Archives Library Information Center (ALIC)

Library Resources for Administrative History: Background


Federal administrative history is the study of the development, organization, functions, and activities of an organic body, such as a government agency. To understand the basic significance of administrative history in archival work, one should read:

Karl L. Trever, Administrative History in Federal Archives, in the American Archivist, 4:159-169 (July 1941).
[REF CD760. A5. volume 4]

A great deal of information on the administrative history of Federal agencies is embodied in finding aids produced by the National Archives and Records Administration. An archivist should check such finding aids, and consult pertinent ones, especially preliminary inventories and guides, before proceeding to do research on the administrative history of an agency. Bibliographical references to published monographs in administrative history are given after the description of each record group in the 1948, 1974, and 1987 reprint of the 1974 Guide to the National Archives, Washington, National Archives and Records Administration, 1987 [REF CD3029.A8 1987]. Bibliographical citations are not included in the current Guide.

The National Archives Library’s ALIC database is the most important source for locating the published finding aids for the record groups in the National Archives of the United States.

Style Manual for Government Publications

Garner, Diane L.; Smith, Diane H. The Complete Guide to Citing Government Documents: Manual for Writers & Librarians. Government Documents Round Table; American Library Association. Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service, Inc.; 1984. xi, 142 p.
REF Z7164. G7G3

General Textbooks on U.S. Government Publications

Boyd, Anne Mores. United States Government Publications. 3d revised ed. New York: Wilson; 1949. xx, 627 p.
REF Z1223. B6. 1950

Morehead, Joe. Introduction to United States Public Documents. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited; 1975. xxvi, 289 p.
REF Z1223. Z7M67

Schmeckebier, Lawrence F.; Eastin, Roy B. Government Publications and Their Use. 2d revised ed. Washington: Brookings Institution; 1969. xi, 502 p.
REF Z1223. S3.1969

Sears, Jean L.; Moody, Marilyn K. Using Government Information Sources, Print and Electronic. 2d edition. Phoenix, Arizona, Oryx Press, 1994. 439 p.
REF Z1223. Z7 .S4. 1993

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