Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is a frequently updated Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features.




UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SOURCES


Locator Services, Search Engines, and Directories
Department, Agency, Congressional, and Military Sources


Locator Services, Search Engines, and Directories

 

Congressional Research Service Reports on the Internet-- The non-partisan U.S. Congressional Research Service, based at the Library of Congress,  prepares thousands of unclassified reports a year on a vast range of topics at the request of members of Congress. Many CRS reports are on foreign affairs topics or U.S. foreign policy issues. Thousands of these first-rate reports are available in full-text PDF online, but they are scattered on the Internet and poorly indexed by regular search engines. The Department of State posts many Congressional Research Service reports on international affairs. The Federation of American Scientists posts Congressional Research Service Reports on international security issues. The National Council for Science and the Environment posts CRS reports about environmental and related topics, extending quite broadly, even into international finance. The University of North Texas Libraries post a large searchable collection of CRS Reports. The DocuTicker reporting service offers a constantly updated archive of recently-available CRS Reports. Be sure to try the two very helpful limited area search engines at zFacts and the Internet Archive that search Congressional Research Service Reports online sites.


Cyber Cemetery-- From the University of North Texas Libraries, affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration, "an archive of [U.S.] government web sites that have ceased operation (usually web sites of defunct government agencies and commissions that have issued a final report)."

Data.gov-- "Increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. Data.gov provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added."

FedStats-- The purpose of this very useful site, from the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, is to provide easy online access to the full range of statistics and information produced by scores of federal agencies for public use.

FedWorld-- Central information network of the U.S. federal government, with searchable access to agencies and departments, documents, databases, etc.-- a comprehensive site for searching for, locating, ordering, and acquiring government and business information.

Federal Digital System-- From the US Government Printing Office, identifies public information resources within the three branches of the federal government (including electronic information resources), describes the information available in these resources, and assists in obtaining the information. The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications is "the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online."


Freedom of Information Act Website-- From the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, facilitates access to U.S. government information in executive branch agency records, either through the Electronic Reading Room or by inquiry directly to the National Archives and Records Administration.

GovEngine.com-- Directory for U.S. federal, state, and local websites, including courts.

GovFresh-- Aggregated "live feed of official news from U.S. Government Twitter, YouTube, RSS, Facebook, Flickr accounts and more, all in one place."

GovTrack.us-- Free online service to "research and track the activities in the U.S. Congress [such as] the status of U.S. federal legislation, voting records in the Senate and House of Representatives, and information on Members of Congress, as well as congressional committees and the Congressional Record."

MetaLib-- From the U.S. Government Printing Office, a "federated search engine that searches multiple U.S. Federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while providing direct links to selected resources available online."


Online Research Tools and Aids-- From the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration of the U.S. government, a guide to finding online federal records and information about them, including from Presidential Libraries.


SearchGov.com-- Searches millions of Web pages of executive agencies, independent agencies, and state and local levels.

SearchMil.com-- Searches over one million military (.mil) Web pages, indexed and ranked in order of popularity.

USA.gov-- Large official United States government web portal offering easy access to all online U.S. federal, state, and local government resources, by various means of approach. Excellent source for such information, with tutorials. There is also a Defense and International Relations section for official information and services from the U.S. government. Note the U.S. Government RSS Directory option.

United States Government Manual-- Searchable official information source about the agencies of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.


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Department, Agency, Congressional, and Military Sources


Agency for International Development-- USAID is the government agency that provides economic development and humanitarian assistance to advance U.S. economic and political interests overseas. Much information on USAID's activities and on developing countries. Note the Development Experience Clearinghouse, "the largest online resource for USAID funded technical and program documentation, with over 137, 500 documents available for [free] electronic download."

Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Statistics-- Show trade data and related information for the United States.

Census Bureau's International Programs Section-- A rich computerized data bank containing statistical tables of past, present, and projected demographic and socio-economic data for most countries and all areas of the world.

Central Intelligence Agency-- Note the Center for the Study of Intelligence, which conducts research on intelligence and publishes classified and unclassified editions of the Studies in Intelligence journal, as well as books, monographs, and a quarterly newsletter. The CIA maintains a highly-regarded annual World Factbook and has many online publications. The National Intelligence Council, "a center of strategic thinking within the U.S. Government," posts numerous publications on global trends and issues. Note the CIA and the War on Terrorism page. The Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room gives access to a searchable online database "to provide the public with an overview of access to CIA information, including electronic access to previously released documents." The downloadable Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds study is "intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes characterizing the world today and possible global trajectories over the next 15 years."

Congress.gov-- From the Library of Congress, a large, searchable site with much detailed information about the Congress and its deliberations and legislation. Other sites: United States House of Representatives-- Official site of the U.S. House of Representatives and United States Senate-- Official site of the U.S. Senate. Note especially the following committees-- House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs; Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; House of Representatives Armed Services Committee; Senate Committee on Armed Services. The Congressional Budget Office may be of interest, for its nonpartisan "independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process."

Customs and Border Protection-- "The single unified border agency of the United States." Information on the agency's border control and customs functions, with official statements, import, export, border security, and international travel information, regulations, statistics, and forms. Note the Customs Rulings Online Search System, a searchable database of CBP rulings, plus trade-related links.

Department of Agriculture-- The Foreign Agricultural Service maintains a Global Agricultural Information Network about the agricultural situation and agricultural trade overseas, by categories, countries, and posts. The Economic Research Service has a search facility and its Topics Page posts many international reports. The World Agricultural Outlook Board "serves as USDA’s focal point for economic intelligence and the commodity outlook for U.S. and world agriculture."

Department of Commerce-- Economic news and statistics on international trade and the U.S. economy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis  supplies online data, articles, and surveys on U.S. international commercial transactions and the U.S. position in the world economy.

Department of Defense-- Department of Defense's starting point for U.S. military information online. Check the Publications page for online documents, such as the major Quadrennial Defense Review. The Joint Electronic Library provides access to official publications and research papers of the U.S. armed forces, through the Joint Chiefs of Staff site.

Department of Homeland Security--  Charged with protecting the U.S. homeland from terrorist attacks, this organization posts information about its mission, policies, regulations, and actions. The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics posts statistics and reports on immigration matters.

Department of Labor-- Note especially the Bureau of International Labor Affairs and International Labor Comparisons.

Department of State-- Very extensive site, for an official view of U.S. foreign policy. There is a handy page that lists the many major online State Department publications. The Media Center provides connections to Department products on social media and multimedia. Abundant information for world travelers is found at the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The Countries section provides facts about most countries. Declassifed documents are available at the Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room. There are official blog and video sections. The Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions page links to the Web sites of U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. Also see the site of the American Foreign Service Association, the professional association of the U.S. Foreign Service. AFSA publishes the Foreign Service Journal for "an insider's view on how U.S. foreign policy is made." The Electronic Research Collection is a searchable archive of historical online materials from the Department of State Web site, as posted from 1990 to 2001. An archive of materials released by the George W. Bush administration (January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009) is available. The Overseas Security Advisory Council posts advisories on security-related issues around the world as "the focal point for the exchange of unclassified information between the U.S. Department of State and the private sector in the U.S. on security-related incidents and threats overseas." The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (2010) focuses on "civilian power," for "directing and coordinating the resources of all America's civilian agencies to prevent and resolve conflicts; help countries lift themselves out of poverty into prosperous, stable, and democratic states; and build global coalitions to address global problems."

Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy (International Section)-- Large "International Energy Information at a Glance" site, searchable, with energy, GDP, and population statistics by country and region, plus country, regional, and world analysis reports. Note the comprehensive Country Analysis Briefs, International Energy Outlook, and International Energy Statistics.

Export-Import Bank of the United States-- Information on U.S. export promotion and financing, plus foreign country data, from the official export credit agency of the U.S. government.

Foreign Relations of the United States-- From the Office of the Historian in the U.S. Department of State, a series of volumes in the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. Recently-released volumes contain declassified records from all the foreign affairs agencies. Many volumes are online in full-text, from 1945 onward. The University of Wisconsin Digital Collections project maintains a searchable, freely-accessible archive of these volumes from 1861 to 1960.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation-- An independent U.S. government agency that assists U.S. companies investing in some 150 emerging economies around the world.

Peace Corps-- Information about the "mission, history, and current endeavors" of this agency of the U.S. federal government for volunteer service overseas. The Digital Library "provides a searchable collection of electronic Peace Corps materials from 1961-present," such as newsletters, stories, photos, posters, speeches, reports, audio, and video.

United States Army War College-- The top school in the U.S. Army educational system, with many excellent international affairs and security studies accessible online. The Library provides useful military and security resources, including topical bibliographies. Note the Parameters journal and the Strategic Studies Institute pages. The U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute may be of interest.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-- Provides immigration and naturalization information, including laws, statistics, and  forms.

U.S. Mission to the United Nations-- From the Office of Press and Public Affairs, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, New York City.

United States Trade Representative-- Responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and leading or directing negotiations with other countries on such matters. Note the many full-text reports and trade agreements available.

White House-- Official statements from the Executive Office. The Briefing Room and a blog cover recent events, with an archive. Parts of the White House archives from the George W. Bush administration are available online at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Parts of the White House archives from the Bill Clinton administration are available online at the White House Virtual Library and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. The presidential documents of both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are available online through the Federal Digital System.


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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: selchewa@etown.edu