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Finding Government Information: US Federal

Federal Register & the Code of Federal Regulations

The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

U.S. Government Manual

The United States Government Manual is a special edition of the Federal Register (1 CFR 9.1). It provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the U.S. Federal Government. It also includes information on quasi-official agencies, selected U.S.-participating international organizations, and other Federal boards, commissions, and committees.

Public Papers of the Presidents

 Public Papers of the Presidents began in 1957 in response to a recommendation of the National Historical Publications Commission. Noting the lack of uniform compilations of messages and papers of the Presidents before this time, the Commission recommended the establishment of an official series in which Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature could be made available.

Legislative Branch

Statutes at Large & the U.S. Code

Public laws are initially published as "Slip Laws" and later published in United States Statutes at Large, the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. The Statutes at Large is prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

  • Statutes at Large publishes "session laws" (in chronological order, by session of Congress).
  • The United States Code is a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States.

Serial Set

The United States Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, is considered the most essential publication for unveiling American history. Spanning more than two centuries with more than 17,000 bound volumes, the records in this series include House and Senate Documents, House and Senate Reports, the American State Papers, and much more.

Judicial Branch