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Government Resources: Introduction & Search Engines

This guide is to direct patrons and the community to resources available from the U.S. government.

Introduction & Search Engines

Government resources are a rich source for statistical and research information. Government resources are generally considered authoritative and scholarly sources of information. Additionally, most government  resources have no copyright restrictions. Millions of government documents are currently being digitized by the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) with a goal to make them more accessible. Currently, some subject collections date back to the 1700s. Due to the amount of online information available, it is recommended researchers start by using a search engine or provided links with more specific topics to begin. For accessing datasets and statistical resources, use the "statistical resources" tab.

These are important links for searching through the many resources of the government information.

 

The government provides a great deal of statistical information. The U.S. Census Bureau is rapidly making the resources more accessible. Two new resources, Explore Census Data and Census Business Builder, allow users to search through multiple interactive layer datasets. Updated versions are introduced every other month. Because of this rapid change, it is best to use the help options on the websites. In addition, the most recent instructional webinars are available at the FDLP Training Academy. You can search with keywords in the search box provided on that page.

Expert Tip: You can refine your search by using the Subject Table Codes listed here. Using a code will help you to narrow your search by knowing the datasets.