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The Executive Branch - Introduction
The Executive Branch of the United States Government includes the agencies and departments that take direction from the President, who is the administrative head of the executive branch. Through regulations, the Executive branch enforces laws. Laws are created by the Legislative branch in Congress and are interpreted by the Judicial branch through the Courts.
This page contains resources for finding executive branch documents and general information about the Executive Branch of government. Consult the Government Research Basics page in this guide for other government overview resources.
Accessing Web Pages from Prior Administrations
Web sites for agencies of the executive branch reflect the policies of the current presidential administration. As the administration changes, the information from the previous administration is replaced. Access information from previous administration executive branch web sites with archived web site captures.
End of Term Web Archive
- The End of Term Web Archive (EOT) captures and saves U.S. Government websites at the end of presidential administrations. Beginning in 2008, the EOT has thus far preserved websites from administration changes in 2008 and 2012, and is currently preparing the 2016 electoral season. Use the End of Term Web Archive to search for full text, search by agency, or search by date of presidential administration.
- The Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive captures historic web sites from across the Internet, including the United States government. To use the Wayback Machine:
1. Go to the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive (archive.org
2. Enter the URL for the agency, program, or initiative into the search box. You can also search by key word instead of URL in Wayback Machine, but the results can be overwhelming.
3. Select the relevant time period for your search terms. The size of the circle represents how much data was preserved on that date. Choose the year first and then click on a specific date to see the historic snapshot of that webpage on that specific date.
Executive Branch Documents and Resources
CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1910-1932 (print)
This print Index provides access to material issued by federal departments and agencies, including annual reports, general publications, serials, and so on for the years 1910- 1932. The Index is arranged by groups of agencies. This, like other indexes, allows you to identify which document you want to view.
CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1789-1909 (print)
This print Index provides access to material issued by federal departments and agencies, including annual reports, general publications, serials, and so on for the years 1789 - 1909. The Index is arranged by groups of agencies. This, like other indexes, allows you to identify which document you want to view.
United States Government Manual (1973-2008) (Print)
Also known as the Government Organization Manual, refer to older editions when researching legislative and government historical information.
A Historical Guide to the U.S. Government (Print Book)
Call Number: JK9 .H57 1998 - 2nd Floor Reference Collection