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Research Guides

United States Federal Government Resources: Executive Branch Documents

How to locate an Executive Branch Document

This is an index to documents from the Executive Branch only.  It leads to high quality, archival microfiche of the documents. You can request retrieval of the microfiche at the Government Publications, Maps, Microforms and Newspapers help desk.  [The microfiche are located in the Suzzallo Basement Closed Stacks in Microfiche Cabinets 10 and 11.]

Final note: it is helpful with this index, more than with most indexes, to read the spine and front cover of the volumes; dates are on the spine; the agencies are listed on the cover.

Background Information

The Executive Branch Documents Index provides access to material issued by federal departments and agencies, including annual reports, general publications, serials, instructions, rules, circulars, decisions, and registers as identified by the Government Printing Office’s own library shelflist.

The indexes are organized in two sets: 1789-1909 and 1910-1932. The information is further organized into groups or clusters of agencies. Each part may be for one agency or several agencies and consists of a subject index, a reference bibliography and a supplementary index.
There are seven parts:

  1. Treasury Department, Smithsonian Institution, Tariff Commission, Veterans Bureau, Veterans Administration, and Vocational Education Board
  2. Commerce Department
  3. War Department (except the Philippine Islands) and War Trade Board
  4. Interior (including Indian Affairs), Justice, and Labor Departments and Interstate Commerce Commission
  5. Agriculture Department
  6. Navy Department, Library of Congress and other agencies
  7. State Department, Post Office Department, Pan American Union, Shipping Board, Philippine Government, and other agencies

The subject index covers both topics and personal names. When you find the entry you are looking for, look for the CIS accession number (ex: W2507-1). SuDoc numbers will also be listed in the subject index, so be sure you have the accession number rather than the SuDocs number.

You will need this to search the reference bibliography. When you look up the accession number in the reference bibliography, you will find another, expanded, description of the documents available which will help determine if the documents are the ones you are seeking. You can then ask someone at the help desk to take the accession number to the microfiche cabinets in the Suzzallo Basement Closed Stacks to find the microfiche copy of the document(s).

The supplementary index is organized under SuDoc number, title, and agency report number. Again, find the accession number and use it to find the expanded description in the reference bibliography. The supplementary index also contains excellent guides.

The index does not include items in the Serial Set, Statutes at Large, or the CIS Index to Presidential Orders and Proclamations.  However, documents printed in the Serial Set are listed in the supplementary index by SuDoc number with references to the Serial Set volume they can be found in.

Presidential Seal

Seal of the President: blue and yellow with a bald eagle in the center

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.