Skip to main content
Individual study space @ Research Commons now available by reservation. All other Libraries spaces are closed. Online resources and support are available 24/7! UW Libraries COVID-19 Updates
A Civics Refresher
Use these resources to learn more about the history and organization of the U.S. Federal Government or to learn more about how to become involved.
These reference sources provide an excellent overview of the structure and function of the United States Governement. A reminder about the basics never hurts.
The United States Government Manual (1995 - present)
This is the official handbook of the federal government. The manual beings with reprints of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and goes on to provide "comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches."
The United States Government Manual (1973 - present)
This resource, described above, is available in print from 1973 onward.
The Oxford Guide to the United States Government (2001)
Available online (Access for all on-campus; login required from off-campus) and in print, this resource contains words, concepts and names related to the United States Government such as those you commonly hear and read in the news. You'll find short entries about Presidents and Supreme Court Justices (current through 2001) by searching by last name. Look up major supreme court cases or find out the real meaning of "pork barrel politics" in this resource!
Contacting Elected Officials
Contacting Elected Officials: USA.gov
Contact information for state and federal elected officials.
Contact the White House
Find contact information for calling or writing questions, comments, concerns, or well-wishes to the President or his staff. Another option is to send an email using the form found on the same page.
Contact Your Senator
This Senate directory provides a mailing address and web contact form for each U.S. Senator.
Write Your Representative
This service will assist you by identifying your congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives and providing contact information.
Government of the United States