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Government Documents are one of the many primary sources available to you. Falling into the broad category of anything published or created by a government entity, these cover almost every subject and date from the origins of our country to the present day.
The Public Papers of the Presidents have been published for every president since Herbert Hoover in 1929. The volumes contain a compilation of speeches, press conferences, public messages, etc. Executive orders and proclamations were not regularly included until 1977 (beginning with the Jimmy Carter administration), the sources below include an archive of these documents.
Federal government agencies currently most more information and publications on their websites than they publish in print. Use Search USA.gov instead of Google to cut down on non-government results. This search engine includes .gov, .mil, .us and other official government domains for federal, state and local government in the United States.
Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) contains important diplomatic and intelligence communications between U.S. officials and between the U.S. and other countries. It is considered the official record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions, but are generally published about 30-35 years after events because of the sensitive nature of the documents included. FRUS volumes currently cover 1861-1980.
These sources include statistics on people living in the United States, or immigrating to the United States. Older immigration statistics can be found in the annual reports of the Immigration and Naturalization Services (or before 1933, the Bureau of Immigration). Copies of most of these can be found digitized in Hathi Trust or in print in the SLU Libraries
Many Government Documents from the last 20 years and frequently used historical documents can be found in the Libraries Catalog just like other books. We have many additional documents dating back to the 1860s that are not included in the catalog. They are located at the off campus Locust Street Library Facility and can be viewed by appointment, or sent by request to Pius Library. Contact Rebecca Hyde for more details. The resources below can help you identify documents we may have.