Searching Government Documents

Guides for Finding Specific Materials:

Searching Online

There are several ways to search for government publications that are freely available on the web. Some tools search many subjects at once. In addition, many governmental agencies have their own databases that allow users to search their content directly. Hover over a link for more information. is the federal government's official search engine. also offers a comprehensive portal to federal government sites by agency.

Major Titles - Hein Online

The Federal Register/CFR is available digitally 1936-present from Hein Online (UI Affiliates Only) or on microfiche or paper with the call number: GS 4.107 or AE 2.106.

Finding Official Government Publications

Federal Digital System

FDsys provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Here is a video tutorial (11 min) on the system).

Benefits of FDsys include:

  • Access to about 50 different collections of Federal Government information.
  • The ability to browse by collection, Congressional committee, date, and Government author.
  • Authentic, digitally signed PDF documents.
  • Permanently preserved public access.

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