Locator Services, Search Engines,
Databases, and Directories for the United States
Congressional Research Service
Reports on the Internet-- The
Research Service, based at the Library of
Congress, prepares thousands of unclassified reports a
year on a vast range of topics at the request of members
of Congress. Many CRS reports are on international
topics or U.S. foreign policy issues. Some of these
first-rate reports are available in full-text PDF
online, but they are scattered on the Internet and
poorly indexed by regular search engines. The most
complete posting site is EveryCRSReport.com.
The Federation of American Scientists posts CRS Reports
on international security issues. The Homeland
Security Digital Library posts CRS reports
concerning homeland and national security issues. The University of North Texas Libraries
post large collections of CRS Reports. Be sure to try the very helpful
limited area search engine at the Internet Archive that searches
CRS reports online sites.
The Homeland Security Digital Library posts over 91,000 public resources concerning U.S. homeland and national security issues, broadly interpreted. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
Cyber Cemetery-- From the
University of North Texas Libraries, affiliated with the
National Archives and Records Administration, "an
archive of [U.S.] government web sites that have ceased
operation (usually web sites of defunct government
agencies and commissions that have issued a final
"Increases the ability of the public to easily find,
download, and use datasets that are generated and held
by the Federal Government. Data.gov provides
descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata),
information about how to access the datasets, and tools
that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs
will continue to grow as datasets are added."
FedStats-- The purpose of this very useful site, from the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, is to provide easy online access to the full range of statistics and information produced by scores of federal agencies for public use.
Federal Digital System-- From the U.S. Government Printing Office, identifies public information resources within the three branches of the federal government (including electronic information resources), describes the information available in these resources, and assists in obtaining the information. The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications is "the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online."
Freedom of Information Act Website--
From the U.S. National Archives and Records
Administration, facilitates access to U.S. government
information in executive branch agency records, either
through the Electronic Reading Room or by inquiry directly
to the National Archives and Records Administration.
GovEngine.com-- Directory for U.S.
federal, state, and local websites, including courts.
GovFresh-- Aggregated "live feed of official news from U.S. Government Twitter, YouTube, RSS, Facebook, Flickr accounts and more, all in one place."
govInfo-- "Provides free online access to official publications for all three branches of the Federal Government," via a search engine and browsing, with download capability.
GovTrack.us-- Free online service to
"research and track the activities in the U.S. Congress
[such as] the status of U.S. federal legislation, voting
records in the Senate and House of Representatives, and
information on Members of Congress, as well as
congressional committees and the Congressional Record."
Internet Archive-- Stores and
catalogues a huge amount of U.S. federal government
websites and data for historical preservation purposes.
MetaLib-- From the U.S. Government
Printing Office, a "federated search engine that searches
multiple U.S. Federal government databases, retrieving
reports, articles, and citations while providing direct
links to selected resources available online."
Online Research Tools and Aids-- From the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration of the U.S. government, a guide to finding online federal records and information about them, including from Presidential Libraries.
USA.gov-- Large official United
States government web portal offering easy access to all
online U.S. federal, state, and local government
resources, by various means of approach. Excellent
source for such information.
United States Government Manual--
Official information source about the agencies of the
legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
• Agency for International Development--
USAID is the government agency that provides economic
development and humanitarian assistance to advance
U.S. economic and political interests overseas. Much
information on USAID's activities and on developing
countries. Note the Development
Experience Clearinghouse, the largest online
resource for USAID-funded technical and program
documentation, with over 200,000 items available for
examination or free electronic download.
Bureau's Foreign Trade Statistics-- Official
trade data and related information for the United
• Census Bureau's International Programs
Section-- A rich
computerized data bank containing statistical tables
of past, present, and projected demographic and
socio-economic data for most countries and all areas
of the world. A popular feature is the World
Population Clock, with an interactive map and
• Central Intelligence Agency-- The CIA posts many online publications, such as highly-regarded annual
Check the Library for available documents.
The Freedom of Information Act
Electronic Reading Room gives access to a
searchable online database "to provide the public with
an overview of access to CIA information, including
electronic access to previously released documents."
Note especially the CREST program, with over 11
million searchable declassified documents online. See "The Ultimate Guide to Searching
CIA's Declassified Archives" for useful tips
about how to search CIA archives [not a CIA source].
The Center for the Study of
Intelligence conducts research on intelligence
and publishes unclassified editions of the Studies
in Intelligence journal, as well as
books, monographs, and a quarterly newsletter.
The National Intelligence Council,
"a center of strategic thinking within the U.S.
Government," posts numerous publications on global
trends and issues. The downloadable Global
Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds
(PDF) study is "intended to stimulate thinking
about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes
characterizing the world today and possible global
trajectories over the next 15 years."
From the Library of Congress, a large site with much
detailed information about the Congress and its
deliberations and legislation. Other sites: United
States House of Representatives-- Official site
of the U.S. House of Representatives and United
States Senate-- Official site of the U.S.
Senate. Note especially the following committees--
House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs;
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations;
House of Representatives Armed Services Committee; Senate
Committee on Armed Services. The
Budget Office may be of interest, for its
nonpartisan "independent analyses of budgetary and
economic issues to support the Congressional budget
process." Note the Treaty Documents search feature
for formal treaties to which the U.S. is a party.
• Customs and Border Protection--
"The single unified border agency of the United
States." Information on the agency's border control
and customs functions, with official statements,
import, export, border security, and international
travel information, regulations, statistics, and
forms. Note the Customs Rulings Online Search System,
a database of CBP rulings, plus trade-related links.
• Department of Agriculture-- The
Agricultural Service maintains a Global
Agricultural Information Network about the
agricultural situation and agricultural trade
overseas, by categories, countries, and posts. The Economic
Research Service has a search facility and its Topics Page posts many
international reports. The World Agricultural Outlook Board
"serves as USDA’s focal point for economic
intelligence and the commodity outlook for U.S. and
of Commerce-- Economic news and statistics on
international trade and the U.S. economy. The Bureau of
Economic Analysis supplies online data,
articles, and surveys on U.S. international commercial
transactions and the U.S. position in the world
economy. The International
Trade and Investment Country Facts application
"gives users a snapshot of statistics on trade and
investment between the United States and another
country by simply clicking on a world map."
• Department of Defense--
Department of Defense's starting point for U.S.
military information online. Check the Publications page for online
documents, such as the major Quadrennial Defense Review. The
Joint Electronic Library
provides access to official publications and research
papers of the U.S. armed forces, through the Joint
Chiefs of Staff site.
• Department of Homeland Security--
Charged with protecting the U.S. homeland from
terrorist attacks, this organization posts information
about its mission, policies, regulations, and actions.
of Immigration Statistics posts statistics and
reports on immigration matters.
• Department of State-- Very
extensive site, for an official view of U.S. foreign
policy. There is a handy page that lists the many
major online State Department publications.
The Media Center provides
connections to Department products on social media and
multimedia. Abundant information for world travelers
is found at the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The
Countries section provides facts
about most countries. Declassifed documents are
available at the Freedom of Information Act
Electronic Reading Room. There is a video
section. The Websites of U.S. Embassies,
Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions page links
to the Web sites of U.S. diplomatic missions around
the world. Also see the site of the American
Foreign Service Association, the professional
association of the U.S. Foreign Service. AFSA
publishes the Foreign Service Journal for "an
insider's view on how U.S. foreign policy is made." (All issues since 1919
are available in an archive.) The Electronic Research Collection
is a searchable archive of historical online materials
from the Department of State Web site, as posted from
1990 to 2001. An archive of materials released by the
W. Bush administration (January 20, 2001 to
January 20, 2009) is available. The Overseas
Security Advisory Council posts advisories on
security-related issues around the world as "the focal
point for the exchange of unclassified information
between the U.S. Department of State and the private
sector in the U.S. on security-related incidents and
threats overseas." The Department maintains a public
online treaty compilation of Texts
of International Agreements to which the U.S. is a
Relations of the United States-- From the Office
of the Historian in the U.S. Department of State, a
series of volumes in the official documentary
historical record of major U.S. foreign policy
decisions and significant diplomatic activity.
Recently-released volumes contain declassified records
from all the foreign affairs agencies. Many volumes
are online in full-text, from 1945 onward. The University of Wisconsin Digital
Collections project maintains a searchable,
freely-accessible archive of these volumes from 1861
• United States Army War College-- The top school in the U.S. Army officer education system, with many excellent international affairs and security studies accessible online. Note the Parameters and The Army War College Review journals and the Strategic Studies Institute pages. The U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute may be of interest, especially its many publications and case studies.
• U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services-- Provides immigration and
naturalization information, including laws,
statistics, and forms.
• U.S. Mission to the United Nations--
From the Office of Press and Public Affairs, U.S.
Mission to the United Nations, New York City.
• United States Trade Representative--
Responsible for developing and coordinating U.S.
international trade, commodity, and direct investment
policy, and leading or directing negotiations with
other countries on such matters. Note the many
full-text reports and trade agreements available.
House-- Official statements from the Executive
Office of the President. A Newsroom
covers recent events, with an archive. The Compilation of Presidential Documents
site of the Office of the Federal Register and the
National Archives and Records Administration contains
annual archives of the "official publications of
materials released by the White House Press Secretary,"
going back to 1992. Documents of the Barack Obama
administration are being assembled by the National
Archives and Records Administration at the Barack
Obama Presidential Library. Parts of the White
House archives from the George W. Bush administration
are available online at the George W. Bush Presidential Library
and Museum. Parts of the White House archives from
the Bill Clinton administration are available online at
Presidential Materials Project and the William
J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. The
presidential documents of the George W. Bush, Bill
Clinton, and Barack Obama administrations are available
online through the Federal Digital