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Government & Politics

Guide to Resources for Government and Politics

Government Documents Online

AMDOCS (Documents for the Study of American History) – This website provides access to primary source documents in American history.  Website is organized by centuries.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774-1873 - Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774, America's national legislative bodies have kept records of their proceedings.  The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress comprise a rich documentary history of the nation. These documents can be accessed at this website.  

Avalon Project and Yale University - An important feature of this web site containing important historical documents is its search engine, which allows you to look easily for specific documents or documents by subject. It has documents grouped by century, major collection, subject, author and title.

FBI Files Online - Thousands of files released through the Freedom of Information Act (content continues to be added).  Site includes information on historical events, political movements, as well as files on individuals and groups.

FINDLAW - This site has Supreme Court decisions since 1893. It utilizes a search engine that can be browsed, used to conduct citation searches, party name searches, or full-text searches. Site has links to other Supreme Court information including the Supreme Court calendar, court rules, recordings of oral arguments, news, biographical information, and a copy of the Constitution with Congressional Research Service annotations and links to cited Supreme Court cases.

GPO - Government Printing Office - Indexing and/or access to the wide range of governmental publications, many of interest to historians. The GPO Access site now offers full text for many once hard-to-find government publications.

National Archives and Records Administration - This site contains a wealth of documentary material from the federal government. Since NARA administers the presidential libraries, it includes their electronic finding aids. 

National Security Archive - This web site at George Washington University collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) - The "NUCMC" is the place to look for where American historical figures' papers are located in the United States. It will tell you not only where their papers are located, but in what other repositories correspondence to and from them are located.

PoliTxt A Digital Archive of Political Texts - A rich resource of Inaugural Addresses, State of the Union speeches, television debates, key historical documents, etc.

The American Presidency Project - The Public Papers of the Presidents contain most of the President's public messages, statements, speeches, and news conference remarks. The documents within the Public Papers are arranged in chronological order. The President delivered the remarks or addresses from Washington, D.C., unless otherwise indicated.