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Research Guides

Government Documents

Governments produce a wide array of documents ranging from Congressional hearings, debates and reports, census data, agency or departmental papers to brochures, maps and posters.  As primary sources these official governmental publications provide insight into all aspects of history from social issues to politics, from cultural mores to scientific endeavor.

The Federal censuses are an invaluable tool for historians and other social scientists... Despite their value, the census counts are nevertheless far from perfect. Like any historical source, they must be evaluated, their strengths noted, and their limitations recognized."*

Printed copies of the statistical census volumes are housed in the Government Publications Section on the ground floor of Suzzallo Library.

Help: Making Sense of Numbers and Census Data and Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000.

* The US Census as an Historical Source

Researching Houses

Information about a specific property in King County is available online.  For more tips on researching property history see Seattle Public Library's guide, Researching the History of Seattle Buildings.

Finding Census Material

Most government material is housed in the Government Publications section on the ground floor of Suzzallo Library. Librarians there can help you find material you need.  In addition to using the UW Libraries Search for government documents you can also use these specialized sources.  Also see this page for Information on additional statistical sources available in Government Publications.

Local Government Sources

•    Resources for State and Local Government Publications: Washington state, King County and City of Seattle government publications and resources

Additional sources:

•    Municipal Research & Services Center of Washington: Find comprehensive city profiles, plans, transportation information and more  
•    Data for Local Communities: Find WA state data by city, county or topic, like Transportation and Environment and Geography

Other Government Documents

Local, State & Regional GIS Resources