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US Government Information

This guide is designed to assist researchers in gaining access to United States federal information available within the library’s collections and databases, and online.

Collections With FDLP Materials @ MSU Libraries

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"Free Access" by United States GPO

  • Federal Depository Collection by Superintendent of Documents Call Number: As with many larger selective FDLP collections, MSU Libraries houses a collection of publications in print, microfiche, and DVD/CD media filed by federal Su Docs number. These call numbers are assigned by the Superintendent of Documents and are used throughout the FDLP system. Materials include a collection of print documents in the Research Services room (2nd fl), documents in microfiche with a digital scanner (2nd fl), and resources on DVD/CD-ROM (2nd fl). Print and DVD/CD materials circulate. For assistance in finding the documents you need in these collections contact Christine Fletcher.
  • Legal and Other Reference Titles: Legal series such as the Code of Federal Regulations or Statutes at Large and other common reference titles such as the Statistical Abstracts of the United States are part of the Reference collection housed in Research Services (2nd fl), and are listed in the Libraries' Online Catalog to assist patrons in locating them. These titles do not circulate, but can be used in-house. A free scanner as well as printers are available in this area. For assistance with the Reference Collection, contact Christine Fletcher or Ask-A-Librarian to speak with a Subject Specialist in your field.
  • Circulating Collection: Many titles from the FDLP are merged into our main Circulating Collection (3rd and 4th fls) to better serve our researchers, and all of these materials are listed in the Online Catalog. These include titles relevant to areas of study core to a Land Grant University such as agriculture, soil science, and food sciences. Documents covering major historical or popular events are also included. If you enjoy browsing your favorite subject on the shelves, you will likely come across a government document along the way. They can be as easy to locate as any book. For assistance in finding what you want in our Circulating Collection simply Ask-A-Librarian.
  • Mississippi History in Special Collections: Stand-alone documents from the FDLP that focus on Mississippi are available in our Special Collections Department (3rd fl), better enabling our researchers to find materials they need about the state, its history, and its people. These materials are listed in the Libraries' Online Catalog, and they do not circulate. For assistance with these materials, contact Special Collections, and our Archivists in this department will assist you in locating the information you need.
  • Civil War Research: Researchers using the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library (4th fl) can also find FDLP documents on the Civil War while using that collection. These titles are in the Libraries' Online Catalog and do not circulate. Topics include military histories from the Department of Defense, battlefield archeology and surveys from the National Parks Service, etc. For assistance with these materials, contact the Grant Library, and their Archivists will assist you in locating the information you need.

Basic eCollection of Federal Publications

Resource Description

Publications included in the Basic Collection from the FDLP Desktop are vital sources of information that support the public's right to know about the workings and essential activities of their Federal Government. There are 30+ publications in alphabetical order.

For assistance in locating government information online, contact Christine Fletcher.

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Assistance Listings Provides detailed, public descriptions of Federal assistance listings available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); Federally recognized Indian tribal governments, Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups, and individuals.
Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government  Presents educational content for the public on the workings of the U.S. Government and U.S. history, with a focus on civics.
Budget of the United States Government Contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications issued throughout the fiscal year.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications A finding tool for publications from all three branches of the U.S. government. Updated daily, it contains descriptive records for current and historical publications and provides direct links to those online.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) The annual edition of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by departments and agencies of the U.S. Government.

Compilation of Presidential Documents

The official publications of materials released by the White House Press Secretary.

Provides information about legislative activities, publications, and other related materials for members of Congress and the public. .

Congressional Record

The official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, published daily when Congress is in session.  (Note: This is the daily edition. There is also a bound edition.)

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation  Also known as the Constitution Annotated, includes the U.S. Constitution and analysis and interpretation, with in-text annotations of cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. 
Economic Indicators Published monthly by the Council of Economic Advisors for the Joint Economic Committee, provides economic information on GDP, income, employment, production, business activity, prices, money, credit, security markets, Federal finance, and international statistics.
The Economic Report of the President to the Congress An annual report, issued by the Executive Office of the President and the Council of Economic Advisors, providing on overview of economic progress, with extensive data appendices.
Explore Census Data (also known as A source for population, economic, housing, and geographic information and data about the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island areas.
Federal Register The daily publication of the rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, along with executive orders.
govinfo A database providing authenticated access to official publications from all three branches of the U.S. Government.
Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) A resource for occupational and career information, providing profiles on a majority of jobs in the United States. Profiles describe the work environment, education and training needed, a ten year outlook, and median pay for workers.
Official Congressional Directory Includes biographical and directory information about members of the House and Senate, committee memberships, terms of service, and related content.
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States Official publication of the President’s addresses, writings, and remarks.
Social Security Handbook Resource for the most common questions about Social Security.
United States Code The codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States, divided by broad subjects into 53 titles.
The United States Government Manual The official handbook of the U.S.  Government, providing information on the agencies from all three branches, quasi-official agencies, international organizations in which the United States participates, boards, commissions, and committees.
United States Reports Contains the final version of the opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States.
United States Statutes at Large Contains the permanent laws enacted during each session of Congress. A subject-based portal to Federal services and resources online. A Spanish site is also available.

For an additional list including historic cornerstone documents, see govinfo’s Core Documents of Our Democracy