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Government Documents: Collection

What are Government Documents?

A U.S. government document may be broadly defined as any publication issued at government expense or published under the authority of a governmental body. Included are official papers that record the actions or deliberations of government (such as the Congressional Record), informational publications (like the many statistical compilations of the Bureau of the Census), and reports of research done under government contract. 

The United States Government, often through the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and its predecessor agencies has provided open access to much U.S. information since 1790. 

 

Federal Websites

American FactFinder
American FactFinder provides access to data about the United States, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. The data in American FactFinder come from several censuses and surveys.

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
The CGP is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive information for historical and current publications as well as direct links to the full document, when available.

 

Congress.gov
Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information.

Data.gov
Data.gov is the U.S. Government website for open data on topics such as climate, energy, health, manufacturing, science & research, and more.

Federal Agency Websites
A-Z index of U.S. government departments and agencies.

Federal Register
The Federal Register is the daily journal of the United States government. It includes proposed rules, final rules, public notices and Presidential actions.

Founding Documents
This gallery highlights resources designed to enhance study of a few significant primary source documents from American history.

govInfo
govinfo is a service of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO). It provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal government. govinfo replaced FDSys as the information provider for the GPO.

Regulations.gov
Regulations.gov provides public users with access to federal regulatory content.

 

Tax Forms and Publications
The Internal Revenue Service website provides current tax forms, publications, and instructions.

USA.gov
USA.gov is the official web portal for the U.S. government.

Titles offered

A variety of law related titles are available to use in the library.

United States Code

The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 51 titles and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Code was first published in 1926. The next main edition was published in 1934, and subsequent main editions have been published every six years since 1934. In between editions, annual cumulative supplements are published in order to present the most current information.

FDsys contains virtual main editions of the U.S. Code. The information contained in the U.S. Code on FDsys has been provided to GPO by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. While every effort has been made to ensure that the U.S. Code on FDsys is accurate, those using it for legal research should verify their results against the printed version of the U.S. Code available through the Government Printing Office.

Of the 51 titles, the following titles have been enacted into positive (statutory) law: 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 23, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 46, 49, and 51. When a title of the Code was enacted into positive law, the text of the title became legal evidence of the law. Titles that have not been enacted into positive law are only prima facie evidence of the law. In that case, the Statutes at Large still govern.

The U.S. Code does not include regulations issued by executive branch agencies, decisions of the Federal courts, treaties, or laws enacted by State or local governments. Regulations issued by executive branch agencies are available in the Code of Federal Regulations. Proposed and recently adopted regulations may be found in the Federal Register. 

Federal Register

Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. The 50 subject matter titles contain one or more individual volumes, which are updated once each calendar year, on a staggered basis. The annual update cycle is as follows: titles 1-16 are revised as of January 1; titles 17-27 are revised as of April 1; titles 28-41 are revised as of July 1; and titles 42-50 are revised as of October 1. Each title is divided into chapters, which usually bear the name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts that cover specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided into subparts. All parts are organized in sections, and most citations to the CFR refer to material at the section level.

FCC Record

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.

Occupational Outlook Quarterly

OOQ provides practical information on jobs and careers. Articles are written in straightforward, non-technical language and cover a wide variety of career and work-related topics such as unusual occupations, tips for jobseekers, salary trends, and results of new studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Internal Revenue Bulletins

The Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) is the authoritative instrument for announcing official rulings and procedures of the IRS and for publishing Treasury Decisions, Executive Orders, Tax Conventions, legislation, court decisions, and other items of general interest.

Economic Indicators

Available from April 1995 forward, this monthly publication is prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers for the Joint Economic Committee. It provides economic information on gross domestic product, income, employment, production, business activity, prices, money, credit, security markets, Federal finance, and international statistics.

Supreme Court Decisions

The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and such number of Associate Justices as may be fixed by Congress. The number of Associate Justices is currently fixed at eight (28 U. S. C. §1). Power to nominate the Justices is vested in the President of the United States, and appointments are made with the advice and consent of the Senate. Article III, §1, of the Constitution further provides that "[t]he Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office."

 


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