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Federal Government Shutdown: SHUTDOWN!

Describes what government information is available during a government shutdown.

About this Guide

During a government shutdown, many government websites and databases may go dark.  The UC Berkeley Library provides our research community with a number of sources to ensure continued access to current and historical information from the Federal government. Many of these resources index or republish government information, and are not affected by a shutdown.  Current UCB students, faculty, and staff have off-campus access via the proxy to all of these databases (noted with a key icon); non-UCB public patrons must visit the Library to use them. If you'd like to contact Congress or the President about the shutdown, see our Contacting Elected Officials Guide. For more information on the United States budget and government spending, see our guide.

Current Government News (from Politico)

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Library Proxy

  • You no longer need to configure a browser to use the Library Proxy.
  • When you click on a resource link found in OskiCat, via "Start your search" on the Library home page, Databases A-Z or eJournals (UC eLinks), you will be prompted to authenticate. You may authenticate via CalNet, or via your PIN / Cal 1 card number.
  • When you click on a resource link found via a search engine or a non-UCB Library webpage, you will need to use a bookmarklet to access the licensed resource.

Wayback Machine

In the event of a government shutdown, you can use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.  On this site, you can enter the address of a government website (;;; etc), then choose a recent date the site was archived on.  TIP: choose the most recent date with the largest circle.  This will show you the site as it was on that day.  Keep in mind that search boxes, video content, and databases within the site will probably not work.  

Using Oskicat to Find U.S. Government Information

Oskicat is UC Berkeley's public catalog and is very helpful in finding United States government information at UCB.  The best search strategy is to use Oskicat's Advanced Keyword Search tab.  Once at the Advanced Keyword Search screen, change the first drop-down to Author and enter United States in the box next to it:

Leave the remaining drop-downs as Any Field and enter your search terms in those boxes (think of broad search terms for this step).  You may also change the second drop-down to Author and add the name of a particular agency or department to find publications from that agency.  You also have the option to limit by date at the bottom of the search page, or UCB library location if needed.

Many, but not all, of the online government titles in OskiCat can be accessed by anyone. If you need a tangible title, note its physical location, call number, and status--UC Berkeley has over twenty libraries on campus and you wouldn't want to be in one library when the title you want is in another building.  OskiCat can also text you this information.

Contact Jesse

Jesse Silva

Need help with research?  Have a question about the collection or the UC Berkeley Library?  Here are three ways to get in touch with me: 

Copyright © 2014-2016 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License.