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Government Publications-United States Federal Government

This guide was designed to help aid students and researchers locate information published by the U.S Federal government.

Executive Agencies

A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies 

  • This comprehensive list links directly to each department, agency, bureua, commission and office in the Federal Government. 

List of US Executive Branch Agencies from the Library of Congress

United States Government Manual 

Describes the agencies of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. federal government, including an agency's history, its purpose, and listing its principal administrators. Includes an organizational chart. Information is also given on quasi-official agencies (boards, commissions, etc.) and on international organizations in which the U.S. participates

Declassified Documents / FOI

Online Freedom of Information / Declassified documents

  • US Dept of State FOIA Electronic Reading Room     Here are records made available to the public including final opinions and administrative rulings, administrative staff manuals, and policy guidelines and regulations; featured also are numerous declassified collections on topics ranging from Rwanda to Chile.
  • National Security / Declassified documents
    • The National Security Archive from George Washington University, the research institute that maintains this site "collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign intelligence, and economic policies of the United States."
    • ProQuest's Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) is the most comprehensive collection available of significant primary documents central to U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945. Over 94,000 of the most important, declassified documents -- totaling more than 650,000 pages -- are included in the database. Many are published here for the first time.
    • Gale/Cengage Learning's Declassified Documents Reference System provides online access to more than 500,000 pages of previously classified government documents, covering major international events from the Cold War to the Vietnam War and beyond. 
  • GovernmentAttic   This non-commercial site "provides electronic copies of hundreds of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act....(including) fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities...and government bloopers."
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation  This site focuses on collecting and disseminating documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act "on controversial government surveillance programs, lobbying practices, and intellectual property initiatives."
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)   This portion of the ACLU website provides access to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act "relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners in U.S. detention centers overseas."

 Microform Collections:

Documents of the National Security Council 1947 - 1977. Call no.: AW1 .R6452 .

The National Security Council (NSC) is one of the President's most influential advisors on US foreign policy.

  • This collection contains all the available declassified NSC documents from 1947 - 1977, i.e., draft and final policy papers, memoranda, directives/actions, and backgrounders.
  • Topics covered by these reports and the Supplements mentioned below include the Organization of American States, the Korean War, Iran, China, Cambodia, Africa, Japan, Vietnam, the Berlin airlift, Arab-Israeli conflict, psychological warfare, atomic energy and more.

UBC Library also has Documents of the National Security Council Supplement: 1 - 6. Call no.: AW1.R6452 SUPPL, which extends the years covered by the document collection up to 1990.

 How are these collections indexed?

  • There is a Guide to Documents of the National Security Council 1947-1977 which provides a subject index to the original collection. (Does not reference the Supplements). This is filed in the Koerner Library Microform Guides cabinet, floor 2, under United States National Security Council Documents.
  • Another subject guide is the Index to Documents of the National Security Council, call no.: UA23.15.I52 1994 which serves as a cumulative index to the Documents of the National Security Council and the Supplements 1 - 4.
  • The six Supplements owned by UBC Library are fully indexed in A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of Documents of the National Security Council Supplement, call no.: UA23 .N375 .

State Department Intelligence and Research Reports
Call no.: AW1.R6002
Guide to collection: D735.A1 G8

From the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA, this collection contains material covering Japan during World War II; Postwar Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia; China & India; Postwar Europe; the Soviet Union; and the Middle East.

Reports include reparation payments; German morale; German retreat policy; German partition; the Chinese Communist Party; Gandhi's fast; Communist influence in IndoChina; food crisis in Japan; Italian propaganda; the French Resistance; immigration into Palestine; Russo-Chinese relations; who's who in the Soviet government; etc.

Supplementary collections covering later postwar years - generally 1950 - 1961 - are available as well, but are catalogued individually:

  • Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia & the Far East at call number AW1.R7679
  • China and India at call number AW1.R7678
  • Europe at call number AW1.R7695
  • The Soviet Union at call number AW1.R7694

NTIS Microfiche Collection:. Call no.: AW5.U56.

The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) is the largest central resource for U.S. government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information.

  • The Library has microfiche copies of technical reports in selected fields issued by the National Technical Information Service from the 1950s to the mid-1990s.
  • While this collection is not complete, it does include reports from many U.S. agencies, including the Atomic Energy Commission, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Energy Research and Development Agency.
  • Note, the microfiche collection is arranged in numerical order by NTIS report number.

Indexes to this collection

Unless you have a citation to a specific report - including its NTIS report number - you should start your research by consulting the U.S. Government Research and Development Reports Index.

  • 1946-1979: Print copies of the Index are in the Humanities & Social Sciences Division office. Call no.: ZT1 .U65. Ask for assistance at the Koerner Library Research Desk, Floor 2, Koerner Library.
  • 1964- present: An online index is available on the NTIS website at Note, the publications that you find on this site are only available for purchase.
    • In order to see if UBC Library's NTIS Microfiche Collection includes a publication that you find on this site, note down its "product code". This is the same as its report number.

Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS). Call no.: AW5 .D429 and the DDRS Retrospective Collection. Call no.: AW5.D428. These two collections include documents from the 1940s to the 1970s.

  • The documents found in DDRS were declassified between 1975 and 1989.
  • The Retrospective Collection owned by UBC Library is incomplete and only includes documents declassified in 1975.
  • Source agencies for both collections include the CIA, Dept. of Defence, National Security Council, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Justice Dept. and the White House.

How can I find documents in these collections?

Unless you have a complete citation for a specific document - including its alpha-numeric "address" you will have to consult the index for each collection.

  • The Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS) is indexed in print by Declassified Documents Quarterly Catalog . Call no.: Z1223.Z7 D4. UBC Library has Volume 1, 1975 - Volume 11, 1985. This publication provides titles and abstracts of declassified documents, by agency.
    • The back of each volume contains a subject index, cumulated for the entire year. Each entry in the subject index contains an alpha-numeric code corresponding to its Catalog year, page number and item letter.
    • Microfiches in the collection are filed by year, page and letter, so that you can easily find the document that you need once you have consulted the subject index.
  • The DDRS Retrospective Collection is indexed in print by Declassified Documents Retrospective Collection. Call no.: Z1223.Z4 D4. Volume I contains abstracts for the documents found in the collection and Volume II contains the cumulative subject index for all the documents in the 1975 collection.
    • Its alpha-numeric system of organization is identical to that of the Declassified Documents Quarterly Catalog detailed above