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Politics and Government Archival Collections in USC Libraries Special Collections: Additional Resources

Guide to the collections of political papers and records held by USC Libraries Department of Special Collections

USC LibWire Political Science & Public Policy news

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Primary source websites

American Memory -- contains a collection of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures and text from the Library of Congress Americana collections. There are over 70 collections included in the project. You can search a particular topic or browse through the collections.

Chronicling America -- this site from the Library of Congress allows you to search and view American newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

C-SPAN Archives -- records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN programming aired since 1987, now totaling over 160,000 hours. All C-SPAN programs since 1993 are digital and can be viewed online for free.

New Deal Network -- a research and teaching resource devoted to the public works, public policies, and arts projects of the New Deal.

Online Archive of California -- free public access to detailed descriptions of primary source collections (artwork, manuscripts, papers, historic photographs, and so on) maintained by more than 200 libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California.

Presidential Recordings Program -- between 1940 and 1973, six American presidents from both political parties--FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Nixon--secretly recorded on tape just under 5,000 hours of their meetings and telephone conversations. This site contains those files.

UCLA On Line Campaign Literature Archive -- printed ephemeral election materials, and copies of websites, distributed and developed by campaigns for local, state, and federal offices and ballot measures affecting the Los Angeles area.

Voices of Democracy -- a project is designed to promote the study of great speeches and public debates. The emphasis of the project is on the actual words of those who, throughout American history, have defined the country's guiding principles, debated the great social and political controversies of the nation's history, and shaped the identity and character of the American people.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 -- a resource site organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S.  The collection includes more than 90 document projects or archives and 2,800 documents and 125,000 pages of additional full-text sources, written by more than 2,240 primary authors. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools.

Public Records and Government Documents

100 Milestone Documents  -- a list of 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.

Core Documents of U.S Democracy -- core group of current and historical Government publications that define our democratic society.

National Archives and Records Administration -- official agency site that allows searching of holdings by federal government organization, media, location, and topics.

United States Historical Census Data  -- data presented here describe the people and the economy of the US for each state and county from 1790 to 1960.

U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774-1873 -- consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875.

Resource Guides and Directories


  • CQ Press Political Reference Suite -- full-text database of directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, compendia, yearbooks, etc. from dating back to 1945 to the most current edition covering all aspects of Amercian federal government.
  • Government's Attic -- provides electronic copies of hundreds of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, including historical documents, reports on items in the news, and various oddities.
  • -- an easy-to-navigate portal to regulations issued by federal agencies. Users can browse by, and subscribe to, individual agencies and topics codes.
  • LSU Libraries Federal Agencies Directory -- a comprehensive and frequently updated web site directory of federal agencies in the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches as well as all independent councils, boards, committeess, and commisions. Links can be browsed hierarchically or alphabetically.
  • Policy Agendas Project -- website devoted to collecting and organizing data from various archived sources to trace changes in the national policy agenda and public policy outcomes since the Second World War.

Official Websites

  • Executive Orders -- contains information about Executive Orders beginning with those signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and are arranged according to Presidential administration and year of signature. The directory is compiled and maintained by the Office of the Federal Register editors.
  • Presidential Library System -- a nationwide network of Presidential libraries beginning with Herbert Hoover each preserving and making accessible the papers, records, and other historical materials of U.S. Presidents.
  • Compilation of Presidential Documents -- the collection consists of the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents which are the official publications of materials released by the White House Press Secretary. The collection integrates material from the weekly publication dating from 1993.
  • Whitehouse -- the official website of the White House.


  • American Presidents: An Online Reference Resoures -- a comprehensive collection of material about the Presidents of the United States and the history of the presidency. This web site features essays about the President's life before, during, and after each presidential term. It additionally provides information about the First Lady and cabinet officials of each administration.
  • The American Presidency Project -- online resource that has consolidated, coded, and organized into a single searchable database thousands of archival documents and government publications on the Executive Branch.
  • Commission on Presidential Debates -- an organization established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress -- contains brief biographies of all members of current and former members of Congress (including the Continental Congress) as well as bibliographies and the locations of their papers.