Government Documents

Know it Now!

An overview of nearly 70 digital collections relating to African American history.

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"American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning." from web site

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Background Notes are frequently updated publications from the U.S. State Department for virtually every country in the world. Each section includes topics such as the following:

  • Geography
  • Population and notes
  • History and political conditions
  • The economy and recent economic trends
  • Foreign relations
  • Relations with the United States
  • Travel and business information

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"Issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year. Other related and supporting budget publications, such as the Economic Report of the President, are included, which may vary from year to year." from web site

Budget documents from 1997 and forward are available from this site.

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PDFs of a significant portion of the Census of Population and Housing (1790-2000) are available from this resource. Click on the year, then navigate to the appropriate section. If you find that there are pages missing for the section you need, please contact the Government Documents Librarian. We may have them in print, or we can request them from another library.

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"Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774, America's national legislative bodies have kept records of their proceedings. The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress make up a rich documentary history of the construction of the nation and the development of the federal government and its role in the national life. These documents record American history in the words of those who built our government.

Books on the law formed a major part of the holdings of the Library of Congress from its beginning. In 1832, Congress established the Law Library of Congress as a separate department of the Library. It houses one of the most complete collections of U.S. Congressional documents in their original format. In order to make these records more easily accessible to students, scholars, and interested citizens, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75." from web site

Materials are dated 1774-1875, when available. The following are components of this collection:

  • Journals of the Continental Congress
  • Letters of Delegates to Congress
  • Elliot's Debates
  • Farrand's Records
  • Bills and Resolutions
  • Statutes at Large
  • American State Papers
  • U.S. Serial Set
  • House Journal
  • Senate Journal
  • Senate Executive Journal
  • Maclay's Journal
  • Annals of Congress
  • Register of Debates
  • Congressional Globe
  • Congressional Record

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The mission of USCCR is:

"To investigate complaints alleging that citizens are being deprived of their right to vote by reason of their race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or by reason of fraudulent practices.

To study and collect information relating to discrimination or a denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice.

To appraise federal laws and policies with respect to discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice.

To serve as a national clearinghouse for information in respect to discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin.

To submit reports, findings, and recommendations to the President and Congress.

To issue public service announcements to discourage discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws." from web site

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"The Congressional Directory is the official directory of the U.S. Congress, prepared by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP). Published since 1888, the Congressional Directory presents short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, listed by state or district, and additional data, such as committee memberships, terms of service, administrative assistants and/or secretaries, and room and telephone numbers. It also lists officials of the courts, military establishments, and other Federal departments and agencies, including D.C. government officials, governors of states and territories, foreign diplomats, and members of the press, radio, and television galleries.

According to the U.S. Code (44USC721), the Congressional Directory is made available during the first session of each new Congress. In addition, the database for the current Congress is updated irregularly, as changes are provided by the JCP." from web site

The online version includes the directories back to the 104th Congress (1995-96).

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"The Congressional Research Service (CRS) does not provide direct public access to its reports, requiring citizens to request them from their Member of Congress. Some Members, as well as several non-profit groups, have posted the reports on their Web sites. This site aims to provide integrated, searchable access to many of the full-text CRS reports that have been available at a variety of different Web sites since 1990." from web site

This content is hosted by the University of North Texas Libraries.

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"To provide American citizens direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society, a core group of current and historical "This collection provides American citizens with direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society. These titles contain information about the democratic process that are critical to informed citizens. They support the public's right to know about the essential activities of their Government" from web site

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"This Web site contains the online versions of books previously published (1988-98) in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army. Because the original intent of the series' sponsor was to focus primarily on lesser-known areas of the world or regions in which U.S. forces might be deployed, the series is not all-inclusive. At present, 101 countries and regions are covered. The date of information for each country appears on the title page of each country and at the end of each section of text.

This Web site also contains brief, more up-to-date Country Profiles on select countries." from web site

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"The County and City Data Book is the most comprehensive source of information about the individual counties and cities in the United States. It includes data for all U.S. states, counties, and cities with a population of 25,000 or more. It contains additional data for places with a population of 100,000 or more. Also included is a complete set of state maps showing all counties, places of 25,000 or more population, and metropolitan areas.

Information in the County and City Data Book covers the following topical areas: age, agriculture, births, business establishments, climate, construction, crime, deaths, earnings, education, elections, employment, finance, government, health, households, housing, income, labor force, manufactures, population, poverty, race and Hispanic origin, social services, and water use.

Files contain a collection of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal statistical bureaus, governmental administrative and regulatory agencies, and private research bodies." from web site

Older editions are available online through the University of Virginia Library.

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"This resource provides access to the 1944 through 2000 County and City Data Books. This service provides the opportunity to create custom printouts and/or customized data subsets (subsets only available for 1988-2000)." from web site

Hosted by the University of Virginia Library.

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CQ Press Political Reference Suite of Online Editions integrates many of CQ Press's acclaimed reference titles on government and politics into a user-friendly, electronic format that offers a number of Web-enabled features that makes navigating this wealth of content intuitive and easy.

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"The Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress, serves the legislative process by providing Congress with non-partisan and in-depth legislative research and analysis on a variety of topics. CRS produces or updates more than 3,000 studies and other publications each year, none of which are distributed to the public. Because CRS reports are created using public money and are not readily accessible to the research community, the Thurgood Marshall Law Library has created an online collection in the subject areas of Homeland Security/Terrorism and Health Law and Policy." from web site

This collection of CRS reports is hosted by the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland School of Law.

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This is an electronic version of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles developed and used by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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"Available from April 1995 forward, this monthly compilation is prepared for the Joint Economic Committee by the Council of Economic Advisors and provides economic information on prices, wages, production, business activity, purchasing power, credit, money and Federal finance." from web site

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"The Economic Report of the President is an annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. It overviews the nation's economic progress using text and extensive data appendices. The Economic Report of the President is transmitted to Congress no later than ten days after the submission of the Budget of the United States Government. Supplementary reports can be issued to the Congress which contain additional and/or revised recommendations." from web page

This site makes the EOR available back to 1995.

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Use the Electronic Reading Room of the Federal Bureau of Investigations to explore FBI records for famous individuals throughout the twentieth century. Listings of documents available include:

  • Espionage
  • Famous Persons
  • Gangster Era
  • Historical Interest
  • Unusual Phenomena
  • Violent Crime

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"The Federal Judicial Center is the education and research agency for the federal courts. Congress created the FJC in 1967 to promote improvements in judicial administration in the courts of the United States. This site contains the results of Center research on federal court operations and procedures and court history, as well as selected educational materials produced for judges and court employees." from web site

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Resources compiled by the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

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"This publication contains a complete and official listing of the foreign consular offices in the United States, and recognized consular officers. Compiled by the U.S. Department of State, with the full cooperation of the foreign missions in Washington, it is offered as a convenience to organizations and persons who must deal with consular government agencies, state tax officials, international trade organizations, chambers of commerce, and judicial authorities who have a continuing need for handy access to this type of information." from web site

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"The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The release of the Douglass Papers, from the Library of Congress's Manuscript Division, contains approximately 7,400 items (38,000 images) relating to Douglass' life as an escaped slave, abolitionist, editor, orator, and public servant. The papers span the years 1841 to 1964, with the bulk of the material from 1862 to 1895. The collection consists of correspondence, speeches and articles by Douglass and his contemporaries, a draft of his autobiography, financial and legal papers, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous items. These papers reveal Douglass' interest in diverse subjects such as politics, emancipation, racial prejudice, women's suffrage, and prison reform. Included is correspondence with many prominent civil rights reformers of his day, including Susan B. Anthony, William Lloyd Garrison, Gerrit Smith, Horace Greeley, and Russell Lant, and political leaders such as Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. Scrapbooks document Douglass' role as minister to Haiti and the controversy surrounding his interracial second marriage." from web site

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"The GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions collection contains reports ("blue books") on audits, surveys, investigations, and evaluations of Federal programs conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). All published reports, testimonies, correspondence, and special publications are included. Products that are restricted or classified are not included. GAO Comptroller General Decisions contains decisions and opinions issued by the Comptroller General in areas of Federal law such as appropriations, bid protests, and Federal agency rulemaking." from web site

Reports available on this site cover the period 1989-2008.

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"The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) supports research on the interactions of natural and human-induced changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was codified by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which mandates development of a coordinated interagency research program." from web site

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"The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. The head of GAO, the Comptroller General of the United States, is appointed to a 15-year term by the President from a slate of candidates Congress proposes." from web site

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"As the official handbook of the Federal Government, the United States Government Manual provides comprehensive 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." from web site

This database includes the U.S. Government Manual for 1995-96 and later.

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"The U.S. Government Printing Office disseminates official information from all three branches of the Federal Government." from web site

GPO Access includes large collections of materials related to the current and recent activity of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government.

  • The Legislative Process: Creating Laws for the Nation
  • Congressional Materials: Committees, Calendars, & Procedures
  • Legislative Resources from Congress and Legislative Agencies
  • The Regulatory Process: Implementing Laws Passed by Congress
  • Presidential Material: Remarks, Speeches, & Executive Orders
  • Executive Publications: Reports, Investigations, Findings, etc.
  • Federal Courts: Resolve Disputes over Federal Law
  • Judicial Resources: Federal Publications and Procedures

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GPO Monthly Catalog is a catalog of U.S. government documents from 1976 to the present. The database describes Congressional reports, hearings, debates and records judiciary materials and documents issued by executive departments. It contains records on all subjects of interest to the U.S. government.

Access to this content is available to the general public via the Catalog of Government Publications.

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"The solution to the world's landmine problem is to make mine-affected countries mine-safe through the execution of mine action programs that lead to raising awareness of the landmine danger, the removal of landmines themselves, and the provision of holistic assistance to landmine victims and their families.

"Hidden Killers" contains statistics of a country's landmine victims, population, land area affected, number of landmines, and number of unexploded ordnance (UXO)." from web site

The U.S. State Department issued its most recent report on landmines in 2001.

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"Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. During the early years of the HGP, the Wellcome Trust (U.K.) became a major partner; additional contributions came from Japan, France, Germany, China, and others. See our history page for more information.

Project goals were to

  • identify all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA,
  • determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA,
  • store this information in databases,
  • improve tools for data analysis,
  • transfer related technologies to the private sector, and
  • address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project.

Though the HGP is finished, analyses of the data will continue for many years. Follow this ongoing research on our Milestones page. An important feature of the HGP project was the federal government's long-standing dedication to the transfer of technology to the private sector. By licensing technologies to private companies and awarding grants for innovative research, the project catalyzed the multibillion-dollar U.S. biotechnology industry and fostered the development of new medical applications." from web site

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This publication from the U.S. Census Bureau includes the census questionnaires and instructions for every United States census, including the separate questionnaires for free, slave, and Indian inhabitants. It also includes a guide to the availability of census schedules and other finding guides. The last section of the publication is a detailed history of the decennial censuses.

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"The Minerals Yearbook is an annual publication that reviews the mineral and material industries of the United States and foreign countries. The Yearbook contains statistical data on materials and minerals and includes information on economic and technical trends and development. The Minerals Yearbook includes chapters on approximately 90 commodities and over 175 countries." from web site

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"The National Agricultural Library collection of more than 3.5 million items covers all aspects of agriculture and related sciences. The depth and richness of the collection make it a unique resource, with many materials not available anywhere else in the world. NAL's collection fills over 48 miles of shelves, making it one of the largest agricultural collections in the world." from web site

University of Akron affiliates may wish to search the NAL Catalog, AGRICOLA, through our subscription interface in order to more easily locate full-text articles.

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"The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) is a broad, collaborative program to provide increased access to data and information on the nation's biological resources. The NBII links diverse, high-quality biological databases, information products, and analytical tools maintained by NBII partners and other contributors in government agencies, academic institutions, non-government organizations, and private industry. NBII partners and collaborators also work on new standards, tools, and technologies that make it easier to find, integrate, and apply biological resources information. Resource managers, scientists, educators, and the general public use the NBII to answer a wide range of questions related to the management, use, or conservation of this nation's biological resources.

The NBII Program is managed by the U.S. Geological Survey's Biological Informatics Office." from web site

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" The NLE currently posts 2048 CRS Reports on environmental and related topics. New & Updated Reports The Congressional Research Service (CRS), part of the Library of Congress, prepares its reports for the U.S. Congress. CRS products undergo review for accuracy and objectivity and contain nontechnical information that can be very useful to people interested in environmental policy. CRS does not itself provide these documents to the general public. Although CRS documents are prepared specifically for Congress and not widely distributed, their distribution is not protected by law or copyright. NCSE is committed to expanding, maintaining and updating its database of reports, making them available and searchable for the public." from web site

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"NCJRS is a federally funded resource offering justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide." - from website

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The National Institute of Corrections Online Library includes articles and publications concerning correctional practice and public policy.

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"For hundreds of different types of jobs, the Occupational Outlook Handbook tells you:

  • the training and education needed
  • earnings
  • expected job prospects
  • what workers do on the job
  • working conditions
In addition, the Handbook gives you job search tips, links to information about the job market in each State, and more." from web site

In Library:
Bierce Ref Desk HD8051 .A62 2008/2009
OR JIST version (minor differences)
Science Reference HD8051 .A62 2008/2009

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"American taxpayers spend over $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, a "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events. Yet, these reports are not made available to the public in a way that they can be easily obtained. A project of the Center for Democracy & Technology through the cooperation of several organizations and collectors of CRS Reports, Open CRS provides citizens access to CRS Reports already in the public domain and encourages Congress to provide public access to all CRS Reports." from web site

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"The Office of Policy is responsible for analysis and research on policy initiatives for the Social Security Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) programs and the Supplemental Security Income program. Staff study the effects of those programs and of changes to them on individuals, the economy, and program solvency." from web page

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"The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.

As more and more first-time investors turn to the markets to help secure their futures, pay for homes, and send children to college, our investor protection mission is more compelling than ever.

As our nation's securities exchanges mature into global for-profit competitors, there is even greater need for sound market regulation."from Web site

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"The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.

Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web.

Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations." from the web site

The latest edition is available on the Web and in print at the Bierce Reference Desk. Some earlier editions are available on the Web, and most earlier editions are available in print in the Government Documents area.

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"The Constitution of Ohio separates our state government into three branches, each with distinct areas of responsibility — the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The primary function of the judicial branch is to fairly and impartially settle disputes according to the law. To do this, a number of courts have been established in the state by the Constitution and by acts of the General Assembly. Further, in addition to its place in the court structure as the court of last resort, the Supreme Court, in particular the Chief Justice, is responsible for the administration of the judicial branch in Ohio." - from website

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This resource includes latest slip opinions, opinions relating to orders, in-chamber opinions, and opinions of the court, usually from the last three or four terms.

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"This selection of manuscript and printed text and images drawn from the collections of the Ohio Historical Society illuminates the history of black Ohio from 1850 to 1920, a story of slavery and freedom, segregation and integration, religion and politics, migrations and restrictions, harmony and discord, and struggles and successes." from web site

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The American Presidency Project contains more than 85,000 documents related to the Presidents of the United States, including The Messages and Papers of the President, The Public Papers of the President, The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, party platforms, remarks, debates, and executive orders. Search by date, president, or topic.

APP is hosted by UC Santa Barbara.

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The Smithsonian Institution includes nearly thirty museums and research centers as well as the National Zoo. Museums and collections include African art, Air and Space, American Art, American History, American Indian, National Zoo, Natural History, and the Portrait Gallery. Research includes American art, astrophysical observatory, museum conservation, environment, libraries, photography, and the tropics.

The web site includes an online encyclopedia for Art and Design, History and Culture, and Science and Technology.

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"The bound volumes of the United States Reports contain the fourth and final generation of the Court's opinions. See the file entitled "Information About Opinions." However, the materials collected here contain not just opinions, but the full text, from cover through index, of bound volumes 502 et seq., including all of the opinions, orders, and other materials issued for the Court's 1991 Term and subsequent years. Additional volumes will be included here after they are published in print form." from web site

This resource includes U.S. Reports volumes 502 and later.

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From the National Center for Heath Statistics: "Annual reports that present detailed vital statistics data, including natality, mortality, marriage and divorce. These reports are available for download or as bound volumes in many large public and university libraries."

Includes data from 1890 to 1994, with selected data through 2003.

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