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Federal Documents

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy and Government

Articles of Confederation Emancipation Proclamation
The Bill of Rights The Federalist Papers
The Constitution of the United States (and annotated) The Gettysburg Address
The Declaration of Independence More Documents and Resources from the Government Publishing Office

100 Milestone Documents
Contains digitized images of 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.  Besides offering such founding documents as the Articles of Confederation and The Declaration of Independence, the site also includes the Treaty of Paris, The Marshall Plan, the Voting Rights Act, several notable Supreme Court Cases (Dred Scott v. Sanford, Gibbons v. Ogden , etc.) and more. 

American Memory: Remaining Collections (Library of Congress) 
A major component of the Library's National Digital Library Program, American Memory contains multimedia collections of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 9 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.

Executive Branch

U.S. Federal Agency Directory 
A-Z list of Federal agencies from

Budget of the United States Government
Budgets online from 1996 to the present.  Downloadable as a single document or by individual sections. Many of the tables are downloadable as Excel spreadsheets.  Full text searching of the budget is available. Also available in the library in hardcopy and CD ROM beginning with the call number PREX 2.8: back to 1961.

U.S. Government Manual
As the official handbook of the Federal Government, the United States Government Manual provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. It also includes information on quasi-official agencies, international organizations in which the United States participates, and boards, commissions, and committees.

The Plum Book (United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions).
Published alternately after each Presidential election, the Plum Book lists over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment, nationwide. Data covers positions such as agency heads and their immediate subordinates, policy executives and advisors, and aides who report to these officials. The duties of many such positions may involve advocacy of Administration policies and programs and the incumbents usually have a close and confidential working relationship with the agency or other key officials. Online beginning with 1996.

The White House
Besides information about the President, current issues are covered here as well as news, speeches, executive orders and proclamations. Past President's websites can be found here.

Executive Orders and Presidential Documents
Sources and explanations compiled by the Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.

Provided by the Library of Congress, this resource offers access to legislative information including bills, public laws, the Congressional Record, House and Senate Committee reports, proposed legislation, roll call votes, treaties, histories, and much more. Some information dates from the 93rd Congress (1973-74) onwards. Legislative histories going back to 1952 can be found in the U.S. Code Congressional and Administration News (latest in reference, older in stacks) KF 63 .U53. The Congressional Record can also shed light on the history of a bill, although not in as much detail.

Legislative Tracking via GovTrackBillTrack50OpenStatesStateScape, and LegiScan (these also track state legislation).

Congressional "The Congressional Timeline, developed and maintained by The Dirksen Congressional Center, arrays more than 900 of the nation's laws on a timeline beginning with the first Congress in 1789 and continuing to the present. A second timeline "band" depicts major political events as context for Congress's law-making."

GovInfo search
Free public access to the full text of official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Begin searching immediately or browse a specific collection.
This website, which began in 2002, allows you to find, view, and comment on regulations for all Federal agencies. In December 2007 it was revamped. And from the government side, a similar site: The public can use this site to search the the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and Regulatory Plan, as well as current and past Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) regulatory reviews. The White House Office of Managament and Budget has a webpage with more information regarding regulatory matters.

Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.
Webpage with legislative resources including the publications Drafting Federal Law, and A Research Guide to the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as additional links to regulatory information.

Earmarks database from Legistorm.

Michigan's U.S. Representatives [See also State of Michigan representatives]

Jack Bergman (R) 
House representative for the 1st Congressional District.

Gary Peters (D) 
Senate representative. 

Debbie Stabenow (D)
Senate representative

Directory of the U.S. House of Representatives
Locate House representatives in Michigan or other states.

Directory of U.S. Senate Representatives
Locate Senate representatives in Michigan and other states.

Judicial Branch

Supreme Court of the United States 
The official site for the U.S. Supreme Court.  Included on the site are transcripts of oral arguments made from the 2000 term to present, court rules, opinions (from 2000 to present), slip opinions, speeches given by Justices, year end reports, etc. Findlaw offers a searchable database of all Supreme Court decisions since 1893. Print version of Supreme Court decisions can be found on the third floor in the Supreme Court Reporter vols. 1-94 (1882-1973) KF 101 S9 and United States Reports v. 389- (1967-present) KF 101 A3.

U.S. Courts 
Links to the official sites for the Courts of Appeal, District Courts, and other specialty courts (e.g. Tax Court, U.S. Court of International Trade, etc.). Many of court sites will include written opinions, although the dates of coverage vary with each web site. Also provided is a link to a library of various publications, statistical reports, and official forms relating to the court system. Michigan is in the 6th District Court; Wisconsin is in the 7th District Court.

"The OYEZ Project is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality 'tour' of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices."

Tax Resources 2019

The library no longer receives any paper forms and instructions.

Tax Information

Internal Revenue Service
The official site of the IRS. Contains important federal tax information, forms, and publications. Publication 17 is a yearly reference work published by the IRS that "details taking advantage of a wide range of tax-saving opportunities, such as the American opportunity credit for parents and college students, and the child tax credit and expanded earned income tax credit for low- and moderate-income workers." It's 288 pages long, so download times might differ depending on Internet speed.

Link to the Michigan Department of Treasury 
Michigan tax information, forms and instructions are available on a seperate page. Previous years are available here.

State Tax Forms 
Attending NMU from out of state and did not receive your form in the mail? The above link will point you in the direction of other states.

Quick Tax Links (most popular forms)


1040: [ form ] [ instructions ] 

1040A: [ form ] [ instructions ] 

Form 8863 Education Credits [ form ]

Pub 519 Tax Guide for Aliens [ guide ] 

Form 1040NR-EZ [ form ] [ instructions ] (tax form for U.S. non-resident aliens. Accompanies form 1040EZ).

Form 1040NR [ form ] [ instructions ] (tax form for U.S. non-resident aliens. Accompanies forms 1040 or 1040A).

All federal forms are listed here

In the military? The IRS has a Armed Forces Tax Guide.

Other Resources

”The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal”. On, you can search more than 186 million web pages from federal and state governments, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and local governments. Most of these pages are not available on commercial websites. USAGov has the most comprehensive search of government anywhere on the Internet. In addition, allows you to browse sites by topic and has a very handy A-Z agency list. Includes government domains other than .gov and .mil as well.

Search across up to 71 government agencies with MetaLib
Collections include Environment, Science & Technology, Agriculture, Recreation, Travel & Transportation, and Business & Economy. You can also narrow your search to specific resources within each topic.

Catalog of Government Publications
Updated daily. Search this resource for online publications.

Homeland Security Digital Library 
The nation's premier collection of homeland security policy and strategy related documents from federal, state, and local governments. This database is available for NMU students and faculty.

University of Michigan's Document Center 
This site offers a browseable index to a wide range of governmental information and topics.  Headings exist for specific topics, e.g. abortion, and broad levels of government (federal, executive branch, etc.). All levels of government--international, federal, and local--are represented. This is a very good resource; can't duplicate it, so I'll point you to it.

Citing Government Documents 
Collection of links and samples from the University of Nebraska.

Additional Federal Government Resources

There are several entities that collect information obtained from the U.S. Government produced outside of the Government Publishing Office. In particular, the National Security Archive (which collects and displays documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA]), and The Memory Hole, which has managed to capture online documents that have been removed and web images that have been changed. A November 2004 article in Wired (by Ryan Singel) highlighted several alternate sources of government information. Here are a few of them.

Congressional Research Service Reports
"American taxpayers spend nearly $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, a "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events". The link above is hosted by the Dudley Knox Library; for another list of other sites that host these reports, go to the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. These online reports are now acquired and destributed through the GPO anc can be located in the Catalog of Government Publications.

The National Security Archive 
From George Washington University. Briefly, this is a physical and online collection of declassified U.S. documents that have been obtained by a variety of individuals and organizations through the Freedom of Information Act (FIOA).

Project on Government Secrecy 
From the Federation of American Scientists, the Project on Government Secrecy works to "challenge excessive government secrecy and to promote public oversight”.

Policy Agendas Project 
This website is an ambitious attempt to provide truly comparable measures of policy changes in the United States since the Second World War. From the website "Modern information technology allows users of this website to trace, graph and download policy changes in many different arenas at the click of a mouse. By providing direct information on the sources of our measures of policy changes, this website also allows users to access the original material, which provides the historical context of policy choice."

Sunlight Foundation 
Making government transparent and accountable. Covering (and makeing understandable) stories such as earmarks, court cases, lobbying, legislative issues, etc. Website has a search feature.

Center for Effective Government
Their website hasn't been updated since 2016. Their mission "is to build an open, accountable government that invests in the common good, protects people and the environment, and advances the national priorities defined by an active, informed citizenry. We conduct research and policy analyses; develop new policy and reform ideas; encourage citizen participation and government accountability; and build broad-based coalitions to advance these values. To ensure the American people understand the vital role of government, we produce and disseminate educational tools and materials. We are a resource for policymakers, the media, advocacy allies, community organizations, and citizens.".

Project on Government Oversight
The Project On Government Oversight (founded in 1981) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

The Memory Hole.

The Government Attic
"Provides electronic copies of hundreds of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act." Military, FBI, Congress, National Secutiry Agency, CIA: a mixed bag. Searchable. There is a lot at this site.

Non-Governmental Organizations Search Engine. Alomost 400 resources are searched here.

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