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Primary Source Guide for History Students: Government Documents

Created to primarily help OWU history students find, evaluate, and use primary source materials located in the OWU Libraries and beyond.

Gov. Docs @ Beeghly

Federal Government Documents are found on the main floor of Beeghly Library behind reference.

For more on the collection and how to read SuDoc call numbers, check out:

    Beeghly Gov. Docs


Featured Database

Useful Online Collections

Useful Government Document Series

1. Congressional Record  
Gov. Docs section X. Beeghly owns 1871 - Present

Official recordings of Congressional sessions, including speeches, debates, etc. Also available online at FDsys from 1994 to present.



2. Public Papers of the Presidents  
Gov. Docs section: GS 4.113: 1929-1933, 1946-1983 and AE 2.114: 1984-present

Public papers, speeches, etc. of the presidents, officially issued by the Office of the Press Secretary. OWU has most volumes available in print. However, digitized volumes of these papers can be found at various government web sites like FDsys.

*For earlier presidents, like Washington, Jefferson, Madinson, etc., try searching CONSORT or Summon with the president's name and the word "papers." (e.g. washington papers) The library owns several other collections of early presidential papers in print. These collections are also being digitized and some can be found online but are not always free. 


3. Presidential Libraries

Presidential libraries also contain and digitize important items related to the presidents and their terms. The National Archives web site has a great explanation and list of the libraries.


4. Foreign Relations of the United States 
Gov Docs section: S 1.1. Beeghly owns 1870-1976  in print

From the Office of the Historian, "series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity." Great for topics relating to foreign events or people. Also found...



Online from 1945-1976: Office of the Historian


Online though incomplete from 1861-1960: Univ. of Wisconsin Digital Collection