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Federal Law & Government Documents: Getting Started

This guide provides information about researching federal law and government documents.

About Federal Law and Government Documents

This website identifies resources for finding federal law and government documents. 

In some cases, the materials may only be available to Loyola, or Loyola Law, students, faculty, or othe personnel.  For free resources on the web, see the links to the right or under the Web Resources tab.

To find an item in Loyola's collection that is not listed in these web pages, please use the library catalog.  To locate materials in libraries outside the Loyola University Chicago system, use the WorldCat database.

If you have questions about researching federal government documents or other questions, please contact the Law Library Reference email,

Federal Depository

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Best Websites for Finding Government Information

The websites below are useful portals to federal government resources.

Federal Depository Library Program

Loyola participates in the Federal Depository Library Program.  The Federal Depository Library Program disseminates federal government information to the public through libraries.  To find other depositories, go to the Federal Depository Library Directory.  Below are some links to the Basic Collection, which includes resources for answering many questions about the federal government.

Assistance Listings
Provides detailed, public descriptions of Federal assistance listings available to State and local governments.

Ben's Guide to U.S. Government
Includes learning tools for students, parents, and teachers for teaching kids how the federal government works and how laws are made.

Budget of the United States Government
Links to Budget of the United States Government, including the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals, and other budgetary publications.

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
Catalog of federal government documents that includes links to documents available online.  Catalog is searchable by keyword, authoring agency, title, subject, and other record data. 

Contains United States Census Bureau data relating to population, economics, housing, and geography.

Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970-Part 1 and Part 2

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
The CFR contains the final regulations of the federal agencies.  It is organized into 50 titles corresponding to particular subjects.  The official CFR is updated once per year. 

Compilation of Presidential Documents
Official publications of the White House, including the Weekly and Daily Compilations of Presidential Documents. is the website for the United States Congress.  It includes pending and prior bills, public laws, and a link to the current United States Code.

Congressional Directory
The Congressional Directory is the official directory of the Congress.  It includes short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, committee memberships, terms of service, administrative assistants and/or secretaries, and room and telephone numbers.

Congressional Record (Daily)
The Congressional Record is published daily, when Congress is in session.  It is the official record of the proceedings and debates of Congress.

Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation
Includes text of constitution with description of parts and citations.

Economic Indicators
Provides economic information on prices, wages, production, business activity, purchasing power, credit, money and Federal finance.

Economic Report of the President
Annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors providing overview of the nation's economic progress.

Federal Register
The Federal Register includes proposed agency regulations, notices for public comment, and final regulations.  It is published daily Monday-Friday, except holidays. 

Portal to Government Publishing Office.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is created by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  It includes information about various types of occupations, including a description of the occupation, required training, earnings, occupational outlook, and working conditions.

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
Compilation of messages and papers of the Presidents.

Social Security Handbook
The Social Security Handbook includes the Social Security Act (the Act), regulations issued under the Act, and precedential case decisions. It is intended to be an easy to understand resource regarding Social Security programs and services. is a website for locating government information and services, including social security benefits, financial aid for students, information about jobs, and consumer issues.

United States Code (USC)
The United States Code contains the current laws of the United States.  It is organized into 50 titles by subject.  The entire official USC is published every six years, with the most recent publication in 2006.  Yearly supplements are published in between those six years. 

United States Government Manual
The United States Government Manual provides information, such as contact information and description, on the federal executive, legislative, and judicial branches, agencies, some international organizations, and government-related corporations, foundations, boards, commissions, and committees.

United States Reports
The United States Reports contain the opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court.

United States Statutes at Large
The United States Statutes at Large contains every public and private law passed by Congress in order of the date it was enacted into law. Unlike the United States Code, which includes the current laws, the Statutes at Large includes all the laws passed, including those no longer in force. The Statutes atLarge is a good place to find a law as it was enacted and to find laws no longer in force.

Subject Guide