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Government Web Sites: Top 20 Essential US Government Site

presentation for COGOPUB 2017

Lifewire Links  - access portal into the vast resources available on the Web from the U.S. government, state governments, and local governments. Easiest way to use it through directories  (Lifewire Info about

Library of Congress - nation's largest repository of culture, as well as the largest functioning library in the entire world.

THOMAS ( is federal legislation freely available for the general public.

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy - from the Articles of Confederation to a Statistical Abstract of the United States, if you're looking for an American historical document, you'll probably find it here.

FCIC - Federal Citizen Information Center - find government publications, booklets, consumer action alerts, and more

Ben's Guide is an excellent introduction to the US government: "This site provides learning tools for K-12 students, parents, and teachers. These resources will teach how our government works, the use of the primary source materials of GPO Access, and how one can use GPO Access to carry out their civic responsibilities." is one of the best places to find government-related health and human services information on the Web. Over 1500 health-related organizations are represented here.

National Center for Health Statistics - every state is represented with detailed information on how to go about getting what you need such as vital records. not only gives you the latest Presidential news, but you can also find out the President's official stand on a whole plethora of policy issues, from budget management to national defense. 

US Census Bureau - want US population info? How about the latest census findings? Find answers to these questions and a whole lot more.

CIA World Factbook - Find detailed geographical, demographical, and statistical information for every country in the world in a free download form for easy offline access.

VA site -find information about prescription refills, veterans affairs forms, health care benefits, education resources, and much more.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a great resource for the latest emergency headlines, disaster preparedness, and how to apply for federal or state emergency assistance.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) probably isn't where you want to spend too much of your time, but it's a very rich resource for when you need to find tax information quickly and efficiently.

United States Postal Service is a wonderful resource; you can print postage and labels online, change your address, stop your mail while you're on vacation, and a whole lot more. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is a treasure trove for weather junkies or anyone else who wants to stay on top of weather happenings, as well as oceanic research and new aquatic developments.

National Archives - research genealogical history, delve into historical topics, and view historical documents and photos of all kinds.

Social Security Online - apply for social security benefits, replace Medicare card, plan retirement, qualify for disability, or get help with name changes 

US Geological Survey is one of the most interesting sites on the Web: "As an unbiased, multi-disciplinary science organization that focuses on biology, geography, geology, geospatial information, and water, we are dedicated to the timely, relevant, and impartial study of the landscape, our natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten us."

Find links to state and local government here at the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room's list of state government resources.

A few more from Lifewire

The American Presidency Project

If you want to know something about American presidents, it's here: over 87,000 documents all free available to the public.
(A project out of the University of California Santa Barbara.)

Government Documents Center

An exhaustive database of U.S. government statistics and factual documents.
(Put together by the University of Michigan library, the Government Documents Center.)

Medline Plus

Searchable indexes of searches pre-forumulated with information, drug resources, medical encyclopedias, interactive tutorials, and current medical news. (From the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.)

Library of Congress Online Catalog

The Library of Congress, one of the largest American cultural repositories, has placed their incredible collection of records online via the Library of Congress Online Catalog. According to the Library records, there are over 14 million documents here, including books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, cartographic materials, music, sound recordings, and visual materials.


Need to know something about chemicals, compounds, substances, or bioassays? You can find it at PubChem, a comprehensive database put together by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Genetics Home Reference

The Genetic Home Reference, a project of the National Library of Medicine, is a stellar resource for genetic information and information about genetic conditions.


Get demographic information about nearly any community in the United States at ePodunk, a fascination data collection for over 46,000 different cities, towns, and suburbs in the US.

Chronicling America

Chronicling America is a project from the Library of Congress; you can "search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

Chronicling America

Chronicling America is a project from the Library of Congress; you can "search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is literally the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections freely available to the public (you might have noticed that the Library of Congress Online Catalog has already been included in this list; the Library of Congress home page is the hub of ALL the content that the Library has to offer).

About Lifewire

There are literally hundreds of thousands of US government and government-related Web sites online today, and it can be overwhelming (to say the least!) to find what you're looking for. In this article, we'll go through the top United States government sites that you need to know about; the sites that consistently offer the best user experience, helping you to find what you need quickly, easily, and efficiently.

Lifewire - a new site to help you get the most out of your tech, so you can get the most out of your life.