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Government, Legal, Spatial and Data Services Unit

Photo of the Government, Legal, Spatial and Data Services Unit Desk on the fourth floor of the Malpass Library.

Search Gov/Legal Pages

Contact Information

Online Form

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Phone

(309) 298-2722

Gov/Legal Info desk hours
Fall & Spring Semesters
  • Monday - Thursday, 8 am - 9 pm
  • Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, Closed
Break & Summer School Hours
  • Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, Closed
Location

Malpass Library (4th level)

For further information, contact:

Chuck Malone
Unit Coordinator
Linda Zellmer
Gov't Information & Data Services Librarian

Starting Points for Researching Government and Legal Information:


Top Six
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
Search the official catalog of government publications.
Congressional Budget Office
Search the CBO website to find reports on how government programs and legislation affect the federal budget.
CQ Researcher Online
CQ Researcher, a privately published periodical, prepares reports on all kinds of controversial topics, often including a history of congressional activity.
Government Accountability Office
The GAO is an important agency that monitors and analyzes government programs for effectiveness, fraud and abuse.
OpenCRS
This site hosts CRS reports which cover an amazing assortment of topics and are written by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. Topics include (but are not limited to) terrorism, intellectual property, cyberlaw, national security, health policy, and environmental policy.
USA.gov
The official search portal for online government information. Also try the Advanced Search.

Search Engines
Google and StartPage
To use these search engines to search for government information, type in the search box "site:gov" and your search terms.
Some examples:
  • site:gov secondhand smoke
  • site:mil naval history

Other Important Sites for Government Information
American State Papers
Search early Congressional documents, 1789-1838.
FDsys
The official portal to online government documents from the Government Printing Office.
Federal Agency Websites
Go directly to the source! Most agencies provide data and reports on their websites. This is a good strategy if you know who does what in government.
FIND-IT! Illinois
Use this gateway to digitized Illinois publications.
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
This index to U.S. place names can be used to identify the name of the topographic map that shows the feature or location.
Illinois State Agency Websites
Use state agency websites to interact with state government or find statistics or information for business.
LexisNexis Academic
Use this database to find congressional and legal information.
NCJRS
Use this database for law enforcement information and statistics.
U.S. Congressional Serial Set
Use this database for primary source material, such as congressional documents and reports, 1817-1980.
U.S. Congressional Serial Set Maps
This database has reproductions of maps that accompanied congressional reports, 1817-1980.
WestCat
Search the library catalog for government publications held at WIU or across the state of Illinois. Government Publications come in a variety of formats, including web-accessible electronic titles.
Westlaw Campus Research
Use this legal database to find cases, law journals, legal analysis, laws and regulations.
WorldCat
Search government publications in the international library catalog for items we may not have here at WIU, then request them through Interlibrary Loan.

Links to subject guides created by the Gov/Pub staff arranged in alphabetical order:

Subject Guides

Westlaw Campus Research

The Westlaw Campus Researchdatabase provides access to a host of sources which link to each other within the database. Also included in this database is searching for law cases using the West Key Number System. For more information, ask at the 4th Floor Help Desk.

Resources in Westlaw Campus:

American Jurisprudence 2d
This legal encyclopedia is a good place to start your research as it links to ALR annotations, laws, regulations and cases.American Law ReportsThis annotation service is more in-depth than a legal encyclopedia. It's a great place to start research because it gives an analysis on the current state of law on each topic while also linking to cases, laws, and regulations.
Bankruptcy Court Cases
Bankruptcy cases are reported in the Bankruptcy Reporter and are not included in the federal court case search. Access these through the Content List/Cases/Federal Topical Case Law.
Black's Law Dictionary
Use for legal definitions.Code of Federal RegulationsSearch for federal agency regulations.
Decennial Digest
The Decennial Digest is a subject arrangement of citations to federal and state cases using the West Key Number System. Searching for cases using West Key Numbers can be complex. Ask at the 4th Floor Help Desk if you would like assistance in doing this.
Federal Court Cases
Includes reported and unreported cases.
Federal Register
Search for proposed federal agency regulations and final rules.
General Digest
West's General Digest is a subject arrangement of citations to state and federal cases using the West Key Number System. Searching for cases using West Key Numbers can be complex. Ask at the 4th Floor Help Desk if you would like assistance in doing this.
Illinois Digest 2d
West's Illinois Digest is a subject arrangement of citations to Illinois cases using the West Key Number System. Searching for cases using West Key Numbers can be complex. Ask at the 4th Floor Help Desk if you would like assistance in doing this.
Law Journals (many hundreds)
Law journal articles are also a great way to start your research on just about any legal topic.
Military Law Cases
Military cases are not included in the federal court case search. Access these through the Content List/Cases/Federal Topical Case Law.
State Court Cases
Law cases from all 50 states.
State Laws (all states)
Search the current state codes.
State Laws Annotated (all states)
Search the current state codes and link to cases interpreting the state laws.
State Administrative Codes (all states)
Search state agency regulations.
Supreme Court Briefs
Read briefs submitted to the Supreme Court for cases heard by the court.
Supreme Court Cases
Search Supreme Court Opinions.
U.S. Supreme Court Digest
West's U.S. Supreme Court Digest is a subject arrangement of citations to Supreme Court cases using the West Key Number System. Searching for cases using West Key Numbers can be complex. Ask at the 4th Floor Help Desk if you would like assistance in doing this.
Supreme Court Oral Arguments (transcripts)
Read transcripts of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. To search them by case, party, keyword or docket number go to Content List/Cases.
United States Code Annotated
Search the U.S. Code and link to cases interpreting federal laws.

Treatises: (search through the Content List)

  • Death Penalty - Texts & Periodicals
  • Federal Habeas Manual
  • Hearsay Handbook
  • Illinois Criminal Trial Handbook - DUI
  • Law of Sentencing
  • Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice
  • Trial Handbook for Illinois Lawyers - Criminal
  • Trial Handbook for Illinois Lawyers-Criminal Sentencing
  • Trial Handbook for Illinois Lawyers - Homicide

Get Help

Please contact or visit the Government/Legal Information reference desk for further assistance. We can answer questions, provide instruction in how to access and use resources (both electronic and print), and refer you to other helpful contacts.

Contact Information

Online Form

Ask a Question

Phone

(309) 298-2722

Gov/Legal Info desk hours:
Fall & Spring Semesters
  • Monday - Thursday, 8 am - 9 pm
  • Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, Closed
Break & Summer School Hours
  • Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, Closed
Location

Malpass Library (4th level)