Government Databases in the Social Sciences

GPO Access

NOTE: These are links to only a selected number of government databases dealing with social issues that are available on the Web. The only databases included are those which are considered substantial research sources; almost all have some kind of search capability unless otherwise noted. Consult links on the Government Information Home Page for additional sources of electronic government information.

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Access to Archival Databases. This new service of the National Archives' Electronic Records Archive offers online access to a selection of millions of historic electronic records from over 20 agencies. There is a pathfinder/tutorial describing the structure of the database and suggesting search approaches.

Crime and Justice Data Online. A database which allows construction of detailed customizable tables dealing with crime trends in general, homicide trends, and law enforcement management data. Tables can show data for states or localities, and comparison tables, showing multiple jurisdictions and variables, can be constructed.

Crime and Justice Electronic Data Abstracts. A searchable and browsable database of files in Lotus spreadsheet (.wk1) format.

Crimebase SA. Searchable database made available by the San Antonio Express-News, taken from police crime reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

CRS Reports. These research reports by the staff of the Congressional Research Service cover all subject areas and are excellent overviews. Unfortunately there is not an official government site which offers access to the entire collection. But there are several different institutions and individuals who are working to make these valuable resources available:

DisabilityInfo.gov. Resources for the disabled, their families, employers, and the general public divided into major thematic areas: Education, Transportation, Housing, Health, etc. The pages are available in several different versions to accommodate different access abilities.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. Includes a great deal of material on current and ongoing FBI projects and initiatives as well as summaries of historical cases, technical information and crime statistics.

FBI FOIA Reading Room. This page has links to FBI reports requested under the Freedom of Information Act that have been in the news or are frequently requested. Sub-sections include Famous People (non-criminals such as Lucille Ball, Mickey Mantle, etc.), Gangster Era, Unusual Phenomena (cattle mutilation, etc.), Historical Interest, and Violent Crime.

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Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center. The Center's database of information on suspects and defendants processed in the Federal court system allows downloading of data about specific events and outcomes, such as the number of defendants prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced in a given year, etc., and offers online versions of the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics (available in the Documents Stacks in the Library at J 29.20: ).

Immigration Statistics. This site within the Dept. of Homeland Security offers detailed datasets on immigration in addition to their major statistical compendium, the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. This major source is available back to the mid-1990's on the site.

Justice Department. Links to sub-agencies with statistics and textual publications online. There is an agency-wide searching capability.

Labor Department. Databases of statistics on current and historical labor force issues as well as many text documents dealing with Department programs and issues of interest (e.g., international child labor). Site is searchable. Of particular value for statistical information is the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Law Library Microform Consortium. The Blume Library has made access to this extensive collection of government records, most of which are agencies reports and decisions, available through our Online Catalog. For more information, see the LLMC web site, linked above.

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. A joint project of the Justice Department and the University of Michigan, this collection includes data from the U.S. government and other sources. Searchable and browsable.

National Anthropological Archives. This site, which is part of the Smithsonian Institute's extensive site, includes online exhibitions as well as a guide to the Association's collections (click on Guides to the Collections), which describe the papers, letters, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials that are available for research. The site also gives information about ordering copies.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts Database. Summaries of thousands of federal, state and local government reports as well as journal articles, books and unpublished research. Full text of some federal reports is included; ordering information is given when available.

Official Land Records Site. This database, offered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), provides access to over two million Federal land title records, issued between 1820 and 1908. Search capabilities allow tracing initial transfers from the government to individuals, and can be used for geneology research by connecting people and locations at certain times. Copies certifying land transfers can be ordered.

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Louis J. Blume Library St. Mary's University
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