Foreign Government & International Organization Documents

Lamont Level D which contains the ​government documents and microfilm is now closed.  Anyone wanting material must fill out a paper form at the Lamont Circulation Desk.  Material will be delivered within 2 hours.  Faculty and their RAs can be admitted to Level D by a librarian and left there alone.  Anyone else who needs physical access can be there in the presence of a librarian by appointment.  In any case the request form needs to be filled out for anything leaving Level D.  More information.

Do an Author search (adjust from any field to author) on your country in HOLLIS Advanced Search with Search Scope: Documents (Lamont).  Example. This should put you in the proper call number range.  Most foreign government documents are in a series of Widener call numbers (this material was transferred from Widener).  Some recent documents have Library of Congress numbers (Doc-LC) and a few have been sent to storage without call numbers.  Note that many records for former colonies bear only the colonial names (Gold Coast instead of Ghana), and can retrieved only with the colonial name as a Keyword search. List for former colonies with the new names.

You can browse the foreign government document Widener call numbers. Example for Russia-

In HOLLIS, use the “Starts with/Browse…” link on the basic search screen and browse Old Widener Call Number: Slav Doc 7.10.

Each country has its sequence of numbers. Russia is Slav Doc 7.10-Slav Doc 2500.85.  

You can do a search for everything in a Widener root call number, and then limit by language, format, date.  Go to Advanced Search, then Code: Local call number. For example Afrdoc*.  You must eliminate spaces and add the *.


Material in Swahili in the African government documents collection in Lamont

Call numbers for Bolivia are SA Doc 5500-SA Doc 5600. Search:

Code local call number contains: sadoc55??* OR sadoc56??*.  The ? each tale the place of 1 digit. The * is necessary.

There are some government documents in Widener and other libraries.  Country names can be searched in HOLLIS and WorldCat as Author keyword, but this usually retrieves numerous publications of NGOs, learned societies and other entities.  You can do a keyword search on country plus government department name, by searching likely department name terms and finding the proper name.

Or you can browse the country name as Author in Starts with/Browse...  A general and mixed group under just the country name will appear first, then the government departments. 

Level D is now closed and material must be requested. How Can I Access Government Documents and Microforms from Lamont Level D

To find foreign government documents beyond Harvard Library:

Government organization manuals: a bibliography, by Vladimir M. Palic. Washington : Library of Congress, 1975, 105 p.
HathiTrust version
--Lists government manuals and directories worldwide

LLMC Digital
Go to Online Services, then Browse Collections.  A rich source of legislative and judicial documents

WorldCat does not offer an Author browse.  The Library of Congress catalog can be browsed (AUTHORs/CREATORS beginning with)  to find material not held by Harvard.  The Department names can then be searched in WorldCat to obtain the OCLC number for an Interlibrary Loan request.

A British Library research guide offers useful overviews of the government publications of many countries. 

List of the serial publications of foreign governments, 1815-1931, edited by Winifred Gregory. NY: The H. W. Wilson company, 1932, 720 p.
Internet Archive Full text


Lists of Published/Digitized National Foreign Relations Series

Other guides are available on national library websites. Also try an Advanced Google search:

all these words: ‘your country’ Library
this exact word or phrase: Government documents
any of these words: Guide research resources

In another search replace Government documents with Government publications

Books describing government documents can be useful. In HOLLIS/WorldCat Advanced Search, search as Subject:
"Government publications"  "Africa, French-speaking Equatorial"  Bibliography.


Historical Documents of the Dutch Parliament 1814-1995

Great Britain

Research Guide: Great Britain: Guide to the Documents

UK Parliamentary Papers includes committee reports, reports submitted to Parliament, draft bills, debates, and other material emanating from both Commons and Lords. For more on Parliamentary papers..

Parliamentary Debates: Historic Hansard

State Papers Online: The Government of Britain 1509-1782 includes State Papers Domestic and Foreign (-1714) with the Registers of the Privy Council and State Papers in the British Library

UK Government Web Archive (1996- ) offers UK central government information including videos, tweets, images and websites.

International Organizations

Research Guide: League of Nations Documents

Research Guide: UNESCO Documents

Research Guide: United Nations Documents

Research Guide: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Documents


Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) (Berkeley)   Sections on human rights, humanitarian relief, environmental and other types. Oxfam 1942 International Rescue Committee 1933  Human Rights Watch 1978

International Inter-Governmental & Non-Governmental Organizations

Non-Governmental Organizations (Michigan)