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Government Information Resources for Sociology: Government Information Resources for Sociology

Government Information Resources for Sociology


Useful Government Information Resources for Sociology

The U.S. Government is the world's largest publisher producing information on every topic from accounting to zoology. Purdue Libraries have been a depository for U.S. Government Documents since 1907 and Indiana State Documents since 1974. The Libraries also receive publications from some foreign governments and international government organizations in print and electronic formats. Most U.S. Government publications on sociological topics will be in the HSSE Library with many of these in the government documents collection on the first floor of the periodical stacks and others being in microfiche on the 2nd floor of HSSE's book stacks.  Useful Library of Congress Subject Headings to search for government documents on sociology in the online catalog include:

Entitlement Spending United States

Medicaid Law and Legislation

Medicare United States

Poverty United States Statistics

Public Welfare Law and Legislation United States
Social Security United States

United States Dept of Health and Human Services Appropriations and Expenditures (Find works on this agency's budget)

A basic index to U.S. Government Publications is the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications HSSE REF 016.353 UN36 and online from 1976-present. 

Most U.S. Government publications are classified using the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system. Under the SuDoc system, Government documents are classified alphabetically by the agency producing the document, the division within the agency, and by the type of publication being produced. ALL letters, numbers, and punctuation marks within a SuDoc number are important. For instance, the SuDoc number for the publication My Daddy Takes Care of Me!: Fathers as Care Providers has the SuDoc number C 3.223/25:PPL-53.

This SuDoc number means that the publication was produced by the U.S. Department of Commerce (C), by the Commerce Dept's component agency the Census Bureau (C 3), that it is part of a Census Bureau series called "Population Series Listing" (C 3.223/25), and that it is report number 53 in this series (C 3.223/25:PPL-53).

The Purdue Libraries Government Documents Department website is a useful gateway to the rich universe of government information resources on sociology and other subjects. The research guides section of this website has a number of useful guides to finding government information of interest to sociologists including ones dealing with American Indians, budget, Canadian Government Indian Affairs, criminal justice, drug policy, gambling, and public administration.

A useful print index to congressional U.S. Government publications is the CIS Index HSSE REF 328.73005 C76 which indexes publications produced by congressional committees and provides detailed legislative histories of public laws. Congressional committees are responsible for funding government programs and conducting oversight of these programs and their management performance. Transcripts of hearings and reports issued by these committees often contain valuable statistical and policy analysis information. Paper copies of congressional committee hearings and prints (studies)  are in the Y 4 area of the HSSE government documents collection.

Subject Specialist

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Bert Chapman
(765) 494-2837

Fax: (765) 494-9007