Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
DOC staff have access to a wealth of government documents, both in print and electronically. The Commerce Research Library has legal and legislative print collections that include many older documents and resources that are not always available in digital format. You can search the catalog, check out our collections, or contact a librarian to learn more.
Additionally, the library actively tries to collect print resources published by and about the Department of Commerce in our DOC Archives collection. While far from comprehensive, this area of our collection is unique and full of hidden gems.
Subscription databases containing government documents are a great place to start your search. Other resources exist freely on the internet. Some of the more popular ones are listed below and could be of use during your research.
Depending on the information you are looking for subscription databases can be easier to search. For legislative research we always suggest you start with Legislative Insight or ProQuest Congressional. HeinOnline, Lexis, and Westlaw are great places to check for other documents including agency decisions and federal register notices. Each database has slightly different collections and years covered so you may need to check multiple.
These websites are openly available on the internet:
A-Z List of Executive Agencies
List of government executive agencies and departments.
GPO's Catalog of Government Documents
Bibliographic finding tool for federal publications.
Congressional Research Service Reports
This database contains a variety of recently written products to Congress, including the CRS's well-known reports that provide in-depth research and analysis (internally defined as R-series reports).
Congress.gov (formerly THOMAS)
Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. It is particularly useful for recent materials. Congress.gov is usually updated the morning after a session adjourns.
The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government and provides permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge.
HathiTrust Digital Library
HathiTrust Digital Library is a digital preservation repository; documents can be viewed, but not printed. This resource is especially useful for locating committee hearings and historic government reports and publications.
National Technical Reports Library
Produced by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS), this resource facilitates accessing U.S. government-sponsored research and worldwide scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information. NTIS provides access to research reports, journal articles, data files, computer programs, and audio-visual products from Federal sources.
Cornell University Law School/Legal Information Institute
Provides updates to any section of the USC that has changed since the official was published. NOT AUTHORITATIVE.
Find general government information and services.
Department Administrative Orders (DAOs)
Used to document and mandate continuing policies, standards requirements, and procedures prescribed by the Office of the Secretary for Departmentwide application or for application to two or more major program areas of the Department. The DAOs cover substantive program matters as well as administrative management, legal, or special staff functions.
Department Organization Orders (DOOs)
Used to prescribe the basic management structure and organizational arrangements of the Department of Commerce. DOOs are issued for each Secretarial Officer, Departmental Office, and Operating Unit of the Department of Commerce.
DOO/DAO Recent Updates
A list of recently issued, modified, or revoked Directives.
The Commerce Research Library is a selective depository library. Our public hours are by appointment only for visitors with a valid research need that requires access to the Library's print collections.
PLEASE NOTE: While the general public are allowed to use depository materials free of charge, some of our collections, including many of the resources listed on this website, are not depository materials and may only be used by DOC staff. This includes most of the electronic resources such as LexisNexis, Westlaw, Proquest, and HeinOnline.
1401 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed on Federal Holidays
General Public - by appointment only