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FEDERAL DEPOSITORY LIBRARY: Legislative Branch

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LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

Agencies That Support Congress

  • Architect of the Capitol (AOC)
  • In 1791, George Washington appointed three commissioners to provide suitable buildings and accommodations for Congress. In 1867, the first official use of the title 'Architect of the Capitol' referred to both the person and the agency. The AOC is the builder and steward of landmark buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill.
  • Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
  • ince 1975, CBO has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process. Each year, the agency’s economists and budget analysts produce dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates for proposed legislation.
  • Congressional Research Service (CRS)
  • CRS serves as shared staff to congressional committees and members of Congress at every stage of the legislative process.
  • Copyright Office
  • Created in 1897, he Copyright Office is responsible for administering a complex and dynamic set of laws, which include registration, the recordation of title and licenses, a number of statutory licensing provisions, and other aspects of the 1976 Copyright Act and the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. By statute, the Register of Copyrights is the principal advisor to Congress on national and international copyright matters, testifying upon request and providing ongoing leadership and impartial expertise on copyright law and policy.
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.
  • Government Publishing Office (GPO)
  • The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is the Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, Discoverying, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through our govinfo (https://www.govinfo.gov/), partnerships with approximately 1,150 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program, and a secure online bookstore.
  • Library of Congress (LOC)
  • The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC)
  • The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that provides policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the states on a wide array of issues affecting Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC)
  • MEDPAC is a nonpartisan legislative branch agency that provides the U.S. Congress with analysis and policy advice on the Medicare program.
  • Open World Leadership Center
  • The mission of the Open World Leadership Center, an arm of the U.S. Congress, is to introduce rising leaders of emerging countries to the importance of legislative functions in creating and sustaining democracies. This is done through the introduction of young foreign leaders to the American democratic governing systems and free market operations at every level: federal, state, and local. The Center also maintains a continuing relationship with the network of leaders it has enlisted, especially with those from countries crucial to American national security interests.
  • Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership
  • The Stennis Center for Public Service is a federal, legislative branch agency created by Congress in 1988 to promote and strengthen public service leadership in America. The Stennis Center is headquartered in Starkville, Mississippi, adjacent to Mississippi State University and has an office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Programs of the Stennis Center are funded through an endowment plus private contributions from foundations and corporations.
  • U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG)
  • Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. Since 1934, it has been administered through the Architect of the Capitol. Steeped in history, rich with tradition, the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and to earth's fragile ecosystems.

Additional Resources

  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
  • A compilation of biographies from 1774 to the present.
  • U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
  • Tips for planning a visit, plus videos, calendar of events, brochures, international translations, and a time lapse video of a day in the life of the Center.
  • Congressional Research Service Reports
    CRS does not provide direct public access to its reports, requiring citizens to request them from their Member of Congress. Some Members, as well as several non-profit groups, have posted the reports on their Web sites. This site aims to provide integrated, searchable access to many of the full-text CRS reports that have been available at a variety of different Web sites since 1990.
  • LAWS AND REGULATIONS

  • CONGRESS.GOV
    Legislative Information on the Internet; Congress.gov is the official source for federal legislative information. It replaces the nearly 20-year-old THOMAS.gov site with a system that includes platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval and user-friendly presentation. It currently includes all data sets available on THOMAS.gov except nominations, treaties and communications.

  • How Laws are Made and How to Research Them
    Learn how laws, regulations, and executive orders are made and how to look them up.

  • Federal Register
    Publishes administrative rules having the force of law; contains all executive orders, proclamations, Presidential edicts, all rules and regulations of executive departments, agencies, and independent establishments; also publishes grant information.

  • Regulations.Gov
    On this site, you can find, review, and submit comments on Federal documents that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register, the Government's legal newspaper. As a member of the public, you can submit comments about these regulations, and have the Government take your views into account. To find Federal Register documents currently open for comment, please use the GO buttons on the top of every page. Then, you may use the "Submit a Comment on this Regulation" link to express your opinion on a specific document. Alternatively, you may submit a comment directly to the agency through the PDF or HTML version.

  • Code of Federal Regulations
    Codification of all regulations still in force by executive agencies; composed of titles, many of which correspond to those in the United States Code.

  • United States Code
    Since the laying of the Capitol cornerstone by George Washington in 1793, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) has served the United States as builder and steward of many of the nation's most iconic and indelible landmark buildings. These include the U.S. Capitol, Capitol Visitor Center, Senate Office Buildings, House Office Buildings, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, U.S. Botanic Garden and Capitol Grounds.

  • Statutes at Large
    The United States Statutes at Large is the collection of laws passed by the United States Congress, in chronological order.

  • Serial Set
    The United States Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817). Documents before 1817 may be found in the American State Papers. The Serial Set contains the House and Senate Documents and the House and Senate Reports. The reports are usually from congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. The documents include all other papers ordered printed by the House or Senate. Documents cover a wide variety of topics and may include reports of executive departments and independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, executive-branch materials were also published in the Serial Set. Note: The entire set has not been digitized, only portions.

  • American State Papers
    The American State Papers, comprising a total of thirty-eight physical volumes, contain the legislative and executive documents of Congress during the period 1789 to 1838. The collection includes documents that cover the critical historical gap from 1789 to the printing of the first volume of the U.S. Serial Set in 1817.

  • AGENCIES IMPORTANT TO LIBRARIES

  • Government Publishing Office
    Administers government printing following the Printing Acts of 1860 and 1865. Remains an anomaly in the federal administrative system. One of the largest printers in the world (think of all those income tax forms!) Includes:

  • U.S. Government Bookstore
    Find products for sale by GPO.

  • Core Documents of U.S. Democracy
    "To provide American citizens direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society, a core group of current and historical Government publications is being made available for free, permanent, public access via the GPO Access service."--web site. It really lives up to its claim!

  • CyberCemetery
    The University of North Texas Libraries and the U.S. Government Printing Office, as part of the Federal Depository Library Program, created a partnership to provide permanent public access to the electronic Web sites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions. This collection was named the "CyberCemetery" by early users of the site. Sites are organized both alphabetically and by category. Use the buttons in the left-side navigation bar to browse the archive.

  • FDLP
    The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. Since 1813, depository libraries have safeguarded the public's right to know by collecting, organizing, maintaining, preserving, and assisting users with information from the Federal Government. The FDLP provides Government information at no cost to designated depository libraries throughout the country and territories. These depository libraries, in turn, provide local, no-fee access to Government information in an impartial environment with professional assistance.

  • Grants.Gov
    Provides a simple, unified electronic storefront for interaction between grant applicants and 26 Federal grant-making agencies overseeing 900 individual grant programs that award over $350 billion in grants each year.

  • Internet Archive Wayback Machine
    A comprehensive library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form, which provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. Contains over 10 billion pages. Can't find the previous administrations' papers? Check here.

  • Library of Congress
    LC was born in 1800 when a law passed appropriating $5,000 for the purchase of books for the use of Congress. Two years later, a librarian was authorized to take charge. From these humble beginnings, LC has expanded into a huge operation. Many of their sites are divided according to the Reading Rooms/Divisions housed at LC. The individual sites include histories of the divisions, current projects, and "Ask a Librarian" links.

  • Library of Congress Online Discovery
    Enables you to search the Discovery of the largest library in the world.

  • American Folklife Center
    The electronic counterpart of the Archive of Folk Culture, which includes material from all 50 states.

  • American Memory
    Digitized materials on U.S. history from the Library of Congress collections. Includes first-person accounts of 19th-century California, the Upper Midwest from 1820 to 1910, the Chesapeake Bay area from 1600 to 1925, and other resources for genealogy research.

  • Children's Literature Center
    The Children's Literature Center assists users in gaining access to all children's materials dispersed throughout the Library. The Library holds between 500,000 and 600,000 children's books and periodicals including maps, visual and audio media and secondary material.

  • Copyright Office
    Contains vital information about registering your literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works of art.

  • Geography and Map Division
    Maps and atlases were among the first items acquired when the Library of Congress was established in 1800. It was not until 1897, however, when the Library of Congress moved into its own building, that a separate Hall of Maps and Charts was created to house the growing collection of 47,000 maps and 1,200 atlases. The division now occupies an area of 90,000 square feet in the Library's James Madison Memorial Building.

  • Hispanic Division
    Although primary emphasis has always been the acquisition of current materials and government documents, the Hispanic Division has also acquired a rich collection of rare items. The Division has been, and continues to be, instrumental in acquiring significant gifts of manuscripts, music scores, and posters, photographs and films. The Division staff have made efforts to develop special groups of materials such as collecting folk music from San Antonio, Texas, and pioneering the recording of Hispanic poets.

  • Local History and Genealogy Division
    As one of the leading genealogical collections in the country, the Library has more than 50,000 genealogies and 100,000 local histories. The collections are especially strong in North American, British Isles, and German sources. These international strengths are further supported and enriched by the Library's incomparable royalty, nobility, and heraldry collection, making it one of a few libraries in America that offer such collections. hile the Library is rich in collections of manuscripts, microfilms, newspapers, photographs, maps, and published material, it is not an archive or repository for unpublished or primary source county, state, or church records. Researchers seeking county records will need to visit the courthouse or a library in the county of interest, the state archives, or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, or one of its Family History Centers, all of which might have either the original county records or microform copies.

  • Manuscript Division
    The Manuscript Division was one of several "departments" established in 1897 when the Library of Congress moved from the United States Capitol to a separate building nearby. Its staff of four assumed custody of a collection of twenty-five thousand manuscripts which had accumulated throughout the nineteenth century, chiefly through the purchase in 1867 of Peter Force's collection of Americana, the gift in 1882 of Joseph M. Toner's collection relating to George Washington and American medical history, and several small transfers from the Smithsonian Institution. In 1903, by an act of Congress and an executive order, the State Department began transferring historical papers, including several presidential collections, which had been acquired by the federal government.

  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
    Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail. Their motto is "That All May Read."

  • Prints and Photographs Division
    Unique in their scope and richness, the picture collections number more than 15 million images. These include photographs, historical prints, posters, cartoons, documentary drawings, fine prints, and architectural and engineering designs. While international in scope, the collections are particularly strong in materials documenting the history of the United States and the lives, interests, and achievements of the American people.


     

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