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HIST2600: Historical Methods (20th Century U.S. History Focus): Government Documents

Resources for historical methods and research projects, with a focus on materials in the 20th century United States history.

Government Documents

American Presidency Project
The American Presidency Project attempts to bring together documents from all of the presidents. Started in 1999 as a collaborative project between Gerhard Peters, John T. Woolley, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Project's site contains over 75,000 documents related to the study of the presidency. The Public Papers of the Presidents contain most of the President's public messages, statements, speeches, and news conference remarks. Documents such as Proclamations, Executive Orders, and similar documents that are published in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, as required by law, are usually not included for the presidencies of Herbert Hoover through Gerald Ford (1929-1977), but are included beginning with the administration of Jimmy Carter (1977). The documents within the Public Papers are arranged in chronological order.

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (via GPO Access)
The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) is the finding tool for electronic and print publications from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government. These publications make up the National Bibliography of U.S. Government Publications. The CGP contains descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online. More than 500,000 records generated since July 1976 are contained in the CGP and it is updated daily. The catalog will grow to include records for publications dating back to the late 1800s, making the CGP the central point for locating new and historical Government publications.
http://catalog.gpo.gov/F

FDsys: Federal Digital System (U.S. Government Printing Office)
GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Through FDsys, you are able to: Search for documents and publications — FDsys provides advanced search capabilities and the ability to refine and narrow your search for quick access to the information you need; Browse for documents and publications — FDsys offers browsing by collection, Congressional committee, date, and Government author; Access metadata about documents and publications — FDsys provides information about Government publications in standard XML formats; Download documents and publications in multiple renditions or file formats — With FDsys, users can download a single file or download content and metadata packaged together in a compressed file.

Foreign Relations of the United States (Archive 1861-1960 via University of Wisconsin Digital Collections) and Foreign Relations of the United States (Volumes from the Truman through Carter Hosted by the U.S. Department of State)
The Foreign Relations of the United States series is the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions that have been declassified and edited for publication. The series is produced by the State Department's Office of the Historian and printed volumes are available from the Government Printing Office.
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/FRUS/ AND
http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments

Government Information on the Internet, Sixth Edition / Edited by Peffy Garvin. - Lanham, Md.: Bernan Press, 2003. - v. ; 24 cm. - Call Number: REF ZA5075.N68
A one-volume guide to almost 5,000 sites arranged in topical chapters. Each site entry contains the following categories of information: sponsoring agency, primary and secondary URL addresses, summary of site content and notable features and strengths, subject headings, and SuDoc classification numbers. An easy-to-use resource for looking up government information online. [Choice]

CONGRESS.gov
Congress' web site was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. The content in THOMAS includes bills, resolutions, legislative histories, public laws, roll call votes, the Congressional Record, Committee Reports, and other documents.

United States Government Documents on Women, 1800-1990: A Comprehensive Bibliography / Mary Ellen Huls. - Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993. - 2 v. ; 23 cm; Includes bibliographical references and indexes.; v. 1. Social issues -- v. 2 Labor. - Call Number: REF Z7964.U49H85
These two volumes list some 7,000 government publications on women, both those that are factual and those that present governmment policies and perceptions. Executive and congressional publications predominate; technical reports, ERIC studies, article reprints, and federal court cases are excluded. Volume 1 treats social issues in 21 chapters, volume 2 treats labor in 20; some publications on labor appear in volume 1 as well. Topics range from general issues to politics, education, health, and family. Each chapter begins with a brief historical essay defining the issue and highlighting significant publications. The entries themselves, in chronological order in each chapter, include a complete citation (including corporate or personal author, Superintendent of Documents number or Serial Set number) and a brief abstract. [Choice]

Using Government Information Sources: Electronic and Print, Third Edition / by Jean L. Sears and Marilyn K. Moody. - Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press, 2001. - 536 p. : ill.; 29 cm. - Includes bibliographical references and index. - Call Number: REF J83.S43
This very useful guide to using government information covers subject areas, agencies, statistical sources, and special techniques for such tasks as constructing legislative histories and analyzing budgets. A large number of official government Web sites, some unofficial sites, and online commercial tools are included, with Web page title, URL, and sample screen shots of typical pages. [Choice]

Subject Guide

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Richard Kearney
Contact:
Electronic Resources Librarian
Reference and Information Services Office, Room 107g
David and Lorraine Cheng Library
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
973-720-2165
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