Finding Government Information

First of all, I am happy to announce that we just got the retrospective collection of the Congressional Digital Research Collection. This database will be of great use to anyone who is trying to find Congressional records from 1789 to the present.

Second of all, I wanted to share a quick tip prompted by a question I got today about finding a document from the US Census from 1929. While we do have a significant number of government documents (because TCU is a Federal Depository), I did not find the document this person was looking for in our collection. So what I did instead was a Google search, where I typed in the exact name of the document (using quotes) and then telling Google that I just wanted it to look at websites produced by the government. So what does that look like?

While looking for the document this person wanted, I also found a document in our collection called “Children in Gainful Occupations” from 1930. So here’s an example of how I would attempt to find a digital copy online:

Start with Google’s advanced search. Then I would fill in the boxes like this:

You’ll see that I am searching for the exact title, “Children in Gainful Occupations” with the words 1930 census somewhere in the document in only government websites. The way you limit by domain (such as .gov) is to use the box I’ve highlighted in the picture above, “search within a site or domain.” You can also use this function to search the domains .edu and .org.

When I did the search above, I get three results, and the first one is the one that I want. Lest you forget, yes, children were allowed to work in the US back in 1930 before labor laws were reformed so that they were no longer allowed to work.

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