Government Research Guide




Almost all government publications and information produced in the last decade can be found online through the following websites. It can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for, though. If you get stuck, ask a librarian (401-847-8720 x208).
The Federal Digital System is a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office that provides free electronic access to over 1,500 databases of Federal information, including the Budget of the United States, the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, the United States Government Manual, and the United States Code. This site replaced the old “GPO Access” page in 2011.

ThomasThomas provides access to the full text of House and Senate bills and resolutions from the current and previous sessions of Congress, searchable by keyword and bill number. Includes the full text of the Congressional Record, as well as bill summary and status. Also contains information on how laws are made, along with the full text of the Constitution of the United States. is the catch-all gateway to government information, including links to various agencies and departments. Also includes links to voter registration and disaster assistance applications. is a great new way to find and apply for government grants. Note: does not provide assistance for personal finance.


Looking for the Rhode Island state budget? Reports on wildlife in the state or the nation? How about an exhaustive volume of education statistics, or environmental assessments from Naval Station Newport?

The Newport Public Library has all these and more in our wide range of state and federal government documents. You’ll find these toward the back of our reference collection (see floor plan for a more detailed view). You can also search for them in the Library Catalog.


Google Government Search Engine
Official search engine of the U.S. Government, linking you only to government sites. Also features easy access to product recalls, government forms.

CIA World Factbook
View extensive information on foreign nations’ governments, economies, military capabilities, and much more, all compiled by the CIA.

GovSpeak: A Guide to Government Acronyms and Abbreviations
This site lists abbreviations commonly used for many federal agencies, and provides links to each agency’s web site.
Provides links to online government information, broken down by subject categories and frequently asked questions.

Tutorials for Patent Searching
From the University of Texas, a few step by step guides to help you start searching for patent information. Use Internet Explorer for these.

Google Patent Search
Still in beta, but definitely worth a look. Search 8 million patents. Similar to Google Scholar search.