Abilene Christian University
Government Documents

REFERENCE BOOKS give an overview of the subject or provide quick facts. They clarify a topic and suggest a research direction.

Key Titles 

Congress A to Z
[REF DESK] 328.73003 C749
Concise reference on the structure, operation, and status of Congress. Reflects present political events.
Dictionary of American History
[REF DESK] 973.03 D554 1976 v.1-10
Mid length articles on events significant to U.S. history both abroad and at home. Good for providing an overview of broad subjects.


Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy
[REF DESK] 327.73 E56 v.1-3
Lengthy essays on broad foreign policy themes: Cold War, Containment, Foreign Aid, Presidential Powers, Sanctions, etc. Substantial bibliographies guide researcher to more sources. Scan the table of contents in v.1 or use the index in v.3 for specific access.
Encyclopedia of Democracy
[REF DESK] 321.8 E56L 1995 v.1-4
Articles on countries, historical eras, people, concepts, and political systems important to an understanding of democracy. Good for explaining aspects of democratic governments.


Encyclopedia of the United States Congress
REF DESK] 328.73 E 56 v.1-4
History, character, and operations of Congress. Articles cover Congress as an institution (budget process, committees, historical evolution, legislative terms); biographies and characteristics of members; relationship between Congress and other political bodies (president, public opinion, interest groups); and role in specific areas of public policy.
Oxford Companion to Politics of the World
[REF DESK] 320.03 O98
"Comprehensive guide to international relations and national domestic politics throughout the world." Entries cover concepts and themes as well as historical events, political parties, and issues.


The Presidential-Congressional Political Dictionary
[REF DESK] 320.403 E46P
Explanations of terms relating to Congress, the President, the citizenry, and their interconnected roles. Entries give definitions and a significance paragraph explaining the historical and current relevance of the term. Topical arrangement. Consult index for specific terms.
World Encyclopedia of Peace
[REF DESK] 327.172 W927 v.1-4
Articles tracing events, movements, and themes associated with peace concerns. Use subject index in v.4
v.1-2 contains general articles
v.3 contains 20th C. treaties, chronology, Nobel peace Prize Laureates
v.4 contains institutions and organizations
BOOKS and DOCUMENTS provide more extensive, broader information on the topic.

Finding Aids 

Online catalog for all material available in the Abilene consortium libraries. Government documents are included. Some titles are linked to Internet publications.
Subject searches:Keyword searches:
International relationsrelations and cuba
International economic relationsrelations and latin america
United States--foreign relationscold war
United States--foreign economic relationsbay of pigs
United States--foreign relations--Cuba
China--foreign relations--United States
CIS Congressional Universe
Index to congressional publications including hearing, prints, reports, documents, and legislation. Some full-text and/or summaries included. Valuable for the abstracts, which help identify which documents may contain relevant information. Gives call numbers to help determine which items are at ACU.


MarciveWeb DOCS
Indexes all government documents distributed to libraries, including materials not received by ACU. Marcive will supplement ALCON searches by listing documents that can be borrowed via interlibrary loan, by indexing materials at ACU that do not yet appear in ALCON, and by linking to online publications.
Congressional publications online (GPO Access)
Congressional publications found in ALCON, CIS Congressional Universe, and MarciveWeb DOCS may be online but still not have a direct link. Note the type of document found and the number of Congress, then use the guide below to determine if the full-text is available.
Committee hearings 104th Congress(1995-96)- present
Congressional documents 104th Congress (1995-96)- present
Congressional prints 105 Congress (1997-98) - present
Congressional reports

104 Congress (1995-96) - present

JOURNAL ARTICLES contain in-depth information on a narrow aspect of the topic. Recent articles are more timely than books. Older articles provide a window into that point in history.

Finding Aids 

Academic Search Premier
Journal articles from all fields. Includes scholarly and popular journals with most articles full-text.
Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)
Comprehensive source for theory and research in international affairs. Scholarship from 1991- includes working papers from university research institutes, foundation-funded research projects, and conference proceedings.


Full-text of newspapers and magazines. Included newspapers from around the world. Select News option on main screen.
U.S. Government Periodicals Index (USGPI).
Indexes journal articles that appear in government published periodicals. Many of these journals are not indexed anywhere else except this database.


Government Periodicals
Guide to locating online versions of government periodicals. Issues can be browsed or searched using citations discovered in USGPI. For journals not in the lists, see the paper version in the ACU library.

Key Titles 

CQ Almanac (1947-present); annual
Yearly highlights of major political events and legislation. Good source for background and nonpartisan summaries. See topical index in the front of each volume or use detailed index in the back of each year.
CQ Weekly (1975-present); weekly
[DOC LAW] 328.73 CQ; current year at REF DESK
Non partisan reports of the activities on Capitol Hill. Covers legislation and background stories of political events. Online version covers 1983-present; use print issues for prior years. See CQ Almanac for summaries of events occurring from 1950-present.


CQ Researcher (1993-present)
050 C749 (1993-present)
http://libraryip.cq.com/libraryHome.html? (1991-present)
Well-respected journal covering hot topics and controversial issues. Excellent lengthy articles give history and background, issues, chronology, and current situation. May search by keyword. Scan the index, either online or at the reference desk. See topics such as Cuba, Eastern Europe, Economic Conditions-International, Europe and European Union, International Relations, etc.
Department of State Bulletin (1946-1988); monthly
S 1.3:
Articles, statements, and press releases on developments in foreign affairs. Good journal for historic events. Consult the 6-month index in the back of each bound volume.


Dispatch (1990-present); weekly
S 1.3/5:
Key speeches, testimony, and treaty action regarding U.S. diplomacy and foreign affairs.
PRIMARY DOCUMENTS are the actual, original sources of information. They provide an authoritative, behind-the-scenes look into events shaping history.

Key Titles 

Documents of American History
[REF DESK] 973 C734d
Selected primary documents fundamental to American history form 1898-1966. Key documents only.
Historic Documents
[REF DESK] 973.03 H673
Annual series covering 1972-1998.


Foreign Relations of the United States (1900-1968)
S 1.1:
Official record of documents, memos, correspondence shaping foreign policy. Each volume has its own index. Web versions exist for selected volumes from 1945 on. University of Wisconsin has 1861 volume.
Public Papers of the President
GS 4.113: (Hoover to Reagan, 1929-1989)
AE 2.114: (Bush to present, 1989-)
Compilation of press conferences, speeches, and public statements of the president. Organized by date with a subject index in each volume.


Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
GS 4.114: (1965-1989)
AE 2.109: (1990-); current issues on GOV DOCS PER
Weekly compilation of presidential public statements and executive orders. Updates Public Paper of the President. Web version has issues starting with 1993-
CIA Electronic Document Release Center
Declassified CIA documents covering a specific incidents. Collections include Bay of Pigs, Latin America, Guatemala, spies, Soviet relations, etc. Searchable but not browseable.


NARA Archival Information Locator (NAIL)
Guide to official records kept the National Archives and Records Administration. Select NAIL Digital Copies Search to limit results to online materials.
National Security Archive
Information from declassified documents covering Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Nuclear History, Latin America. Most information is by subscription, but some is free. See Electronic Briefing Books for helpful essays covering political events.


Presidential Libraries
Links to presidential libraries of Bush, Carter, Eisenhower, Ford, Hoover, Johnson Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Roosevelt, and Truman. Many of these libraries have online documents pertaining to major events during the term of a particular president.
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES and ORGANIZATIONS are gateways to a wealth of data and reports. Agency searches remain one of the most effective ways of locating government information. Identify the primary agencies that publish in your topic.

Finding Aids 

ACU Government Documents Finding Aids
Links to catalogs, search engines, and government agency locators that specialize in finding electronic government information.
International Relations (Univ. Of Michigan)
Comprehensive bibliography of documents and web sites related to international relations. Includes databases, reference works, and links to specific topics. Arranged by subject and nicely annotated. A wonderful resource.

Key Agencies 

Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
History, statistics, and current activities relating to arms control and nuclear weapons. Includes extensive list of treaties, international agreements, and reports. Gives military expenditures and arms transfers by country.
Center for the Study of Intelligence
Excellent books and reports on Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Cold War, Soviet evolution, and more.


Central Intelligence Agency
Speeches, testimony, and reports on intelligence operations in the U.S. and abroad. Includes links to other intelligence centers, each with their own set of documents.
Comprehensive site for military information. Contains links to individual military branches. Especially good for military spending and statistics.


Department of State
The Secretary of State is the President's chief advisor on foreign affairs. The agency is the primary department charged with monitoring global issues and U.S. international relations. See especially the sections under Policy and Regions. An excellent, well designed site for ongoing and current issues.
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN)
Archived information since 1993 from State Department web page. Contains official U.S. foreign policy information and decision-making documents. "Updated daily, the sites include country and issue specific information on sociopolitical situations, economic trends, democracy, human rights, culture, development assistance, environment, terrorism, and more".


International Trade Commission
Safeguards U.S. industries in international trade. Recommends actions to prevent detrimental effects on U.S. from unfair trade practices resulting from foreign imports.
International Trade Organization
Agency that promotes U.S. interests in international trade. Contains import/export data, extensive statistics, trade agreements and quotas, country and industry specific information, etc.


Office of Foreign Assets Control
Agency that enforces economic and trade sanctions against hostile countries or terrorist organizations. Link to countries with economic sanctions and overviews of the trade restrictions current in effect.
United Nations
International organization dedicated to political, economic, and humanitarian issues. Includes treaties, resolutions, documents, and a topical guide.


U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID)
Agency that conducts foreign assistance and humanitarian aid to other countries in accordance with the political and economic goals of the U.S. Documents explain policies determining who will receive aid and how much was invested in each country.

Contents updated 08-25-2005
Laura Baker

Thanks to a donation from an alumnus, the Special Collections at ACU's Center for Restoration Studies now houses two Ethiopian religious texts dating back to the turn of the 19th century.

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