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Government Documents and Information: Popular Online Resources

Finding government documents & information at the Drain-Jordan Library, online, and around the world

Cornerstone Documents of Our Democracy

Can't find what you're looking for? Google it!

Google Web Search

If you're not finding what you're looking for on this guide, feel free to Google it! As a good rule of thumb stick with government or military sites and you can find great resources online through the U.S. government. These sites will generally avoid bias, contain no ads, and update regularly.

The .gov and .mil site limiters have already been added for you, so simply type your search term(s) before of after the text in the Google search box.

If your search is still pulling up .com or .org results, try using Google's "Advanced Search" options.

For Students

FAFSA on the Web
[US Government] Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
[US Government] Office of the United States Department of Education that is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. Site offers information on preparing for college education in addition to details on grants, scholarships and other options that are available to assist with post-secondary education expenses.
[US Government] Search more than 7,000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other financial aid opportunities through this tool featured on, a site sponsored by the United States Department of Labor.

Government Mobile Apps -browse available mobile apps alphabetically by government agency.

All apps listed on the website are provided for free through the federal government.

Federal Government Online Portals

is the official web portal of the United States Government. It is designed to improve the public’s interaction with the U.S. government by quickly directing website visitors to the services or information they are seeking, and by inviting the public to share ideas to improve government. links to every federal agency and to state, local, and tribal governments, and is the most comprehensive site in—and about—the U.S. government. 
Information by Topic - Find government information and services through by topic.
FDsys: GPO's Federal Digital System - FDsys provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.

The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications 

The CGP is the primary finding tool for federal publications. Includes descriptive information for historical and current publications as well as direct links to full text documents, when available. Users can search by authoring agency, title, subject, and general keywords, or click on "Advanced Search" for more options. 
The catalog also offers you the option to find a nearby Federal Depository Library that has a particular publication, or that can provide expert assistance in finding and using related U.S. government information. 
Also try the GPO's federated search engine MetaLib to retrieve reports, articles, and citations by simultaneously searching across multiple U.S. Federal Government databases.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) - This site is a reporting system that allows people to report an adverse reaction or side effect(s) from a vaccine. It is jointly run by the CDC and the FDA.

Popular Government Resources found through Drain-Jordan Library

Here's a Small Sampling of Government Resources Available through the Card Catalog:

  • Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids - A great resource for learning or teaching about how our government works. It's primarily geared towards kids, but can be used for all ages. Links to online content. 
  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications - The finding tool for descriptive records for historic and current publications from the Government. Links to online content.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States - A statistical reference and guide to over 250 statistical publications and sources from government and private organizations. Print and online content available. 
  • Congressional Record - The official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. Content is published daily when Congress is in session. FDsys contains Congressional record volumes from 140 (1994) to the present. Attached to each record is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities. Print and online content for Congressional Records available through our Library.
  • Print and Digital Federal Publications Catalog - The official U.S. Government Printing Office bookstore. Links to online content.
  • Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States - This resource is compiled and published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration. Beginning in 1957, the Public Papers began after a recommendation by the National Historical Publications Commission established an official series in which Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature could be made available to the public. Print and online content.
  • U.S. Government Publishing Office - The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. Links to GPO annual report and online GPO content

General Information Resources

American FactFinder - American FactFinder provides access to data about the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas. The data in American FactFinder comes from several censuses and surveys. - is the home of the U.S. Government's open data initiative. Here you will find tools and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.

FDsys - FDsys stands for the Federal Digital System of official U.S. government publications. FDsys is currently in the process of replacing the Government Publishing Office (GPO), which is the "Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government." This information storage and retrieval site allows for simple and advanced searching of authenticated, official, and up-to-date government information from all three branches.‚Äč Includes the XML Bulk Data Repository.

The 50 State Capitol Buildings of the United States Illustrated to Scale - "Much like the United States Capitol, known as the White House, each state's government has its own government which is headquartered in a state capitol building. This building, and the government housed within, is limited to dealing with matters relevant to the state and coordinating with the federal government. The state capitol address is usually located within the capital city of that state." Taken from Alan's Factory Outlet website.

Government Information Online: Ask a Librarian - Consult government information librarians who are experts at finding information from Federal Government agencies of all levels on almost any subject (GPO Partner- University of Illinois at Chicago). - Discover U.S. Government information, hosted by the GPO. Also search what's available for help with specific collections or resources. - This is the official online source for IRS tax forms, instructions, and publications. 

National Archives - Research the records of the National Archives and Records Administration - This site searches over 60 databases and over 2,200 selected websites from 15 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results. is governed by the interagency Alliance.

General Research Databases through the Drain-Jordan Library

We also have several Library databases available to help make finding Government Documents and federally-funded research information easier. You can access any of these databases for free from our library, or anywhere else on campus if you are connected to the WVSU WiFi.

Academic One File (Gale) 

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) 

CQ Researcher 

ERIC (Education Resource Information Center)

EUR-Lex Access to European Union Law

Homeland Security Digital Library 

ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States

If you're having trouble accessing any of these links, try accessing them again from our Library's Alphabetical Database List. Some databases allow you to link directly to their content, and others require a few more steps. If you're still having issues, Ask Us!

*If you're having trouble accessing content off campus, follow the steps in the Database Introduction and Off Campus Access tab on the Introduction the Library Resources guide.