Following are research guides from a variety of sources that will help you find federal, state, and local government information in print, on microfilm, and online.
The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications "is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive information for historical and current publications as well as direct links to the full document, when available. Users can search by authoring agency, title, subject, and general keywords, or click on "Advanced Search" for more options."
Federal, state, and local government records, including birth certificates, marriage and divorce certificates, death certificates, and census records are invaluable for genealogical and historical research into the lives of individuals and families. Following are resources to help you get started:
Reclaim The Records is a not-for-profit activist group of genealogists, historians, researchers, and open government advocates who sue government agencies and archives to obtain access to public records. Reclaim The Records digitizes everything they win and posts it online for free for all to use without restrictions. They have so far made available indexes to birth, marriage, and death indexes in several states, including New York and New Jersey. And they have multiple outstanding FOIA requests for nationwide records and state-level records across the U.S.
Everyone Counts: Using the Census in Genealogy Research - A very helpful research guide from the New York Public Library. Also see the NYPL's guide on Conducting Genealogical Research Using Newspapers for further search strategies.