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Government Publications: Subjects

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Government Information by Subject Area

Jump to a subject: Business & Consumer | CensusGeographyHealth | History | Research Agencies | Science | Statistics

Business & Consumer

ALFRED™ — provides “vintage versions” of economic data. At present, the earliest data is from 1927, with plans to add prior years. Requires the user to setup an account to manage data downloads.

ConsumerFinance.gov — Information for consumers about financial issues, including a complaints database,  and research on credit and mortgages.

Contract Opportunities (beta.sam.gov) — lookup information on business loans and grants, and current available government contracts.

FRED: Economic Research — the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis provides this database which includes over 3000 economic time series. Data can be viewed or downloaded in text format or Microsoft® Excel.

FDIC: Consumer Protection — “Find resources provided by the FDIC to educate and protect consumers, revitalize communities, and promote compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws.”

Fed in Print — Search online publications from all Federal Reserve banks and the Federal Reserve Board. "In the early 1960s, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia began compiling an index of articles published by all of the Federal Reserve banks. These articles appeared in the Federal Reserve Bulletin and the business reviews of the individual banks. The topics covered regional economic conditions, monetary and fiscal matters, in addition to topics on more general business areas."

FRASER » Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research — “On this web site you will find links to scanned images (in Adobe® Acrobat® PDF format) of historical economic statistical publications, releases, and documents.” When used with FRED (above), the data collected would allow a researcher to gather longer, uninterrupted time series.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) — allows you to search for a classification code in the 2017, 2012 or 2007 system. The site also includes reference files and downloads for the four most recent editions, 2002 to the present, of NAICS.

Shopping and Consumer Issues: USA.gov — includes links to pages from government agencies with information and tips on a variety of consumer-related subjects such as: better business bureaus, car safety, the Do-Not-Call Registry, food safety, identity theft, spyware, and workplace safety, among others.  Agencies linked from this page include the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, National Credit Union Administration, IRS, and Federal Communications Commission.

Census

2010 Census - Census Block Maps — "These large-scale maps show the boundaries and numbers for all census blocks within an entity. In addition to state and county, these maps show the boundaries, names and codes for American Indian areas, Alaska Native areas, Hawaiian home lands, county subdivisions, places and census tracts. These maps also show and label base features, such as roads, railroads and hydrography."  Maps are in PDF format.

data.census.gov — is the Census Bureau's new site for access to population, housing, economic, and geographic data. The site uses a simple search box to begin, or you can use the advanced search option to chose from a series of filters that will help you narrow your search. Visit Census Academy to view brief video tutorials, called Data Gems, such as "How to Navigate data.census.gov" or follow the breadcrumbs at the top of the page backward from Census.gov > Census Academy > Data Gems > How to Navigate data.census.gov to search for other tutorials.

Census of Agriculture — includes current statistics on the state of agriculture in the U.S. and historical statistics from 1840 to the present. The drop-down menu at the top or the left (depending on your screen) includes historical census agriculture data prior to 2007.

ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States [NIU subscription] — the new database is a replacement of the venerable federal publication Statistical Abstract of the United States (1878). The latter is updated monthly, as opposed to annually, and offers a comprehensive statistical summary of the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. The database comprehends more than 1,400 statistical tables derived from approximately 400 separate sources.

Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts — On this page you will find links to a variety of Census publications from 1790 to the present, with statistics from the decennial censuses covering regions, states, counties, municipal areas and places. Many of the historical publications are scanned copies of the originals, resulting in large file sizes, but there are also smaller PDF files and data in simple tabular format. Do not overlook the link at the top of the page for Census of Population and Housing Reports which covers 1790—2000 and special collections of historical census documents.

Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates — includes recent poverty and income estimates for smaller geographic areas, such as school districts and counties.

Statistical Abstract series — This site includes the entire run of the discontinued Statistical Abstract from 1878 to 2012. This is an excellent source of historic economic and social statistics, covering a wide range of topics. Listings include citations to primary sources. Mostly for the U.S. but also has some international tables. 

Geography

American Memory Map Collections: 1500–2004 — This site focuses on “Americana and Cartographic Treasures of the Library of Congress.”

Daily Weather Maps — provides an historical archive of maps for 1871 to the present. Maps can be downloaded as either a large PDF or in .Djvu format. There is a browser plugin and standalone viewer for Djvu files here.

Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) — look up geographic features to find latitude, longitude.

ISGS Map Information — a variety of maps available from the Illinois Geological Survey, including coal, oil and gas, and land cover.

ISWS - Illinois Maps — Illinois State Water Survey maps portray data for topics such as water supply, watersheds, and precipitation.

USGS Geography: The National Map — an interactive mapping tool based on the United States National Map.

Health

Data & Statistics — statistics on a wide range of topics, from aging to workplace safety, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Healthy People — provides current and historical monitoring data for tracking the Healthy People program - an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services that continuously measures the health progress of Americans against goals for disease prevention and health promotion.

IPLAN — designed for use in health needs assessments of communities in Illinois, this site offers data on vital statistics at the community and county level.

IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System) — Site description: “IRIS is a database of human health effects that may result from exposure to various substances found in the environment.”

Medline Plus — the National Institutes of Health's central website for up-to-date information on health issues.  "You can use MedlinePlus to learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of words, or view medical videos or illustrations. You can also get links to the latest medical research on your topic or find out about clinical trials on a disease or condition." This site is intended for use by both consumers and medical professionals.

Opioid Data Dashboard -- From the news release: "The Opioid Data Dashboard is an interactive website that offers information on how opioids are affecting people in Illinois.  The dashboard consists of three categories: Morbidity and Mortality, Trends, and Prescription Opioids.  Morbidity and Mortality data includes the rate of fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses by county, as well as the number of overdoses by zip code.  Trends looks at fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses by age group, race, sex, and cause (heroin vs. other opioids).  Prescription Opioids includes data on the rate, by county, of opioids being prescribed, as well as the daily average of opioids being prescribed.  It also includes the annual number of total patients being prescribed an opioid and total number of prescriptions issued."

Public Health Image Library (PHIL) — The collection of images is intended for use by “public health professionals, the media, laboratory scientists, educators, students, and the worldwide public to use this material for reference, teaching, presentation, and public health messages. The content is organized into hierarchical categories of people, places, and science, and is presented as single images, image sets, and multimedia files.”

PubMed — description from the site: “PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, includes over 15 million citations for biomedical articles back to the 1950’s. These citations are from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources.”

Vital Statistics of the United States — From the site: “Annual reports that present detailed vital statistics data, including natality, mortality, marriage and divorce. These reports are available for download or as bound volumes in many large public and university libraries.”

World Health Reports — Description from the site: “Each year the report combines an expert assessment of global health, including statistics relating to all countries, with a focus on a specific subject. The main purpose of the report is to provide countries, donor agencies, international organizations and others with the information they need to help them make policy and funding decisions.” The website hosts the annual reports from 1995 to the present.

History

Foreign Relations of the United States— electronic facsimile — for older historic volumes, or the official State Department site for more recent ones.

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.

League of Nations Statistical and Disarmament Documents — “Contains the full-text of 260 League of Nations documents including the Statistical Yearbook of the League of Nations (1926–1944).”

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.

National Archives Catalog — Search the National Archives huge collection of digitized 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 (1992 to the present).

Rotunda [NIU subscription]The American Founding Era collection is a gateway into one of the great conversations in history. These newly prepared digital edition of the papers of Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Washington are presented in a fully searchable and interoperable environment.

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.

World War I Document Archive — “This archive of primary documents from World War One has been assembled by volunteers of the World War I Military History List (WWI-L). International in focus, the archive intends to present in one location primary documents concerning the Great War.”

World War II 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.

Research Agencies

Congressional Budget Office — analyzes and predicts the impact of various budget proposals, at the request of Congress.

Congressional Research Service Reports — search this site for reports on legislation or any other topic of interest to Congress. The reports here cover a broad array of subjects and provide non-partisan research. Until recently these reports were not made easily available to the public. The agency continues to add reports from their back file. Prior to the launch of this site, many sources, including the three listed below, provided access to as many reports as they could. Some of those reports are not yet included on this site.

  • Congressional Research Service Reports, Hosted by UNT Libraries — Vast collection (over 6500 reports) harvested from the rest of Internet, hosted by the University of North Texas Libraries.
  • Congressional Research Service [CRS] Reports — These reports cover secrecy and information policy, foreign policy and regional issues, conventional weapons systems, terrorism, homeland and general national security. This site is maintained by the Federation of American Scientists.
  • EveryCRSreport.com -- website gathers reports directly from the Congressional Research Service and makes them available to browse, search, or bulk download.

Government Accountability Office — formerly the General Accounting Office, this agency performs critical analysis, and auditing of government programs. An office of the Congress, the GAO also responds to requests from heads of cabinet departments in the executive branch. The site includes digital versions of GAO reports from 1950 to the present.

Science

Daily Weather Maps — provides an historical archive of maps for 1871 to the present. Maps can be downloaded as either a large PDF or in .Djvu format. There is a browser plugin and standalone viewer for Djvu files here.

EPA National Library Catalog — find PDF versions of EPA reports back to 1970. If an electronic version is not available this catalog can often provide the location of a print version. If you find an item in the NIU Libraries' catalog that is only available on microfiche, the EPA's catalog search could provide a better alternative.

NASA Technical Reports Server — search for abstracts and technical reports across multiple databases from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The National Climatic Data Center Image and Publications System (IPS)  — Hosts a number of climate data publications with coverage from the 1950's to the present: Monthly Climatic Data for the World, Storm Data, Local Climatological Data, Climatological Data, Hourly Precipitation Data, among others. The individual issues for each title are available in pdf format. Access to these titles is free through the .edu domain. Please note that while the Local Climatological Data and Hourly Precipitation Data series have both been discontinued, the historical run of these titles is still available at the IPS website. For current data the agency now directs users to their Climate Data Online Data Tools website.

Patent Search (US Patent and Trademark Office) — Search from this site to view TIFF patent images. The seven step strategy describes a method for patent searching. Includes a web-based tutorial and a detailed handout.

Publications Warehouse of the U.S. Geological Survey — a searchable database of electronic publications of the USGS.

Science.gov — This under-rated site searches across agencies. You may get too many results on your initial query, but the search engine offers facets such as agency and date of publication to help filter the results.

Treesearch — Forest Service Research & Development -- one stop site for Research & Development Publications of the US Forest Service, online.

USGS Water Data for Illinois — “This site contains a large amount of real time and historic surface-water and ground-water data in various formats.”

Statistics

ALFRED™ — provides “vintage versions” of economic data. At present, the earliest data is from 1996, with plans to add prior years. Requires the user to setup an account to manage data downloads.

Annuals (National Center for Education Statistics) — This site includes popular annual statistical publications from the National Center for Education Statistics, such as: The Condition of Education, and The Digest of Education Statistics.

Bureau of Economic Analysis — publishes statistics on Gross Domestic Product, Trade in goods and services, Balance of Payments, State and Local Personal Income. This site is the home of Survey of Current Business.

Bureau of Justice Statistics — This agency provides data on justice-related topics such as: crime & victims, law enforcement (at various levels of government: federal, state, local, and campus), courts & sentencing, and corrections. The agency also offers access to data in spreadsheet format, and datasets.

Bureau of Labor Statistics — Statistics available from this site includes data on a variety of labor related subjects such as: inflation & consumer spending, employment & unemployment, wages & benefits, productivity, safety & health. The BLS also publishes the continuously updated Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics — This agency publishes statistics on transportation such as airline on-time performance, and traffic volume, as well as data on trade. Two major resources available here are the National Transportation Library and TranStats, which provides access to multiple databases related to transportation.

Economic Report of the President — this site includes this annual report from 1995 forward. While the first half of each year's report focuses on the administration's policies, the second half provides statistical tables for general economic data such as gross domestic product, income, employment, business activity, the consumer price index, government finance and corporate finance. Many of the tables cover thirty years or more. The FRASER site hosts the historical run of Economic Reports back to 1947.

FRASER » Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research — “On this web site you will find links to scanned images (in PDF format) of historical economic statistical publications, releases, and documents.” When used with FRED II (above), the data collected would allow a researcher to gather longer, uninterrupted time series.

FRED: Economic Research — the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis provides this database which includes over 765,000 economic U.S. and international time series from 96 sources. Data can be viewed or downloaded in text format or as a spreadsheet (.xls format).

Historical Statistics of the United States, Millennial Edition [NIU subscription] — includes statistics from the pre-Revolutionary War period to the present, on a broad-range of historical topics. Each topical section includes explanations placing statistics in historical context. Tables can be downloaded in different formats.

Immigration Statistics — from the Department of Homeland Security, posted here are latest releases on immigration data such as: statistics on legal permanent residents, unauthorized immigrant population estimates, and enforcement actions. The site includes past issues of the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, for 1996 to the present.

IPLAN — designed for use in health needs assessments of communities in Illinois, this site offers data on vital statistics at the community and county level.

NIOSH Data & Statistics Gateway — statistics on a wide range of topics, from aging to workplace safety, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

National Center for Education Statistics — This agency is the central source for statistics on education, from the federal government.

National Center for Health Statistics — principal health statistics agency for the United States. This site provides statistics on the health status of the population and population sub-groups, along with data and analysis on use of health care, and related topics, such as disease, mortality and natality.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service — includes many statistical publications. You can search the website or choose a broad category from their topical index.

National Vital Statistics System gathers and publishes statistics for births, deaths, marriages, divorces and fetal deaths. This source appears to carry on where the Vital Statistics of the United States leaves off, making available current data as it is published.

ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States [NIU subscription] — the new database is a replacement of the venerable federal publication Statistical Abstract of the United States (1878). The latter is updated monthly, as opposed to annually, and offers a comprehensive statistical summary of the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. The database comprehends more than 1,400 statistical tables derived from approximately 400 separate sources.