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Encyclopedias & More: Government Publications and Homeland Security

Find specialized academic encyclopedia entries, dictionary definitions and more!

Government Documents Reference Materials

United States Government Manual

The official handbook of the federal government. This version is continuously updated so that the information is current. The Manual provides an organizational chart of the U.S. government, and for each agency, it includes a description, lists the personnel, and cites the legislation that initially created the agency. For cabinet level departments, the manual includes an organizational chart for that department. For members of Congress, only their name, State/Territory/District that they represent, and their room number, are given. Includes links to the House and Senate websites.

Executive Branch Materials

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code (CFR) brings together the rules published by executive branch agencies and departments, into a systematic whole. Each section (or Title, as they are named),covers a general subject, such as Title 26: Internal Revenue, or Title 42: Public Health. Proposed rules are published in the Federal Register (below), then later compiled into the annual edition of the CFR. The Federal Register Office also maintains the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations to provide an up-to-date version of the Code. The e-CFR website claims that revisions are included within two business days. However, they include the disclaimer that the e-CFR is not the official legal edition.

Compilation of Presidential Documents

Listing of presidential remarks, addresses, bill signings and other events as they happen (1993 to the present). Prior to 2009, these compilations were published weekly. Since that time, documents are compiled daily.

Federal Register

Daily record of proposed regulations and notices from the executive branch. This includes the various cabinet level departments like Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, etc., as well as executive orders from the office of the President. The Office of the Federal Register publishes a livelier, more dynamic version, often referred to as Federal Register 2.0, at FederalRegister.gov.

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

Compilation of presidential remarks, addresses, bill signings and other events (1992 to the present). The University of Michigan hosts a digital version of the historical collection, covering the administrations of Herbert Hoover and presidents from Harry Truman to the present.

Judicial Branch Materials

Supreme Court

High court opinions from 2002 onward, with oral arguments and more.

Supreme Court Nomination Hearings (1971–forward)

PDF files of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings (since 1971) for Supreme Court nominees who became justices. Scroll down the Additional Government Publications page and click on Supreme Court Nomination Hearings. Click on the heading to expand the list of nominees.

Supreme Court Nominations

From the Law Library Reading Room of the Library of Congress, this site hosts full-text copies of all Senate floor statements, hearings and floor votes on Supreme Court nominees since Homer Thornberry in 1968. This includes nominees confirmed and not confirmed.

Legislative Branch Materials

Congressional Committee Prints

Prints are “non-hearings,” including committee rules, research by committee staff on a given topic, and statistical reports.

Congressional Directory

The official directory of the US Congress includes short biographical information on each member, as well as committee memberships, staff, and contact information. For representatives, the directory includes a listing of counties, cities, and towns in their elected district, along with ZIP codes. This looks like the best place to get an address, phone number, and/or FAX number for members of Congress, which is not always easy to find on their homepages.

Congressional Documents

Reports from the office of the President, independent agencies, and international agreements, submitted to committees of Congress.

Congressional Hearings including House and Senate Appropriations Hearings

Good for browsing all committees. Arrangement is hierarchical, by Congress, Chamber, and then by committee. For instance, the 111th Congress covers the years 2009–2010, and includes House hearings, Senate hearings, and hearings from various committees of each chamber.

Congressional Record

The official record of the proceedings and debates on the floor of Congress (1994 to the present).

Congressional Reports

Reports dealing with committee views on proposed legislation (supporting or opposing) and issues being investigated. The help link from this section of FDSys includes information about the Congressional Serial Set.

LLSCD's Legislative Source Book

At the top of the list is a status table on selected current legislation and listings of the final status of legislation from recent Congresses. The sourcebook also provides a wealth of legislative-related information not found elsewhere, such as a guide to Federal Legislative History Research.

Statutes at Large

These are the laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. They are presented in order of the date they were enacted. There is normally a delay of several years before the Statutes are published. At present, this page of GPO has a digitalized collection of the Statutes, covering 1951–2010 (covering 82nd Congress to 111th Congress, second session). The Library of Congress Century of Lawmaking website includes the earliest years, 1789–1875, which you can browse or search. For current laws (1995–the present), see the Public and Private Laws collection.

United States Code

The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 50 titles. The Office of Law Revision Counsel hosts a website offering volumes of the US Code that can be browsed or downloaded. The downloadable code volumes are available in ASCII text, PDF, or XHTML format.

Illinois State Government Materials

Illinois Courts

Includes opinions, oral arguments, and annual and other statistical reports of the State Supreme Court, Appellate Courts, and Circuit Courts, as well as many other resources.

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. This site now includes resources that used to be on the pages for the Electronic Documents Initiative (EDI), and Find-It Illinois.

Illinois General Assembly

This site includes the:

Illinois Administrative Code,

Illinois Compiled Statutes, and

Illinois Register,

as well information on General Assembly action. The site has a link to Legislator Lookup, which will provide mailing address, phone and FAX numbers, and homepage for Illinois legislators in the General Assembly, US Senators and Representatives in Washington. It will also give information for Illinois statewide officials such as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Comptroller and Treasurer. Search is by district, official's name, or street address of the constituent.

State Government Publications & Forms

Also includes the Illinois Blue Book  and Handbook of Illinois Government.