Doing Research in History

Learn about the core resources for history research, and how to find and use them at Williams.

About Government Publications

The United States Government Printing Office (GPO) is responsible for the publication and dissemination of the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. Print materials are made freely available to the public through the Federal Depository Library Program.

Williams College Libraries has been a depository since 1858, with a special focus on congressional materials. The majority of the government documents collection is housed in the Library Shelving Facility. To have a document retrieved, use the request button in the library catalog record.

Below are some core titles for U.S. government information. For in-depth research assistance with government documents, schedule a research appointment.

Catalogs of Government Documents

Use these catalogs to determine what documents were published during a particular time. Search the library catalog and Williams WorldCat to get the full documents.

Congressional Documents

Foreign Policy

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) "constitutes the official record of the foreign policy of the United States. These volumes include, subject to necessary security considerations, all documents needed to give a comprehensive record of the major foreign policy decisions within the range of the Department of State's responsibility, together with appropriate materials concerning the facts which contributed to the formulation of policies." (Preface) Issued annually with multiple volumes covering different areas of the world. Learn more about FRUS.

Presidential Papers and Materials

Declassified Documents