U.S. Government Documents

The great majority of U.S. and foreign government documents and the publications of international organizations are housed in the Government Documents/Microforms Collection. Reference expertise is also available there. Many government documents are not represented in the HOLLIS Catalog.

Documents on some subjects go to Harvard subject collections, e.g., education to Gutman, science and environment to Cabot, and regional and urban planning to Loeb Design.

Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy

United States

Digitization Projects Registry is a listing of U.S. Government publication digitization efforts (Currently unavailable)

CyberCemetery archives ceased U.S. government websites, often of defunct government agencies and commissions.

FedFlix contains over 8700 government films back to the 1940s.

A historical guide to the U.S. government (1998) offers histories and name changes of government departments.
Location : Kennedy Sch of Gov Ref JK421 .H57 1998
Location : Lamont REFERENCE JK9 .H57 1998
Location : Law School Reference JK9 .H57 1998
Location : Widener RR 4213.30

Handbook for research in American history: a guide to bibliographies and other reference works, by Francis Paul Prucha. 2nd ed., rev. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994.
Location : Law School Harvard Depository E178.Z99 P78x 1994
Location : Widener RR 3621.7

United States: Constitution

Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution digitization of the print edition with its microform supplement.

U. S. Constitution Annotated (Congressional Research Service). Arranged by article and amendment, it links to Supreme Court opinions, the U.S. Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations. Also available in searchable format on GPO Access: The Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation.

United States: Congressional

Research Guide: U.S. Congressional Publications

Research Guide: Federal Legislative History

HeinOnline U.S. Federal Legislative Histories Library

U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1980 with American State Papers, 1789-1838 consists of reports, documents and journals of U.S. Congress, including reports originating in Executive Departments and submitted to Congress.

United States Congressional Serial Set Finding List: Agency Series Found in the Serial Set offers a list of government document series available in the Serial Set arranged by agency.

HeinOnline U.S. Congressional Documents  provides full-text access to the published debates, proceedings and speeches of the U.S. Congress, including the Annals of Congress(1789-1824), Register of Debates (1824-1837), Congressional Globe (1833-1873) and the Congressional Record (1873 to present).

ProQuest Congressional provides full-text access to Committee Hearings, House and Senate Documents, House and Senate Reports, Senate Executive Reports, Senate Executive Treaty Documents, Legislative Histories, Serial Set Maps, Serial Set. More information. Research guides are available at the ProQuest Congressional wiki.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation (Library of Congress) Brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75.

Early Republic: Critical Editions on the Founding of the United States includes 17 volumes of: Documentary history of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. Features a cumulative index and robust search engine, and to incorporate the full text of future volumes and other critical editions of documentary collections.

United States: Presidential

Research Guides:

U.S. Presidential Documents

American President: A Reference Resource (Miller Center, University of Virginia). At the bottom of each president’s page is a section, Scripps Library Reference Resources, with a link to a guide to each president’s papers.

Presidential Papers lists published papers (public and private) of U.S. presidents and provides information on finding their unpublished papers.

Digitized Collections

HeinOnline U.S. Presidential Library includes, among many other sources:

  • A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents compiled by James D. Richardson (Volumes 1-10, 1789-1897, George Washington to William McKinley)
  • A Compilation of Messages and Papers of the Presidents compiled by James D. Richardson (Volumes 1-20, 1789-1916, George Washington to Woodrow Wilson)
  • A Compilation of Messages and Papers of the Presidents compiled by James D. Richardson (Volumes 1-22, 1789-March 1929, George Washington to Herbert Hoover)
  • Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Roosevelt compiled by Samuel I. Rosenman (1928-1945)
  • Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, 1929-2001);
  • Code of Federal Regulations: Title 3 (1936-2001) which includes Proclamations, Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents including Administrative Orders and Reorganization Plans
  • Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States (1789-1989)
  • Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (Volumes 1-41, 1965-2005) and Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents (2005- )
  • Economic Reports of the President (1947-2006)
  • List and Index of Presidential Executive Orders, 1789-1941, edited by Clifford L. Lord
  • Presidential Executive Orders, edited by Clifford L. Lord (Volumes 1-2, 1862-1938)

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (University of California at Santa Barbara American Presidency Project)

United States: Executive Departments

ProQuest Executive Branch Documents 1789-1932 includes all of the 200,000+ executive branch titles listed in the Checklist of United States public documents 1789-1909 (1911) that were not included in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, as well as an additional 200,000 titles from 1910-1932. The Checklist is the only systematic effort to provide a complete listing of all documents published by the U.S. Government through 1909. The entire collection consists of approximately 11M pages

HeinOnline U.S. Federal Agency Library provides full-text access to the published administrative decisions and other issuances of a number of U.S. federal agencies, including the AEC, FCC, FTC, IRS, NLRB and SEC. Date coverage varies by publication.

HeinOnline Federal Register Library provides full-text access to:

  • Federal Register (volume 1, 1936 to near present)
    • Federal Register Indexes (volumes 1-70, 1936- near present)
    • Official U.S. Bulletin (1917-1919) (forerunner of Federal Register)
  • Code of Federal Regulations 1938- near present
  • Code of Emergency Federal Regulations, vol. 1 (1965)
  • Administrative Procedure Act (1944-1946)
    • Legislative History of the Administrative Procedure Act (1944-1946).
  • How to Find U. S. Statutes and U. S. Code Citations (3d ed.) (Washington: Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Service, 1977)
  • Privacy Act Issuances Compilation (1976-1991)
  • United States Government Manual (1935-2013)
  • Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (Vols. 1-45 (1965-2009)), continued as the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents

HeinOnline U.S. Attorney General Opinions provides full-text access to:

  • Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice (volumes 1-20, 1977-1996)
  • Official Opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States (volumes 1-43, 1791-1982)
  • Digest of the Published Opinions of the Attorneys-General, & of the Leading Decisions of the Federal Courts, with Reference to International Law, Treaties and Kindred Subjects (1877)

United States: Foreign Relations

Research Guide: U.S. Department of State Documents
The SHAFR Guide: An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600.

The Foreign Relations of the United States series, issued by the State Department largely comprises declassified material chosen to document US foreign relations. It is included together with other foreign relations documents in:

HeinOnline Foreign Relations of the United States (1861- ) provides full-text of Foreign Relations of the United States (1861- ) as well as other and earlier compendia, including:

  • Diplomatic correspondence of the United States concerning independence of the Latin-American nations.
  • Diplomatic correspondence of the United States: inter-American affairs, 1831-1860.
  • Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution.
  • Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, from the Signing of the Definitive Treaty of Peace, 10th September, 1783, to the Adoption of the Constitution, March 4, 1789”

Other versions:

Foreign Relations of the United States (Kennedy-Ford)

Foreign Relations of the United States (1861-1960) University of Wisconsin version

For earlier documents see:

U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1980 with American State Papers, 1789-1838 consists of reports, documents and journals of U.S. Congress, including reports originating in Executive Departments and submitted to Congress.

Public documents, including foreign policy messages, addresses, interviews, press briefings, conferences, and releases, congressional testimony, and similar materials are published in:

Peace and war, United States foreign policy, 1931-1941.
HOLLIS Record

A Decade of American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents 1941- 1949. Rev. ed.
HOLLIS Record
Online version

American foreign policy, 1950-1955 : basic documents. 2 v.
HOLLIS Record
Online version

American foreign policy, current documents, 1956-67. 11. v.
HOLLIS record
Online version

American Foreign Policy, Basic Documents, 1977-1980 
HOLLIS record

American foreign policy, current documents, 1981-
Online version (HathiTrust) 
Online version
HOLLIS Record

Other Electronic Resources for U.S. Foreign Relations (U.S. Dept. of State)

Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy (Mt Holyoke)