Monday, November 21, 2016


The last post on my series of free government library resources is about This web portal is another example of the simplicity and user friendly search experience that makes it easy to find what we need. From the main search box, we can do a basic search, advanced or even look for a citation. houses free information about the federal government and policies.

You can search for various information such as government bills and their status, federal regulations, congressional rules and procedures and just about anything you wanted to know about the U.S. government. 

My search of "brown vs board of education" came up with 5665 records and I could refine my result by several factors including collection type, date published, author, organization etc. is a great resource for anyone interested in our legal and government systems.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is another federal resource that provides a digital database of documents that could be of use to researchers. You can find their library here.

FEMA's main library page is very easy to navigate and you can start your search in the right hand search box or choose to browse all the resources.

In my search example, I entered "kids safety".

As you can see, there are several good options to choose from. I chose and I was not disappointed. This looks like a really fun place for kids and their parents to learn more about keeping safe during emergencies.

Archives.Gov is another very valuable online research portal that was started by congress in 1934. The National Archives was started in order to preserve records of the United States government.

Another easy to use government resource, you can simply type in your search inquiry in the top left search box and then click the Search button.

I have searched for: "Mississippi Census":

From here, I chose BIA Records: Mississippi | National Archives.

The National Archives houses information about the state census records for Native American tribes and is broken down by states. Here is the information from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for the state of Mississippi.

Other records you can find at include military records, genealogical records and information and see online copies of many historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence. 

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is a massive online database of several million books, images, recordings, newspapers, art, documents etc. spanning many years and cultures. Considered the "largest library in the world", the Library of Congress is the main research center of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. (

Some quick interesting faqs:

  • housed in three buildings on Capital Hill
  • The LOC began in 1800 inside the capital
  • contains over 162 million items!
  • in 2015, had over 1.6 million online visitors

The LOC website is very easy to navigate. Starting from the top, you can simply type your search keyword and then click on the magnifying class icon to get your results. 

From there, you can "drill down" your interest in a variety of formats, date, location and other attributes from the left hand sidebar. 

In this case, I chose Photos/Prints/Drawings and then 1800-1899- to find an old image of Harper's Ferry, WV. 

From here, you can download various sizes of the image and under "More Resources", you will find more details about the image such as the title, when it was created (in this case, March 1862), the materials used, notes, where located within the LOC and many other details. 

The LOC is an extremely valuable resource and should definitely be in your research took kit. 

Introduction and Federal Library Resources

Hi there fellow library enthusiasts! This blog is my little world of all the wonderful resources and tips related to libraries, books and library science that I find interesting and useful.

In the first series of these posts, I will discuss several federal library resources that are available to the public for free research on a variety of topics. Thankfully, our government has digitized thousands of various assortment of materials over the years so that we do not have to travel around the nation to find valuable information related to our research projects or general curiosity. In my next posts, I will discuss some of my favorite starting with our oldest: Library of Congress.

Moorish women making Arab carpets, Algiers, Algeria : ca. 1899 : Library of Congress