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Gould Library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

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About government information

Use government information to learn more about legislation, regulations, executive orders, and more. Gould Library is an official depository for some print and electronic information from the government. Search Catalyst for books and other materials in our collection. The library also purchases databases that make searching for government information, like the history of a bill in Congress, much easier. 

For additional strategies and resources, please consult the library's government documents research guide.

Secondary Sources and Guides

The best way to locate primary government sources (texts of laws, court decisions) is to use a secondary source like a newspaper article, book, encyclopedia, or research report to guide you to the relevant source. Legislation and court proceedings are complex even for insiders to follow. These sources help you navigate the process and know what to look for. Some suggestions:

Following Congress

Image from Congress.gov: The Legislative Process. See their site for a helpful video and more information.

Following the Executive Branch

Following the Courts

Our primary resource for legal research is Nexis Uni (below). This is where you will find major court decisions, Supreme Court briefs, law review articles, and state codes. 

Following Minnesota Government

For more suggestions on government information from other states, and more resources for Minnesota, consult the gov docs research guide