, Market Research Reports, Industry Sector Analyses, and occasionally labor trends. This is a free commercial of many of the federal government market reports appearing in STAT-USA . The latter requires a subscription fee although a password is available to federal depository libraries.


Aviation Safety Information

Searchable data base of aircraft accidents and less serious incidents from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration. Databases searchable by a combination of keyword, aircraft model, operator, airport, state, etc. Information for each incident details weather and operating conditions as well as problems and injuries.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Online consumer protection publications (e.g. toys, carbon monoxide) List of product recalls since 1994 arranged by date or searchable by subject.

Consumer's Resource Handbook (GPO)

Tips on home financing, travel, door-to-door salesmen. Extensive directory of consumer protection agencies.


How to stop telemarketing; sample letters and phone numbers. Warning on major frauds, including phone switching. Major recalls of defective products.

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National Archive of Criminal Justice (Non-Governmental)

The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research has contracted with the federal government to make this collection of U.S. and international crime data available to the public free of charge. Includes information on crimes, homicide, and corrections. Data is available for use with SAS or SPSS. There is a Data Analysis System for some files which allows users to run their own cross-tabulations on the web.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Full text or summaries of federal, state, and local reports on crime, courts, law enforcement, juvenile justice, and the victims of crime. Statistics included in the reports although there are few statistical tables.

NCJRS Data Base on the Web

Indexes thousands of books, journal articles, and government reports on crime and criminal justice. Provides lengthy summaries but reports usually must be purchased. Searchable by keyword (eg. domestic violence and workplace).



Indexes thousands of articles, books, reports and conference papers on education since 1966. Searches may be limited to various fields, including author, title, keyword, descriptor, institution. Abstracts available free-of-charge. Many federal depository libraries own microfiche of the reports themselves. Subscription service for online text inaugurated in 1999.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (Nation's Report Card/NCES)

Extensive reports on national and state test scores of 4th, 8th, and 12th grade students by various demographic characteristics. Separate surveys on science, mathematics, history, geography. All publications in Adobe Acrobat.

National Center for Education Statistics

Digest of Education Statistics and Condition of Education contain national data on schools, enrollment, staff, and outcomes for all levels of education. Survey and Program Areas is arranged by type of survey (elementary/secondary education, higher education, school staffing, library, longitudinal) and provides access to all formats, including online data, published reports, and interactive data bases. National Public School Locator is an interactive program allowing user to identify schools by location and grade level. For each school includes contact information, children eligible for free lunch, and minority enrollment.

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Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (Department of Energy)

Data and reports from around the world on carbon dioxide emissions, its effects on vegetation, weather, clouds, and oceans.

Endangered Species (Fish and Wildlife Service)

Number and names of endangered plant and animal species by state. Endangered species are regulated to prevent extinction. Access restricted due to a court order involving Indian trust lands.

Superfund Hazardous Waste Sites (Environmental Protection Agency)

Lists current hazardous waste sites by state, city, and company with brief event, financial, and enforcement information. The National Priorities List provides extensive summaries of targeted cleanup sites, new and deleted sites, and statistics.

Toxic Release Inventory (Environmental Protection Agency)

Identifies industrial pollution sources or existing pollution, health risks, and efforts to clean up the area. Hazardous and solid waste data downloadable in several formats.

Water Resources in the United States (U.S. Geological Survey)

Statistics on water supply, water use, and acid rain found as tables in the text of its reports. Search engine also available.

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U.S. State Department

Press releases and policy briefings on United States foreign policy since 1993. Most publications are found under the Regions section, including Country Reports on Human Rights, Background Notes on Countries of the World, and Country Reports on Economic Policy and Trade Practices. Declassified foreign diplomatic correspondence for selected subjects, 1945-68, appears in Foreign Relations of the United States (http://www.state.gov/www/ about_state/history/frusonline.html).

United States Foreign Policy (Non-Governmental)

University of Michigan Library guide to researching U.S. foreign policy on the internet and within the library. Describes foreign policy web sites of the federal government and United Nations. Extensive section on declassified material. Includes commercial web sites licensed on campus. This guide used for IREX scholars visiting the University of Michigan campus.


Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

Describes federal programs providing funds to individuals, private organizations, and local governments. Searchable by keyword or agency. Provides name of program, agency, laws and regulations, purpose of grant, application process, sample grants awarded in past, and contact name.


CDC Wonder

Detailed data sets include mortality, natality, AIDS, STDs, fluoridation, Census. Sample: breast cancer deaths by age, race and sex. Some data available by state or local area. May log in as anonymous user.

Food and Nutrition Information Center (U.S. Agriculture Dept)

Dietary guidlines for Americans.Data on food composition, healthy eating, and body weight standards. Food Guide Pyramids (http://www.usda.gov/news/usdakids/food_pyr.html) for children and adults.

National Center for Health Statistics

News releases on natality, marriage, divorce, mortality, and selected subjects. FastStats is alphabetical list by subject and state/territory of brief descriptive data (e.g. teen births). Data Warehouse has extensive links to published and unpublished tables on mortality, natality, and behavioral risk factors.

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American Memory Collection (Library of Congress)

Selected documents, maps, photographs and motion pictures of American history. Subjects range from the Continental Congress to railroad maps to dance manuals. Searchable by title, subject, or library division. Entries often include illustrations, background information, and links to further resources.

Avalon Project (Non-Governmental)

Full text of historic legal and political documents for the U.S., Western Europe, and the Middle East. Includes the Mayflower Compact of 1620, Louisiana Purchase, inaugural addresses, World War II documents, and numerous treaties.

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy (GPO)

Historic titles include the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Federalist Papers, Constitution, Emancipation Proclamation, and Gettysburg Address. Current materials include GPO's Congressional publications, laws, regulations, the U.S. Budget, and Statistical Abstract of the United States.

(Non-Governmental Web Sites)

Cable News Network

Twenty-four hour television news station. Web site is updated every five minutes as needed.

National Political Index

Directories of federal and state elected officials and candidates. Voter information, political magazines, political humor, consulting services, and much more.

Open Secrets

Campaign receipts of Presidential and Congressional candidates by state, donor, or Political Action Committee. Detailed analysis of races prior to 2000. Data manipulated from Federal Election Commission public-use files.

Political Information

Indexes news, political parties, policy papers and interest group web sites with information on public policy concerns. Provides more focused searches than possible with the general internet search engines. Sample search: +michigan +concealed-weapons.

Project Vote Smart

Biographies, lobby group ratings and campaign receipts for individual Presidential candidates, Members of Congress, and selected state officials. Candidate answers to the National Political Awareness Test, a questionnaire on issues in the election.

Public Opinion Polls

Annotated guide to 27 sources of public opinion polls in the United States and abroad. Includes free web sites as well as print and electronic subscription services.

Speak Out
Issues Library presents both sides of public policy issues with quotations from newspapers and research reports. Topics range from crime and urban renewal to health care, immigration, and national defense.

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Department of Energy Information Bridge

Full text of approximately 50,000 reports since 1995 in physics, chemistry, biology, energy, and environment.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Multi-media access to current news and reports on aeronautical projects. Includes section for children. Covers space exploration, the International Space Station, astronomy, earth science, and satellites.


American Factfinder

Census Bureau's primary means for distributing 2000 Census Data. As of March 2002, includes data on age, race, sex, household relationships, and housing tenure for every block in the United States. Income, poverty, occupatin, and education due June-August 2002. Also has reference maps and thematic maps.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Press releases, time series, and interactive data bases to the local level on employment and Unemployment, earnings by occupation, consumer prices, producer prices, productivity, collective bargaining, union membership, and benefit packages. Its Consumer Expenditure Survey measures the annual cost of certain types of purchases based on consumer demographics (e.g. food for single-person households at a certain income).

Census Bureau

Most data bases from the 1990 Census of Population and Housing available from the national to the state, local, and block group level. Printed reports from the 1992 and 1997 Economic Censuses (business) in pdf format. Rolling surveys of population, education, income, race, immigration in text or pdf formats. Detailed foreign trade data, construction reports, and monthly retail sales. All web products are FREE OF CHARGE, and the Census Bureau is committed to permanent public access for all web publications. Access through the Alphabetic Subject Index (http://www.census.gov/main/www/subjects.html) for best results at locating material in this massive data base.

Economic Indicators/FRED (Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis)

Time series on Gross Domestic Product, price, employment and money supply beginning in the 1940s and updated monthly.


Comprehensive listing to statistical programs of over 70 federal government agencies. Arranged by agency or program; includes explanatory material and contacts. Search engine indexes individual statistical tables by keyword or agency and provides direct connection.

Statistical Abstract of the United States (Census Bureau)

Compendium of government and non-government statistics, primarily on the national and state levels. Population and vital statistics, health, economics, education, manufacturing, natural resources, transportation, and U.S. Industrial Outlook (production and foreign trade by four-digit SIC for past six years. 1999 edition has comparisons with the beginning of the century. Full text available in Adobe Acrobat format State rankings and state/county profiles in HTML format.

Statistical Resources on the Web (Non-Governmental)

Twenty-three annotated pages of statistics available on the web worldwide. Includes government and non-government sources. Subjects cover agriculture, demography, economics, education, environment, energy, health, sociology, science, and weather. O ptional frames index is the easiest to use for locating an individual subject.

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Federal Agency Web Sites (Non-Governmental)

Cleancut alphabetical listing of federal agency web sites. Prepared by Louisiana State University as a Government Printing Office partnership.


Official portal to the federal government. Provides consumer information on the first page. Subsequent pages provide directories to government agencies by agency. Keyword search engine includes federal and state governments.

Google Web Directory: United States Government (Non-Governmental)

Annotated guide to the top web sites, arranged by subject and agency.


Official portal to the federal government. Provides consumer information on the first page. Subsequent pages provide directories to government agencies by agency. Keyword search engine includes federal and state governments.

Google Uncle Sam

Search government web sites by keyword. Returns up to 100 hits.


Advanced Searching permits limitation of keyword to web sites with the .gov and .mil domains.

InfoMine (Non-Governmental)

Extensive subject index to federal, international, and California government information. Analyzes individual publications and web sites of government agencies Optional keyword approach.

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Grace York, Coordinator, Documents Center
The University of Michigan Library
May 15, 2000
Revised June 10, 2001 and March 15, 2002

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