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Environmental, Sustainability, and Geographic Studies (EEAS): GEOG 210

Department of Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences

Instruction - Fall 2023

Government Documents

Government documents (aka Gov Docs) are printed publications that document the government's public policies, happenings in Congress, federal laws and policies, and much more. 

These documents can also include those published at the local, state, foreign national, and international levels, including some private sector contractors.

Definitely check our library guide on Government Information

What helps is if you know where to go! The US government is divided into 3 branches:

  1. Legislative - Makes laws (Congress = Senate and the House of Representatives)
  2. Executive - Carries out laws (president, vice president, cabinet, most federal agencies)
  3. Judicial - Evaluates laws (Supreme Court and others)

There are also plenty of state and local (municipal) resources available, as well as the following:

One place to search is at any US library participating in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). These libraries provide free access to certain documents distributed by the federal government. WKU Libraries participates in the FDLP program! If you want to search through our physical collection, contact the WKU Special Collections Library.

Physical items are a bit difficult to search in because you need to know what publication you want and read through its table of contents or index.

However, there are plenty of online options (view below)! These are easier to search in because you can search via keywords and key phrases.

Search for gov docs

Contact your librarian

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Ashley Orehek Rossi
Ashley.Orehek [at]
Commons at Helm Library 2016