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Resources for U.S. Government Publications

New to Law School? Or have you forgotten where to find government information and documents? The Law Library provides access to free and subscription-based indexes and full-text sources of government publications. These databases are accessed from the Law Library Online Resources web page, grouped under the heading Government Resources.

Here is a quick overview of resources for locating government documents (including bills, hearings, committee reports, debates, statutes, regulations, committee information, agency decisions and treaties).

Subscription (available to users on the IU Bloomington campus only or remotely through our proxy server):

  • ProQuest Congressional (formerly LexisNexis Congressional) is a comprehensive resource for U.S. Congressional publications providing indexing, abstracts, and full text (PDFs and html) for legislative documents back to 1789.  Documents include committee reports, House and Senate documents, committee prints, bills, hearings, Public Laws, Statutes at Large, the Congressional Record, and more.
  • HeinOnline is a valuable resource because it provides full-text documents in PDF format and all document series are inclusive back to their inception. U.S. documents include the Congressional Record, the Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register, Statutes at Large, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and Public Papers of the Presidents, a Treaties and Agreements Library, Official Opinions of the U.S. Attorneys General, Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice, U.S. Reports (including slip opinions and preliminary prints) a library of U.S. federal agency publications, and compiled federal legislative histories.
  • CQ.com is most useful for legislative tracking and for its full coverage of happenings on the Hill. This service also includes CQ Weekly and topical databases like the CQ Budget Tracker.

Free (accessible anywhere):

  • Thomas is a Library of Congress website for the United States Congress containing the full-text of Congressional publications (bills, hearings, committee reports, debates, and statutes). It also contains committee information and information on the legislative process. Provides summary and full-text of congressional publications back to 1973.
  • FDsys (GPO’s Federal Digital System) provides public access to Government information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies.  Government information includes Congressional and Executive documents. Full-text documents, available in both PDF and text formats, go back to 1993-94.
  • USA.gov is an easy-to-search, free-access web site designed to give you a centralized place to find information from U.S. local, state and federal government agency web sites.  USA.gov offers a powerful search engine, an A-Z Agency Index, and a topical directory of web-accessible government information and services to help you find what you need.

If you need any assistance locating government information, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance at the reference desk.


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