Skip to main content
Guides to US and Latin American Government Documents
Latin American Government Resources
An excellent portal to many Latin American government resources is LANIC's Government Link (on its homepage). You can explore Latin American government websites by country, subject, branch (i.e. Law & Justice, Military, Political Parties), etc.
Brazilian Government Documents
Executive branch serial documents form the Brazilian government from 1821 to 1993. Also includes Presidential Messages. Maintained at the Center for Research Libraries.
Latin American Government Documents Archive (LAGDA)
Web-archiving service capturing ministries and presidents of 18 Latin American countries. Compiled by the University of Texas at Austin.
Political Database of the Americas
Extensive information about political systems, constitutions, electoral data, political parties, indigenous peoples, democracy and political participation in most Latin American countries. Maintained at Georgetown University.
Presidential Messages -- Argentina and Mexico
Contains digital images of Mexican and Argentinian presidential speeches from the early 19th century to the present. Compiled by the Latin American Research Resources Project of the Center for Research Libraries.
Archivo Digital de la Legislación en el Perú
Digital copies, in PDF, of the Peruvian constitutions dating back to the 19th century, as well as the Leyes de Indias, and past and current legislative materials.
Laws and Legal Research
There are many excellent guides to Mexican Legal Information. Some outstanding ones include:
Government Resources from Other Countries
Confidential Print: Latin America, 1833-1969
The documents of Confidential Print: Latin America are full text records of the British Foreign Office covering the whole of South and Central America, plus the non-British islands of the Caribbean, from just after the final Spanish withdrawal from mainland America in the 1820s to the height of the Cold War in the 1960s. The series originated out of a need to preserve the most important papers generated by the Foreign and Colonial Offices. These range from single-page letters or telegrams to comprehensive dispatches, investigative reports and texts of treaties. All items marked ‘Confidential Print’ were printed and circulated immediately to leading officials in the Foreign Office, to the Cabinet, and to heads of British missions abroad.
US Government Resources
There are many strategies for finding relevant US government resources. As stated above, a great starting point is the UCSD US Government Information Research Guide. The databases, websites, and print guides/indexes listed below are also excellent. Several of these resources will help you identify specific publications (with call numbers that you can browse around to find more) that will have information on your topic. Finally, you can simply go to the shelves with print documents (Geisel 2W) and browse by call number. In order to find out which call number to browse in, you need to understand that US government documents and publications are organized by the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification Scheme, which is based on US government agencies. In order to find out what letters (stems of classification numbers) have been assigned to different agencies, you can use the list (scroll down to the bottom of the page) provided by the US Federal Depository Library Program.
Excellent starting point to identifying and accessing government resources.
Catalog of US Government Documents
Keyword Searchable Online Index to Government Documents Provided by the U.S. Government
Federal Digital System (FDsys)
GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides public access to Government information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies. It includes the content previously available in GPO Access and more.
Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States
1995 Print Version available in :
US Docs, Geisel Floor2 West AE 1.108:G 94 (3 vol.)
The index to this guide is very helpful in identifying relevant collections in microfilm and other formats which can be used at the Archives themselves, or, in many cases, at other libraries. UCSD holds some of these and many others can borrowed through inter-library loan. Such holdings include copies of many collections from foreign archives.
US Government Documents Registry
Online, Keyword-Searchable Index to Government Documents Provided by the Haithi Trust
Congressional sources provide information on virtually every topic imaginable, including any topic in foreign relations or in another country with which the US government was/is concerned. Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports are often excellent starting points for research topics, because these are studies carried out by subject experts at the Library of Congress for government employees and members of congress, and included excellent summaries and bibliographies.
U.S. Declassified Documents Online
Full text of documents from various government agencies: the White House, the CIA, the FBI, the State Department and others, declassified by the U.S. government, and obtained from Presidential Libraries.
National Security Archive
an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. It provides the most comprehensive collection available of significant primary documents central to US foreign and military policy since 1945. UCSD LIbrary also subscribes to its supplementary database, the Digital National Security Archive which provides additional information.
Digital National Security Archive
Provides access to nearly 40,000 declassifed government documents from 1945 to present, organized into collections, each focused on a single topic. See also the National Security Archive website, which provides access to additional documents and information.
Foreign Relations of the United States
Official diplomatic record of U.S. relations with other countries. Contains important speeches, communiques, and other communications of State Department officials and diplomats. There is a delay (approximately 30-40 years) in the release of information as it becomes declassified.
Foreign (non-US) Census Data and Information
Foreign (Non-US) Election Data and Information