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Government Departments & Agencies

Directories are important tools that can be used to learn about the organization of the federal government, and how to locate government agencies and officials. Government search engines can be used for queries that are particulary difficult, that do not fit into the usual patterns of government information inquiry.

United States Government

Before beginning the pursuit of government information it is important to understand the broad scope and organization of the United States federal government. Many historical and contemporary federal resources can be accessed by searching FDsys (Federal Digital System) or through browsing FDsys. The following specific resources can be used to learn what departments and agencies of the federal government do, and where they are located.

A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies
By, "The U. S Government's Official Web Portal." This includes gateways to the Federal Executive Branch, Federal Legislative Branch, and the Federal Judicial Branch.
Congressional Directory
Available from FDsys.
Congressional Staff Directory
Available online through subscription from CQ Press.
Federal Agency Directory
Federal internet sites through a joint project of FDsys & LSU Libraries.
Federal Staff Directory
Available online through subscription from CQ Press.
House of Representatives
Official website of the House (
Judicial Staff Directory
Available online through subscription from CQ Press.
Official Register of the United States: Persons in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service, Exclusive of the Postal Service (1816-1959)
Official directory of federal employees. An annual which ceased publication in 1959. The National Archives provides more details. To locate a copy, search WorldCat by using a reliable OCLC accession number, such as OCLC: 1242149.
Official website of the Senate (
United States Courts
Gateway to the Judicial Branch of the U.S. government, including the Federal Courts.
United States Government Manual (Ref. JK421 .A3 2011)
Published since 1935. Now available electronically from FDsys.
Washington Information Directory (Ref. F192.3 .W33 2008/2009)
Available online through subscription from CQ Press.


State and Local Government

Book of the States (Ref. JK2403 .B6, v.32, 1998/1999)
Published since 1935 by the Council of State Governments.
State and Local Government on the Net
"A directory of official state, county, and city government websites" (


Search Engines is the primary portal and search engine for the United States government. For your information, Google's "U.S. Government Search Service" is no longer operational.


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