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Virtual Research Guide:
Law & Government

Resources in this research guide include digital reference books and Internet sites covering the subjects of government, law, and politics. The materials included in this guide would be generally classified in the 320s and the 340s of the Dewey Decimal System.


Featured Databases
MyGovernment: Contains contact information, background information, and biographical information on elected officials from all levels of government (many records also include photos). Quickly create a list of all elected officials for a specific geographical area. Find organizational information on state and federal administrative agencies, departments, and legislative committees. Searchable by the name of an official, agency, or department. Also, includes voter information, citizenship information, and a list of useful government websites.
Digital Reference Collections
GVRL (Gale Virtual Reference Library): Law
Digital Reference Book Titles
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Checks and Balances: The Three Branches of the American Government: Presents easy to understand information about the inner workings of the federal government. Includes historical overviews and examinations of the day-to-day operations of each branch, as well as Constitutional duties and obligations of each branch, specifics related to eligibility, elections and appointments of key positions, changes since 1776, the future of each branch, and other topics. For student and general audiences.

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Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law:This encyclopedia fills a much-needed gap between legal texts focusing on the theory and history behind the law and more practical guides dealing with the law and its everyday effect upon its citizens. Containing approximately 200 articles, the Encyclopedia includes: brief descriptions of each issue's historical background, covering important statutes and cases; profiles of various U.S. laws and regulations; and details of how laws and regulations vary from state to state.

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Major Acts of Congress: In 262 entries, this 3-vol. set examines landmark pieces of legislation, explaining the historical factors that led to the proposal of each act, looking at the adoption process and assessing each act's impact on American life. All aspects of legislation are covered, including the National Prohibition Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Freedom of Information Act and much more.

National Survey of State Laws: A quick, state-by-state comparison of current state laws -- how they differ and how they're similar -- for a range of relevant subjects from abortion to employment discrimination, child custody to interest rates.

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West's Encyclopedia of American Law: Provides current information on more than 5,000 legal topics. Includes completely revised articles covering important issues, biographies, definitions of legal terms and more. Covers such high-profile topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, capital punishment, domestic violence, gay and lesbian rights, and physician-assisted suicide.

Suggested Internet Resources

American Bar Association: ABA LawInfo.org
American Law Sources Online
City Town Info
Docstoc.com: Legal Document Library
Law (The Internet Public Library)
Library of Congress: Guide to Law Online
NationalAtlas.gov: Congressional Districts
Nolo.com Self-Help Law Center
USA.gov - Government Made Easy