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Government Information

A variety of links and suggested search strategies for finding information from national, provincial (territorial or state) and municipal (region, city, town) governments - and from many international government organizations.  Links have been gathered together based on subject and/or jurisdictional themes. 

Getting Started: Finding Government Publications (or Documents)

Government documents: comprehensive databases & portals

Publications from many national, provincial (territorial or state) and municipal (region, city, town) governments - and from most international government organizations (IGOs) - can be found on the Internet, with a simple Google search.

NOTE:   NOT all government publications are online and often, Google search results are too large to properly sort through. 

For a more controlled searching experience or for finding documents that have been gathered together based on subject or jurisdiction, try the following for your searches:

Canada (all levels of government)

  • Omni  Use Advanced Search to find government documents from across all levels of government; include geographic location (e.g. Canada or Ontario) as an "Author/Creator".
  • Canadian Research Index  Federal, provincial & municipal government documents available on microfiche (1982 to present); check Omni or the internet to find publications in print and/or online.

Canada (federal, specifically)

     

    • Canadian Government Publications Portal  Internet Archive's collection of digitized serials from the federal & Ontario governments, many back to the mid-1800s or early 20th century; click here for a list of titles & holdings.

     

    Canada (provincial & territorial, specifically)

    Canada (municipal, specifically)

    United States

    • GovInfo  "Free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government."
    • USAGov Publication collections, as issued by individual departments.
    • PAIS International (1915 to present)  Select "Government & Official Document" as a "Document type".
    • Omni  Use Advanced Search to find government documents; include geographic location (e.g. "United States" or Hawaii) as an "Author/Creator".

    United Kingdom

    • UK national government publications From the British Library, links to key government document collections.

    • U.K. Parliamentary Papers  Digitally scanned Sessional Papers from the 18th century (1701-) through to the 2009/10 parliamentary session & supplementary material from Great Britain's House of Commons. (Some House of Lords papers, if presented to the House of Commons.)  
    • Hansard Online  Full text of UK members’ debates, 1803 to the present. Includes both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. View Full Description
    • Omni  Use Advanced Search to find government documents; include geographic location (e.g. "United Kingdom" or "Great Britain" or Scotland) as an "Author/Creator".

    International

    • Omni  Use Advanced Search to find government documents; include geographic location (e.g. Australia or "United Nations") as an "Author/Creator".
    • International Organizations: Selected Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), as listed by the United States Library of Congress.
    • UN-iLibrary: Freely available United Nations "publications", from 1945 to present.

    • OECD iLibrary  Access to books, journals, reports, papers and other resources from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
    Using Google

    Custom Google Searches for Government Information

    Many sites now offer "customized" Google searches for government information (websites & publications) from specific jurisdictions.  You will find 2 such interfaces, BELOW.

    Be Aware: Results may completely vary from one hosting site to another and from these sites to a search done directly in Google.

    • Tip When Using Google For Government Information Searches:
      • Try BOTH a customized search site and then a direct search in Google; compare results.  

    Not sure where to start or want the most recent information posted on a government website?

    Try these ideas first, before turning to Google:

    • Go directly to the AUTHORING GOVERNMENT AGENCY (i.e. Nova Scotia Government, United Nations, etc.) &/OR
    • try one of the GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS PORTALS listed in the "Getting Started" tab, above.


    Custom Google Searches for Government Information (as hosted on the University of Waterloo Library site):

    Government information from: Canada, United States, Africa, Asia and Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America, the Middle East, International Government Organizations (IGOs) & Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

    Custom Google Searches for Government Information (as hosted on the Queen's University Library site):

    Government information from: Canada, United States, Mexico, Africa, Asia and Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America, the Middle East, International Government Organizations (IGOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) & Think Tanks.

    Finding Legislative (Parliamentary) Material, Legislation, Public Policy, Statistics & Data

    Browse the Library's Government Information Subject Guide to find sources & tips on searching for legislative (parliamentary) material, legislation, public policy and statistics & data.

    At any time during your search process:

    Please feel free to contact the Government Information & Political Librarian, Hélène LeBlanc < hleblanc@wlu.ca >with any questions OR to set up an appointment for guided help on your search for - OR help on using - government information.