Finding International Publications

Federal Depository Library Program

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Mary Ries
211 Thompson Library
1858 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1285
Phone: 614-688-8770

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Individual foreign governments, as well as Treaty Organizations such as the European Union or the United Nations, issue a wide range of material running the gamut from scholarly to public interest.  As with the other generators these publications are increasingly electronic.

Furthermore, the European Union has established a network of depository libraries across the US to provide Americans with access to many of its official publications.  OSUL is an European Union Depository Library.  All depositories automatically receive, free of charge, one copy of most EU periodical and monograph publications.   The official publications contain information ranging from policy developments in all sectors of EU activity to statistics on trade, demographics, agriculture, transport, energy and economic indicators.  OSUL’s collection is primarily electronic.

Web Resources

EUDL - European Union Digital Library. (Information Society Technologies)  Portal to European Union publications edited by the Publications Office on behalf of the EU arranged by broad types then by years.  Publications available from 1952-present.

European Union.  English version of the official website of the European Union (EU).

Beginning Your Research. (University of Michigan. Clark Library)  Contains information on resources for locating documents and publications of the EU, conducting law and legal research, etc.

European Union:  Locating Documents and Publications (University of Michigan. Clark Library)  Tutorial and guide to locating EU documents. 

Government Information – International Resources. (University of Northern Iowa. ROD Library)  List of international resources with links.  Some of which contain statistics and/or research reports.

Government Publications. (York University. York University Libraries)  Basic resource guide covering foreign government publications.  From the Canadian point of view.

International Information. (Library of Congress)  Links to resources such as the constitutions, economic data, and law.

International Documents Collection:  About the International Documents Collection. (Northwestern University. Northwestern University Library)  Provides links to research guides on international resources by region or by theme, lists of foreign governments, etc.

International Government Information and Country Information:  A Subject Guide.  Andrea M. Morrison and Barbara J. Mann.  Westport, Connecticut:  Greenwood Press, 2004.

International Organizations. (Library of Congress)  Links to lists of organizations, research resources, etc.

List of Diplomatic Missions in United States & American Diplomatic Missions Abroad. (Embassy Worldwide)  Links to foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. and U.S. embassies, consulates, etc. worldwide.  

List of Foreign Governments:  Getting Started. (Northwestern University. Northwestern University Library)  Links to the Official websites of national governments arranged by country.

Official Government Web Pages by Country. (Richard Kimber)  Provides links to various counties' and treaty organizations’ official web sites. 

PARLINE Database on National Parliaments. (Inter-Parliamentary Union)  Information on the structure and working methods of national legislatures for 190 countries. 

Research Guide to League of Nations Documents and Publications. (Northwestern University. Northwestern University Library)  Guide proves an overview of researching League of Nation publications.  Available also as a PDF.

United Nations.  Official website of the United Nations.  

United Nations Documents & Publications - Oakland Campus. (University of Pittsburgh) Tutorial and guide to finding UN Documents.   Although based on the University of Pittsburgh Library's holdings, lists resources that other libraries might have. 

United Nations Publications:  Organized Overview. (University of Pennsylvania. Penn Libraries)  Provides links to official websites broken down into boad categories.

United Nations Research Guide. (Georgetown Law Library)  Guide provides suggested background resources and tips on conducting research into United Nations documents.

Web Sites of National Parliament. (Inter-Parliamentary Union)  Links to the websites of those countries that have a national parliament. 

Other Resources

Europa World Plus.  Provides narrative overviews of countries' recent history, government, defense and economy. Statistics on population, health, agriculture, commerce, and other topics also provided. Europa is a good place to start a search for statistics on foreign countries, especially if you only need a few basic figures. It also provides statistics for selected intergovernmental organizations.    [Print version is Europa World Year Book

“Foreign Government Information”.  Chapter 12.  Gwen Sinclair.  Government Information:  A Reference for Librarians in Hawai‘i.  Honolulu, Hawai‘i :  University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Library and Information Science Program, November 15, 2020.  Although the emphasis is on Hawai‘i, includes case studies, lists additional resources besides a general overview of the topic

Guide to Official Publications of Foreign Countries.  Gloria Westfall (editor).  2nd edition.  Bethesda, Maryland:  American Library Association. Government Documents Round Table, 1990.  Annotated bibliography of official publications arranged by country. 

Guide to Official Publications of Foreign Countries.  Susan Jover (editor).  2nd revised edition.  Bethesda, Maryland:  American Library Association. Government Documents Round Table, 1997.  Annotated bibliography of official publications arranged by country. 

World Factbook. (CIA) Information on government, statistics, etc. by country.  Also available thru HeinOnline.

Further Reading

The Government Information Landscape and Libraries.  Kay Cassell, James Church and Kathryn Tallman (Editors).  IFLA Professional Report no. 137.  Den Haag (The Hague), The Netherlands:  International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2021.  Overview on various aspects  of international government information librarianship.

Lifecycle of Parliamentary Documents: Australia, Canada, European Parliament, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom. Tariq Ahmad, Nicolas Boring, Sayuri Umeda, Kelly Buchanan, Ruth Levush, Elin Hofverberg, Jenny Gesley, Eduardo Soares, Elizabeth Marin, and Clare Feikert-Ahalt. Washington, D.C.: The Law Library of Congress, Global Legal Research Directorate, December 2021. Addresses the lifecycle from initial processing to distribution of parliamentary documents in nine countries and the European Parliament based on legal sources from jurisdictions surveyed.