Archives Library Information Center (ALIC)


Federal agency web sites and information resources on transportation, including TRIS, an online searchable transportation database.

Government Agencies

Department of Transportation

  • "The mission of the DOT is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future."

Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)

  • "BTS compiles, analyzes, and makes accessible information on the Nation's transportation systems; collects information on intermodal transportation and other areas as needed; and works to enhance the quality and effectiveness of government statistics." BTS maintains the Intermodal Transportation Database (ITDB) as a central access point for a broad collection of transportation data collected by government agencies.

  • BTS also offers the Pocket Guide to Transportation, 2009, which offers statistics on the extent of transportation system use, its safety, security, mobility, economy, and the environment.

National Transportation Library

  • The NTL is administered by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. It contains documents and databases provided from throughout the transportation community.

Federal Aviation Administration

  • "The FAA is responsible for the safety and certification of aircraft and pilots, for the security of our airports, and for the around-the-clock operation of our nation's air traffic control system."

The General Accounting Office: Reports

A number of reports stem from this page, including those below, dealing with subcommittee hearings on aviation-related matters. The reports are in PDF format:

Federal Highway Administration

  • "The FHWA provides technical expertise to its partners and customers in areas such as: roadway and bridge design, construction, and maintenance; value engineering and other project and program evaluation tools; policy and planning; highway safety; intelligent transportation systems; environmental protection and enhancement; innovative financing; land acquisition; research, development, and technology transfer."

Federal Railroad Administration

  • "The Federal Railroad Administration promotes safe, environmentally sound, successful railroad transportation."

Federal Transit Administration

  • The FTA "provides financial and technical assistance to the local transit systems", such as Washington DC's Metro system.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  • NHTSA investigates safety defects in motor vehicles, sets and enforces fuel economy standards, helps states and local communities reduce the threat of drunk drivers, promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats and air bags, investigates odometer fraud, establishes and enforces vehicle anti-theft regulations and provides consumer information on motor vehicle safety topics.

Office of Airline Information

  • The OAI mission is to provide the U.S. government, DOT, and other users with uniform and comprehensive financial and market/traffic statistical economic data on individual air carrier (airline) operations and the air transportation industry.

Office of Highway Policy Information

  • The Office of Highway Policy Information (OHPI) collects, analyzes and distributes highway related data from federal, state and local sources. Selected documents and periodicals are available here for your review.

Office of Highway Safety

  • The Office of Highway Safety is part of the Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation. The OHS focuses on high risk areas and provides technical assistance and training to States and local governments, and public safety information to the driving public.

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Other Information Organizations

  • Critical Issues in Transportation, 2009

    Published by the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

  • TRIS Online: Transportation Research Information Services

    Produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) at the National Academies of Sciences, "the TRIS Database is the world's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation information." Contains more than 400,000 records of published transportation research.

  • Journal of Transportation and Statistics

    The Journal of Transportation and Statistics (JTS) is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The journal serves the transportation community by increasing the understanding of the role of transportation in society, its function in the economy, and its interactions with the environment.

  • Transportation Environmental Research Program

    The goal of the Transportation Environmental Research Program (TERP) is to fund research in transportation and environmental issues at universities and colleges. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) hopes that by committing to TERP, the research will provide insight on the difficult policy decisions that FHWA will undertake in the future.

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Historic Transportation


NARA Resources

  • Aviation History

    The ALIC Reference at Your Desk page on military aviation history.

Other Resources

  • American Aviation: The Early Years
    From the magazine CRM published by the National Park Service, this issue concentrates on the early years of American aviation.

  • Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators

    Designed to complement an exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, this site provides educators and researchers with resources that will enhance their study of American history and, in particular, the history of African American pioneer aviators.

  • College Park (Maryland) Aviation Museum

    Established in 1909 when Orville and Wilbur Wright set out to teach the first two Army officers to fly, it became the site of the first Army Aviation School in 1911. The Museum houses a collection of aircraft and artifacts documenting the many historical events for which the [College Park] airport is also known as the "Field of Firsts" and "Cradle of Aviation."

  • Library of Congress American Memory Collection: Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers

    This online presentation includes approximately 49,084 digital images documenting the lives of Wilbur and Orville Wright, highlighting their pioneering work in flight. The collection includes correspondence, diaries and notebooks, scrapbooks, drawings, printed matter, and glass-plate photographic negatives.

  • The Wright Brothers in Photographs

    This collection of digital images from Wright State University Libraries' Wright Brothers collection provides thorough coverage of the Wrights early inventive period documenting their experimental gliders and flight testing in both North Carolina and Ohio.


NARA Resources

Other Resources

  • Historic Railroads: A Living Legacy. CRM, Volume 22, Number 10, 1999.

    From the magazine CRM published by the National Park Service, this issue focuses on historic railroads and their enormous contribution to American history. "As this special issue demonstrates, railroads are a thread woven throughout the fabric of American life, and their legacy - be it trains which are still operated, long-abandoned tracks, archaeological remains, works of art and architecture, or simply the stories of those who remember the ways they changed their lives - lives on all around us."

  • Library of Congress American Memory Collection: Travels in America 1750-1920

    This site comprises 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920. The narratives range from the unjustly neglected to the justly famous, and from classics of the genre to undiscovered gems.

  • Manuscript Sources for Railroad History

    This site, maintained by Virginia Tech University libraries, is based on the records of the Norfolk and Western Railway, the Southern Railway, and the predecessors of these lines.

  • Railroads & the American West. Journal of the West, Volume 39, Number 2, Spring 2000.

    (Available in the library.) This issue also focuses on historic railroads and their impact on the American West. Articles include "The influence of railroads in the American West", "Financing the western railroads", "Pioneer rails across the Pacific Northwest", and more.

  • Railroad History Collections

    This University of Connecticut site features the largest single compilation of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford records, as well as several related collections.

  • Railroad Surveys

    This web site looks at the explorers and explorations that made possible the completion of the nation's transcontinental railroad in 1869.

  • The Web site for the railway industry

    This is a professional information site, including up-to-the-minute technology updates, an A-Z of railway terms, conferences and information, and present-day projects involving rail.

Water transportation:

NARA Resources

Other Resources

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