Skip to Main Content

Government Documents

David L. Rice Library has been a selective federal depository library (since 1969), meaning that we don't receive all government documents, but rather choose categories of documents to receive. These categories align with USI's curriculum.

Legislative Branch

Congress, both the Senate and the House of Representatives, produces government documents largely in the form of laws and committee hearings/reports. For more details about the legislative branch of government, click here.


Congressional Record--Daily, 1994 to present 

Congressional Record Index, Daily, 1983 to present 

Committees of the U.S. Congress (House and Senate)

United States House of Representatives

United States Senate

United States Code (The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States.)

United States Statutes at Large (The United States Statutes at Large, typically referred to as the Statutes at Large, is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress.)

Judicial Branch

The third arm of the U.S. government  is the judicial branch.  Consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal-level courts, government documents produced by this branch are mostly court decisions.  Roe v. Wade and Brown v. the Board of Education are examples of Supreme Court decisions.  For more information about the judicial branch and the judicial process, click here.

United States Reports (Supreme Court decisions, v.502, 1991, to v.554, 2007) 

United States Courts

Federal Judicial Center

What is a depository library?

The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. Every day the U.S. Government issues congressional bills, laws, regulations, presidential documents, studies, and more on a variety of topics. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is administered by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).

Basic Government Documents/Websites for Everyone

Core Docments of Our Democracy 

Declaration of Independence 

U.S. Constitution 

Budget of the United States Government, FY 1996 to present

United States Census Bureau

American FactFinder (a user friendly way to access Census data)

United States Government Manual

Economic Report of the President, 1995-present

Daily Compilation of Presidential Papers 1993-current 

Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

Historical Statistics of the United States, 1789 - 1945

Statistical Abstracts of the United States, 1878-2012 

Library of Congress (The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.)

National Archives (The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper.


Useful Non-Government Websites

Ballotpedia, An Interactive Almanac of U.S. Politics

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)