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United States Government Manual

Last updated on 12-14-2017

United States Government Manual, 1995 to Present

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About the United States Government Manual

What is the Government Manual?

The United States Government Manual, the official handbook of the Federal Government, is issued by National Archives' Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and provides information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. It also includes information on quasi-official agencies; international organizations in which the United States participates; and boards, commissions, and committees. The Manual begins with reprints of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

A typical agency description includes:

  • A list of officials heading major operating units.
  • A summary statement of the agency's purpose and role in the Federal Government.
  • A brief history of the agency, including its legislative or executive authority.
  • A description of its programs and activities.
  • Information, addresses, and phone numbers to help users locate detailed information on consumer activities, contracts and grants, employment, publications, and other matters of public interest.

The Manual is published as a special edition of the Federal Register (see 1 CFR 9.1). Its focus is on programs and activities. Persons interested in detailed organizational structure, the regulatory documents of an agency, or Presidential documents should refer to the Federal Register or one of its other special editions.

What is available?

  • The U.S. Government Manual for 1995-96 and all subsequent annual editions to the present are available on govinfo.
  • Most editions are available in PDF format, and more recent years are available as XML.
  • GPO and OFR partner to offer bulk data downloads of files from 2011 forward from Data.gov and GPO’s Bulk Data Repository.
  • View a currently updated online Government Manual

Searching the Government Manual

You can locate and search editions of the Government Manual by:

  • Using Basic Search for keyword and metadata fielded searches (see Metadata Fields and Values section),
  • Using Advanced Search; fields specific to The Manual will display after you select United States Government Manual in the Refine by Collection column,
  • Refining search results by clicking on links in the Refine Your Search panel on the left hand side of the page (the sections under Refine Your Search correspond to the metadata available for the documents), and
  • Browsing on The Government Manual browse page.

General govinfo Search Tips

Search Examples

Search Government Manual by Agency - These examples will search for Government Manual documents with Department of Homeland Security as the agency.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:govman agency:"department of homeland security"
  • Using Advanced Search, select United States Government Manual under Refine by Collection, then under Search in select Agency in the first box and enter Department of Homeland Security in the second box

Search Government Manual by Date - These examples will search for Government Manual documents published in 2009.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:govman publishdate:2009 then select the checkbox next to View Historical Results
  • Using Advanced Search, select Date is in the box under Date Range, enter 2009 in the next box, then select United States Government Manual under Refine by Collection
  • From the Government Manual browse page, navigate to the 2009-2010 Edition and click to expand

Search Government Manual by Section - These examples will search for Government Manual documents from the Legislative Branch section.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:govman sectionhier:legislative 
  • Using Advanced Search, select United States Government Manual under Refine by Collection, then under Search in select Section in the first box and select Legislative Branch from the second box
  • From the Government Manual browse page, navigate to an edition and expand the sections to find documents in the Legislative Branch section

Search Government Manual by Personal Name - These examples will search for Government Manual documents with Al Gore in the text.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:govman "Al Gore" then select the checkbox next to View Historical Results
  • Using Advanced Search, select United States Government Manual under Refine by Collection, then under Search in, enter: Al Gore in the second box

Sample Government Manual URLs

Govinfo uses two key pieces of information to construct predictable URLs to documents and Details pages:

  • Package ID is used to identify an individual edition of the United States Government Manual.
  • Granule ID is used to identify individual documents within the edition of the United States Government Manual.

Identifier

Structure/Metadata Field

Example

Package ID

GOVMAN-{Publication Date}

 

Note: Publication Date is in YYYY-MM-DD format.

GOVMAN-2008-06-01

Granule ID

{Package ID}-Pg{First Page Number}{Sequence Number}

 

Note: Sequence Number is only used if there are more than one granule with the same First Page Number. The first granule will not have a Sequence Number and the second would have a Sequence Number of 2.

GOVMAN-2008-06-01-Pg50

GOVMAN-2008-06-01-Pg82-2

Details page for a full United States Government Manual Edition
Structure: http://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/{Package ID}
Example: http://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/GOVMAN-2008-06-01

PDF File for a full United States Government Manual Edition
Structure: http://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{Package ID}/pdf/{Package ID}.pdf
Example: http://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GOVMAN-2008-06-01/pdf/GOVMAN-2008-06-01.pdf

Details Page for a document within the United States Government Manual
http://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/{Package ID}/{Granule ID}
Example: http://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/GOVMAN-2008-06-01/GOVMAN-2008-06-01-Pg50

PDF File for a document within the United States Government Manual
http://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{Package ID}/pdf/{Granule ID}.pdf
Example: http://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GOVMAN-2008-06-01/pdf/GOVMAN-2008-06-01-Pg50.pdf 


Government Manual Metadata Fields and Values

Metadata fields and values can be used to increase the relevancy of your searches. The metadata fields available for the United States Government Manual are listed in the table below. Metadata fields and values are used throughout govinfo for

  • Refining Your Search,
  • Browsing,
  • Field Operators,
  • Advanced Search, and
  • Display on Details Pages.

Metadata fields and values can be entered into the Basic Search Box using field operators. The field operators available for the United States Government Manual are listed in the table below, along with examples for each metadata field. Using Field Operators

Some of these metadata fields are made available for use in Advanced Search. Using Advanced Search

Metadata Field Display Name

Metadata Field Definition

Field Operator

Field Operator Example

Collection

The collection to which the document belongs. Typically the same as the publication or series.

collection:

collection:govman

 

"govman" is used for the United States Government Manual

Government Author

The names of the Government organizations responsible for authoring or assembling the document.

governmentauthor:

governmentauthor:"office of the federal register"

Publication Date

The date the document was first made available to the public.

publishdate:

publishdate:1995-07-01

 

Date format is YYYY-MM-DD

Language

The language code of the original document, from the ISO639-2b standard.

language:

language:eng

Former Package ID

The document ID of the "package" as originally specified on www.gpoaccess.gov.

mods:identifier:(@type:"former package identifier":______)

mods:identifier:(@type:"former package identifier":169338pr)

SuDoc Class Number

The SuDoc class number from the U.S. Superintendent of Documents which classifies Government publications by publishing agency.

sudocclass:

sudocclass:"AE 2.108/2:"

 

Ingestion Date

The date the document was ingested into the FDsys preservation repository.

ingestdate:

ingestdate:2009-08-15

 

Date format is YYYY-MM-DD

Electronic Location (URL)

The URL where the document or the document in context (the content detail page) is located.

url:

url:pkg/GOVMAN-2016-12-16/pdf/GOVMAN-2016-12-16.pdf

Publisher

The government organization who publishes the document or publication. Not typically the Government Publishing Office (who serves as the printer and distributor), except in the case of Congressional publications.

publisher:

publisher:"Office of the Federal Register"

Branch

The branch of Government responsible for the document's contents.

branch:

branch:executive

 

Possible Values: Executive, Legislative, Judicial

Type of Resource

The media type for the document, typically "text". Defined as part of the Library of Congress MODS standard.

typeofresource:

typeofresource:text

WAIS Database Name

The name of the WAIS database to which the document belonged in the former GPO Access system.

waisdbname:

waisdbname:1995_government_manual

Record Origin

How the record was originally generated. Typically "machine generated."

recordorigin:

recordorigin:"machine generated"

Title

The title of the publication.

title:

title:"congressional budget office"

Section

These are the different sections and sub-sections contained within the Government Manual document.

sectionhier:

sectionhier:legislative

 

Possible Values: See table below

Agency

Agency or sub-agency name. For example, "Defense Department" or "Department of Labor".

agency:

agency:defense

President

The name of the president, for example "George W. Bush," "Barack Obama," or simply "Clinton".

president:

president:bush

Citation

The GPO standard method for searching citation references from the selected publication.

citation:

citation:"u.s. government manual, 2008-2009 edition"

Public and Private Law References

Citation references to Public or Private Laws. For example, "Public Law 110-32" or "Private Law 110-3".

plawcitation:

plawcitation:"public law 95-507"

United States Code Citation

Citation references to the United States Code. For example, "42 U.S.C. 5841" or "42 U.S.C. App. 99"

uscodecitation:

uscodecitation:"42 U.S.C. 3121"

Statutes at Large Citation

Citation references to Statutes at Large. For example, "88 Stat. 1242".

statutecitation:

statutecitation:"32 Stat. 51"

Reference Citation

Reference to another document within the text of a document.

refcitation:

refcitation:"42 U.S.C. 3121"

Section Metadata Values

The table below lists the metadata values which can be used when limiting your search using the Section advanced search field or the sectionhier: field operator.

Metadata Value

User Readable Value

Description

FRONTMATTER

Front Matter

Includes Preface, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Chart: The Government of the United States.

LEGISLATIVE

Legislative Branch

Various lists of congressional information along with descriptions of the role the legislative branch within U.S. Government.

JUDICIAL

Judicial Branch

Various lists offices and agencies in the judicial branch.

EXECUTIVE

Executive Branch

Various lists of offices, within the Executive branch. Contains all departments, presidential offices, and independent establishments and government corporations.

INDEXES

Indexes

Indexes for Names and Agency/Subject

CHANGES

Recent Changes

Changes in government brought to the attention of the Manual’s Editor

APPENDICES

Appendices

Appendices

OTHER

Other

Any granule that does not match a previous granule class.


Government Manual Related Resources