Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is an Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in many international and global studies topics. Sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online.


Locator Services, Search Engines, Databases, and Directories
Department, Agency, Congressional, and Military Sources

Locator Services, Search Engines, Databases, and Directories for the United States Federal Government


Congressional Research Service Reports on the Internet-- The non-partisan Congressional 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 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 and 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 93,000 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 report)." "Increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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Department, Agency, Congressional, and Military Sources for the United States Federal Government

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.

Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Statistics-- Official trade data and related information for the United States.

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 country data.

Central Intelligence Agency-- The CIA posts many online publications, such as highly-regarded annual World Factbook. 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 Congressional 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 Foreign 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 world agriculture."

Department 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. The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics posts statistics and reports on immigration matters.

Department of Labor-- Note especially the Bureau of International Labor Affairs and International Labor Comparisons.

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 George 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 Party.

Foreign 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 to 1960.

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.

White 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 the Clinton 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 System.

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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: