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American Government Resources

Learning Resource Center


American Government and Politics

The WVNCC Learning Resource Center has several sources pertaining to American Government. The following is a guideline on how to access these resources.

Finding Books on "American Government"

A. Browsing the Shelves

Many of the books in the general area of American Government are in the "J" section of the library. Our books are classified according to the Library of Congress system which puts political science books, in general, in "J", and specific topics, in particular, under specific sections,. For example, American Government books are mainly under "JK". However, if you are following government action in relation to specific topics, those books may be found in other areas. For example, books concerning laws of the United States are in "KF" but books about medicine and government may be in "R".

If you were to browse the shelves in the library you may find the following titles that would be helpful.

Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report - Ref. JK 1 .C15, Wh

Presents a summary of general legislation for each week. Discusses bills and actions that were taken.

Facts on File Yearbook - Ref. D 410 .F3, Wh

Contains recent news including legislative action.

CQ Researcher (Formerly Editorial Research Reports) - Ref. H 35 .E35, Wh

Provides background to current topics of widespread interest and includes a chronology and bibliography.

U.S. Government Manual - Ref. JK 421 .A3, Wh, We, NM

Contains descriptions and addresses for all government agencies of all three branches.

Black's Law Dictionary - Ref KF 156 .B53 1990, Wh, NM

Contains legal definitions often with reference to a specific law or court case.

United States Code (1988 ed.) - Reference 342.02632 Un36u 1988 (At Ohio County Public Lib.) Contains general and permanent laws of the United States.

Code of Federal Regulations - Reference R 4 342.73066 Un36c (At Ohio County Public Library)

Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (4 vols. + 1 Suppl.) - Reference 342.7302 En 19 (At Ohio County Public Library)

B. Using the Online Catalog to Locate Books on "Government"

If you know the author or title of the book, do an author or title search. Entries in the catalog are in alphabetical order by the first word of the title or by the author's surname. If the book is in one of our libraries, the screen will tell you which campus houses the book and give you its call number so that you can find the book on the shelves.

If you want to see what books the library has on a particular subject do a subject or keyword search on the Online Catalog. Possible headings include the following.

United States - Politics and Government

Democracy - United States

United States - Constitution

United States Government

United States Department of Justice

Child Abuse - Law and Legislation

Firearms - Law and Legislation

Gun Control - Government Policy - United States

Locating Magazine and Journal Articles in the area of American Government

The following databases can be used to find magazine and journal articles about your topic. Some databases will provide full-text of the articles. Other may be found by using WVNCC's periodical list or by interlibrary loan.

InfoTrac Academic ASAP - contains citation and full-text information for approximately 400 scholarly and general interest magazines (through Library Web page)

SIRS [Social Issues Resources Series] - contains ful-text articles in the fields of science and social science (on CD-ROM)

PAIS Decade [Public Affairs Information Service] - contains citations for articles, books, government documents, conference proceedings and statistical directories about public affairs for the last ten years (On First Search).

Wilson Indexes - contains citations to periodicals locate din ten indexes including Index to Legal Periodicals and Social Sciences Index (available on MountainLynx).

UnCover Periodicals Index - (On Internet)


There are many sites related to state and federal government. Use a search engine to look for a specific topic. Below is a list of some sites that are meant to serve as a starting point for your web research.

CongressionalRecord - serves as the official record of congressional proceedings but may be legally altered (Then click on the Congressional Record you wish to look at.)


Federal Register - Contains announcements and text of many documents such as presidential

(Then click on Federal Register)


West Virginia State Page - Connects to state government offices.


West Virginia Legislature (Includes WV Code)


Thomas - U.S. Government Legislative Information


White House


GPO Access


United States Code


West Virginia State and Local Government


Yahoo Directory of U.S. Government Information (Then click on U.S. Government)


Other Sources

Federal Depository Library - This kind of library provides local, no-fee access to government information from the U.S. Superintendent of Documents. The nearest federal depository library is the Resource Center (Room 218) of the National Technology Transfer Center at Wheeling Jesuit University.