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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 UC Library Search, 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 UC Search to Find U.S. Government Information

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

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/Creator and add the name of a particular agency or department to find publications from that agency.  You can also have options to limit by date, and after your search you can limit by specific library location.

Many, but not all, of the online government titles in UC Search 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. 

Contact Jesse

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