Federal Government Information

The Montana State Library participates in the  Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and collects natural resource materials primarily from the Department of Agriculture, Interior, Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. There are eleven federal depository libraries in Montana. The Mansfield Library at the University of Montana is the regional depository, maintaining a complete collection of federal publications.

FDLP Free Access image


Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
Federal Depository Library Program Web Archive
Metalib (searches multiple U.S. Fed databases)
GovInfo: fed publications from all 3 branches
TRAIL: Technical Report Archive & Image Library
State Library catalog

FDLP Basic Collection: Core U.S. Government Resources

Fed Govt Resources
Assistance Listings Provides detailed, public descriptions of Federal assistance listings available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); Federally recognized Indian tribal governments, Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups, and individuals.
Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government  Presents educational content for the public on the workings of the U.S. Government and U.S. history, with a focus on civics.
Budget of the United States Government Contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications issued throughout the fiscal year.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications A finding tool for publications from all three branches of the U.S. government. Updated daily, it contains descriptive records for current and historical publications and provides direct links to those online.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) The annual edition of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by departments and agencies of the U.S. Government.

Compilation of Presidential Documents

The official publications of materials released by the White House Press Secretary.


Provides information about legislative activities, publications, and other related materials for members of Congress and the public. .

Congressional Record

The official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, published daily when Congress is in session.  (Note: This is the daily edition. There is also a bound edition.)

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation  Also known as the Constitution Annotated, includes the U.S. Constitution and analysis and interpretation, with in-text annotations of cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. 
Economic Indicators Published monthly by the Council of Economic Advisors for the Joint Economic Committee, provides economic information on GDP, income, employment, production, business activity, prices, money, credit, security markets, Federal finance, and international statistics.
The Economic Report of the President to the Congress An annual report, issued by the Executive Office of the President and the Council of Economic Advisors, providing on overview of economic progress, with extensive data appendices.
Explore Census Data (also known as data.census.gov) A source for population, economic, housing, and geographic information and data about the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island areas.
Federal Register The daily publication of the rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, along with executive orders.
GovInfo A database providing authenticated access to official publications from all three branches of the U.S. Government.
Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) A resource for occupational and career information, providing profiles on a majority of jobs in the United States. Profiles describe the work environment, education and training needed, a ten year outlook, and median pay for workers.
Official Congressional Directory Includes biographical and directory information about members of the House and Senate, committee memberships, terms of service, and related content.
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States Official publication of the President's addresses, writings, and remarks.
Social Security Handbook Resource for the most common questions about Social Security.
United States Code The codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States, divided by broad subjects into 53 titles.
The United States Government Manual The official handbook of the U.S.  Government, providing information on the agencies from all three branches, quasi-official agencies, international organizations in which the United States participates, boards, commissions, and committees.
United States Reports Contains the final version of the opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States.
United States Statutes at Large Contains the permanent laws enacted during each session of Congress.
USA.gov A subject-based portal to Federal services and resources online. A Spanish site is also available.


Executive Branch datasets – high value, machine readable datasets.
Federal and state statistics from Census and Economic Information Center.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.


Federal Register - Daily Journal of the U.S. Government
Federal regulation comments – Comment on agency regulations & actions.
Science.gov – searches over 38 databases and 1,950 selected websites
Government Documents -- digitized federal documents at Internet Archive.

Open Data Legislation

2013  Executive Order -- Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information 

2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) mandated that officials publish finances in machine-readable format. Includes payments, contracts, budget actions, management reports.

2016 FOIA Improvement Act. Added a presumption of openness to all records not classified or protected. 

2019 Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act.  All non-sensitive government data shall be made available in machine-readable format by default. Agencies required to maintain data catalogs and designate chief data officer.


Executive Branch sites – links to official web sites of the executive branch.
Government Printing Office Access  – US government information portal.
USA.gov  – browseable guide to federal information and services by topic.

Research Help

(Some are non-government websites that republish government information. Listing does not imply any endorsement of their values, mission statement, etc.)
Agency acronyms
 – acronyms for searching federal information.
Airforce History Index - Search 550,000 historical Air Force documents. 
Email a government librarian - online reference help.
DocumentCloudweb-based software platform for organizing, researching, annotating, analyzing, and publishing primary source documents.
Environmental Working Group - Research data for a health environment.
FDLP LibGuides 
Government Attic - Electronic copies of thousands of fed govt documents obtained under Freedom of Information Act.
Govtrack.us - Tracks U.S. Congress.
OpenCorporates - Company data from public sources.
Open Paymentspayments that reporting entities, including drug and medical device companies, make to covered recipients like physicians.
Open States - State legislation and other data.
Open The Books - We work to capture/post all disclosed spending at every level of government.
The Accountability Project - Curates, standardizes, and indexes public data.
TechLink - database of technologies available for licensing from the federal government