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SubjectsPlus: U.S. Government

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Introduction
The Federal Depository Library Program originated in the early 1800s to distribute information collected and published by the U.S. government. Colgate University has been a depository of U.S. documents since 1902. We currently receive approximately 40 percent of the publications distributed by the government. We have a particularly strong collection of documents from the United States Congress, the Bureau of the Census, and from the Interior (including the National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey) and State Departments. Our collection contains documents in paper, on microfiche, CD, DVD, and online. Documents of interest in our collection include the decennial censuses (dating from 1790), hearings and reports from congressional committees, the Congressional Record, the Serial Set, laws, and the opinions of the Supreme Court.

Documents have their own call number system, the Superintendent of Documents Classification System, which was developed between 1895 and 1903. The system groups together publications of departments, bureaus, and agencies.
Lists of Government websites by Subject
Frequently Used Sites Unrestricted Access
Maintained by the Federal Documents Task Force of the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association. 

USA.gov Unrestricted Access
This is the official portal of the U.S. federal government. Browse or search by topic or agency. 

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Lists of Government websites by Agency
U.S. Federal Government Agencies Page Unrestricted Access
A comprehensive list of federal agency websites. Created by Louisiana State University in partnership with the Government Printing Office

USA.gov Unrestricted Access
This is the official portal of the U.S. federal government. Browse or search by topic or agency. 

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Search Engines/Indexes/Databases
Colgate's Library Catalog
Contains cataloging records for documents from July 1978 to the present. Some older documents have been cataloged, including documents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Civil Rights Commission, Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian.

FDsys - GPO`s Federal Digital System Unrestricted Access Some full text available
FDsys contains the official full text, most of it digitally authenticated, of a variety of government publications. Replaces GPO Access

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) Unrestricted Access Some full text available
Coverage: July 1976-- ; brief records for older material slowly being added. 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. The CGP contains descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online.

Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, 1895-1976 Restricted Access
Search by keyword, SuDocs call number, author, or title. Can also browse the paper equivalent. Records for documents older than 1924 do not have call numbers. Ask a reference librarian for help. Paper equivalents with 10 year cumulative indexes available in Case Ref Documents, call numbers beginning with Z1223

CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1789-1909 : guide to documents not printed in the U.S. serial set CASE Ref Document Z1223 .A1134 1990 Restricted Access
Arranged by agency and includes subject and name indexes.

CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1910-1932 : guide to documents not printed in the U.S. serial set CASE Ref Document Z1223 .A11346 1996 Restricted Access
Arranged by agency. Includes subject and name indexes.

Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909 CASE Ref Document Z1223 .A113 1911 Restricted Access
3rd ed., rev. and enl Washington : G.P.O., 1911 Note: arranged by department/agency. No subject, title or author index. Good tool to identify SuDocs call numbers for executive agency documents published before 1910.

USA.gov Unrestricted Access
This is the official portal of the U.S. federal government. Browse or search by topic or agency. 

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Evaluating the Government
General Accountability Office Unrestricted Access
The "investigative arm of Congress" and "the congressional watchdog." GAO supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government. Many of the GAO reports are available online; others are available in Case Library in the government documents microfiche collection.

Inspectors General
Each executive branch agency has an Inspector General. The primary responsibilities of the Inspectors General are to detect and prevent fraud, waste, abuse, and violations of law and to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the Federal Government.

The IG's office issues special and/or annual reports. Check the agencies websites or do a keyword searching the catalog for authors with the phrase inspector general.

Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity & Efficiency Unrestricted Access
The directory portion of this website links to the individual websites of Inspectors General of the federal government. Many of those websites include the reports of their investigations and audits.

Investigative hearings
Congress loves holding investigative hearings. Search ProQuest Congressional Restricted Access Some full text available to locate them. Results of investigations may result in reports. Search Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) Restricted Access Some full text available or the llibraries' catalog. If you only know the popular name of the report, try using Popular Names of U.S. Government Reports Case Reference J83 .L52 1984 Restricted Access Some full text available to determine the official title of the report.

Lobbying.
See the House and Senate webpages about Lobbying registration and disclosure. Then search: Lobbying Reports Unrestricted Access Some full text available
Required by the Disclosure Act of 1995 and collected by the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate. You can search for disclosure of lobbying expenses.

Search the catalog for the subject headings
Elections, Opinion polls and newspaper investigations, as well as books and articles about topics like welfare, the war in Iraq, etc. are other sources of evaluation.

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Last updated: July 28, 2010
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