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Government Documents Collections and Services at Morris Library   Tags: government documents, resources  

This guide serves as a point of access to government information for the constituents of Southern Illinois University of Carbondale and the citizens of Illinois' 12th Congressional District.
Last Updated: Nov 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Historical GovDocs Research Resources Print Page

Featured Online Collections of Historical Government Documents

American Memory — From the site: American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. These materials chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America.”

Federal Newsmaps — From the University of North Texas, Digital Collection, newsmaps are one or two page news briefs on conditions at battlefronts during World War II, and living conditions immediately after the war. Photographs as well as maps enhance these brief narratives.

Foreign Relations of the United States— electronic facsimile — for older historic volumes 1861-1958/1960 [375 vols.], or the official State Department site for more recent ones: 1977-1980, or the paper version at Morris Library (1870-1980) under the call number S 1.1.

Historical Census Browser — This site allows you to browse tables of census data from 1790 through 1960 by category, sort data, and create maps based on the data you select. The available categories from the Census of Population and Housing are: General Population, Ethnicity/Race/Place of Birth, Education & Literacy, Agriculture, Economy/Manufacturing/Employment, and Slave Population. The tables resulting from your selection cannot be downloaded directly in another format (i.e., spreadsheet), but tables can be printed or information copied and pasted to another document.

Historical Publications of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights — the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland has made available a large digital collection of recent and historic publications of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. These documents are arranged by subject, date, alphabetically and an interesting geographic arrangement using Google Maps. The publications are in PDF format.

Illinois Digital Archives — Browse this digital collection of archival material from selected Illinois libraries. Among the types of material you can find here are photographs, ledgers, posters, and sound files from the 19th century to the present. The collection includes detailed records for each item, and a URL if a digitized item is available on another site.

Military Legal Resources — Digital collection hosted by the Library of Congress Federal Research Division, includes digital copies of historical documents such as the Nuremburg Tribunals Nazi Consipracy and Aggression, the Geneva Conventions and American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1970.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion — this documentary collection from the Civil War gathers official reports of naval operations, and correspondence, from the Union and Confederate sides of the conflict. The original print series was published by the Navy Department between 1894 and 1922. The digital series is made available from Cornell University Library as part of their Making of America project.

NARA Online Public Access — Search the National Archives huge collection of digitzed material and their record files, all from this easy single search box. An advanced search is also available.

Primary Documents in American History — The initial release of this site from the Library of Congress, covers the period from 1763 to 1877. Each entry includes a scanned image of the document, along with an extensive annotated bibliography of resources available from the Library’s own site, external websites and print resources.

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States — compilation of presidential remarks, addresses, bill signings and other events. The University of Michigan hosts a digital version of the historical collection of Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, covering the administrations of Herbert Hoover and presidents from Harry Truman to the present.

U.S. Congressional Documents & Debates 1774-1875 — provides a documentary history of the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, as well as early volumes of Statutes, House and Senate Journals and the debates of Congress. Available volumes of the debates, offered at this site, include the Congressional Record for the 43rd Congress (1873–1875) and the preceding titles: Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, and Congressional Globe.

War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies — this documentary collection from the Civil War gathers official reports of military operations, and correspondence, from both sides of the conflict. The original 128-volume print series was published by the War Department between 1880 and 1901. The digital series is made available from Cornell as part of their Making of America project.

Essential Historical Government Documents Research Tools

  • Basic Collection of U.S. Federal Government Documents
    Many online full text available.
  • FDsys
    GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.
  • Advanced Google Search
    e.g. e.g. "American Indian history and government,," "cold war and America history,"
  • GPO's Catalog of Government Publications (1976-Present)
    The CGP is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online. Users can search by authoring agency, title, subject, and general key word, or click on "Advanced Search" for more options.
  • Hathi Trust Digital Library
    It has many digitized full text of historical government documents.
  • HeinOnline
    U.S. Foreign Relations of the United States, Treaties and Agreements, Pentagon Papers, and more.
  • I-Share
    Search and request books from colleges and universities all over Illinois.
  • I-Share@Morris
    Government documents housed in Morris Library or official digital government documents. U.S. Federal Government Documents 1990-present.
  • ProQuest Congressional (Former LexisNexis Congressional)
    Great online index and abstract of U.S. Congressional publications 1789-. Many full text of historical Congressional publications available. It provides indexing and abstracting for congressional hearings, prints, bills, reports and documents. It provides full text access to congressional bills and resolutions (from 1989), reports and documents, provides bibliographic information to congressional hearings, and biographical and voting information for members of Congress. Indexes historical publications, 1789-1969 and unpublished hearings, 1823-1972. It also provides full text access to the Federal Register (from 1980), the Congressional Record (from 1985) and the National Journal (from 1977).
  • SIUCat Classic Search
    The Morris Library catalog with the classic interface.
    Official U.S. government portal site for searching Federal, State, local, tribal government documents. e.g. “American indian history”
  • WorldCat Search
    Worldwide union catalog created and maintained collectively by more than 9,000 member institutions. Many historical govdocs are cataloged here. If you find a resource in WorldCat, check in I-Share to see if you can order it. If not, try Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Go to library homepage for instructions on ILL.

List of Online Resources of U.S. Federal Government Documents

  • Morris Library List of Government Documents Online Resrouces
    The list provides convenient links to essential online resources of U.S. Federal, IL State and other states' government information. You can also find convenient links to some major international government organizations' websites. Some other research libraries such as UC Berkley, Stanford University, Rutgers University, etc, created great online research guides of online resources for searching and accessing international and foreign countries' government information. A few such guides are selected as additional help.

SuDocs Number System

Morris Library uses three different numbering systems to shelve materials: SuDocs, Dewey and LC. U.S. Federal Government Documents are arranged by SuDocs Number System. The tables below are their comparison.

SuDocs Call Number
Issuing Department C Commerce Department
Subagency 3 Bureau of the Census
Series 134/2 : Statistical Abstract Supplement
Title and date C 83/2/994 County and City Data Book, 1994

Dewey Decimal Library of Congress
Classification Number 959.703
Classification Number E169.12
Author and Book Number B811i Author and Book Number L53
Year of publication (for this issue) 2000 Year of publication (for this issue) 2012

Where are government documents shelved in Morris Library?

US Federal government documents received through FDLP in all tangible formats - paper, microfiche, CD, DVD, VHS are shelved by SuDocs number (e.g. A 93.10/2:160 Agriculture Outlook No.160). They are located on Morris Library’s 3rd floor. Some maps are shelved in Map Library located on the 4th floor. Please consult the library catalog for the call number and the location information of a specifc document.

Illinois State government documents received in paper through State Depository Program in 2002 and thereafter are shelved by Library of Congress Classification Numbers. They are located on Morris Library’s 4th and 5th floor. Please consult the library catalog for the call number and the location information of a specific document.

Illinois State government documents received in paper through State Depostiory Program before 2002 are shelved by Dewey Decimal Call Numbers and are located in the basement. Please consult the library catalog for the call number and the location information of a specific document.

Contact Morris

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Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901
Information Desk: (618) 453-2818
Administrative Office: (618) 453-2522
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