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Research Guides@Tufts

Government Publications: United States: Historic Government Documents

Helpful Hints

This is just a selection of the various indexes and sources available.  They make great primary sources for history, political science, etc. papers, anytime you need to find a source dealing with history, as the government has probably had some play in the event.

Map from the U.S. Serial Set

Historic Government Publications

ProQuest Congressional 
The major online resource for information on all aspects of Congressional work. Includes hearing transcripts, committee reports, bills, CRS Reports, the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and public laws. 

Public Documents Masterfile  1789 - 
An electronic guide to federal, state, local and international public documents, spanning over 200 years of publication, in a single searchable database.

U.S. Statutes at Large in ProQuest Congressional
Bills, laws, and legislative histories. 

U.S. Statutes at Large in HeinOnline
Search laws, bills, legislative histories, regulatory documents, and law review articles. 

American State Papers 1789-1838      
An anthology of selected digitized Congressional and executive documents originating from the period between 1789 and the beginning of the "U.S. Congressional Serial Set" in 1817.  Some documents may appear in here and not the Serial Set and vice versa.

US Congressional Serial Set 1817-1994  
Digitized reports, documents and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and executive branch/agency publications.  The title says 1980, but it is in progress, be sure to check the upper right hand corner to find out the latest date.

Making of the Modern World  1450-1850 
Full-text searching of digital facsimile images of literature on economy and business.  Includes some very early publications published for the Federal Government before the Government Printing Office started printing.  See the help section of the US Congressional Serial Set for a list of printers.

United States Statutes at Large ( (Stat.) 1789-1875 
The official text of U.S. public and private laws.  
Print: Tisch Reference KF 50 .U5 (1789- )  

Congressional Record and predecessors

A Century of Law Making For a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774-1875.  Library of Congress  
Documents from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, Statutes and Documents, Journals of Congress, and Debates of Congress.

Foreign Relations of the United States.  (various titles)  1861-   .  This series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity.
    Tisch Books Stacks JX 233 .A3.  No real index, except one covering 1900-1918.  1870-1930 list of papers in front and index in the back of each volume.  1930’s on some volumes list coverage on the spine and have an index in the back of each volume.
    Please NOTE:  Supplemental documents were issued on microfiche.  Guides will appear with those volumes updated and the microfiche will be in Microforms and Current Periodicals in MRF181.
    Online: The Office of the Historian's site has documents from the Truman administration to Reagan.  Earlier volumes available and searchable from the University of Wisconsin's Digital Collections

Public papers of the Presidents of the United States1929 -  .   Hoover through Bracka Obama, but not FDR (published separately) Ref  J 80 .A28. 
The Cumulated  Indexes to the Public papers of the Presidents of the United States…  Ref J 82
Online at the American Presidency Project  and at the University of Michigan
Clinton to Obama (as much as has been released) at GPO's FDSys 

Papers of various Presidents, from the Library of Congress:
George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Abraham Lincoln
James Madison
Search for more in the American Memory Project and the Avalon Project

Avalon Project at the Yale Law School
A digital library of pre-18th to 20th century documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government, with annotations, indexes, and links to supporting materials.

Economic Report of the President 1947 to the present
From FRASER, the Federal Reserve Archive