Western Libraries

Government Publications

How to Search Western Libraries for Government Information

At Western University, Government Information includes any publication, regardless of physical form, bearing a national or international government imprint, or produced by or for a government or one of its agencies. Commercial reprints of government information are also included.

Government documents are a great source of information and offer a wide variety of primary resources on many topics. Issues discussed in the news (past and present) are often discussed by governments and debated by legislative bodies. Examples of frequently consulted government information include the census (current and historical), debates, sessional papers and annual reports, statutes, commissions of inquiry, yearbooks, surveys and statistical handbooks, as well as political party materials.

Using the Library Catalogue

Government information can be located in Western Libraries' shared library catalogue, and can be searched in several ways

Please note that Government Publications listed in the shared library catalogue actually represent only a small proportion of what Western Libraries actually owns! Various unique and special sets may be appropriate to assist you in your studies. Make sure you ask for assistance.

See Glossary for terminology definitions

Finding Treaty Information

From the Western Libraries homepage select Catalogue from the top navigation bar. Alternatively, you can access Omni advanced search directly.

Follow these steps to complete a treaty search:

  1. Change the default option of Any Field by selecting the dropdown and choosing subject
  2. Change contains in the next dropdown to is (exact)
  3. Use one of the below options to complete a controlled treat search
    • Canada - Foreign relations - Treaties
    • Commercial Treaties
    • Double Taxation Treaties
    • European Economic Community - Treaties
    • Peace Treaties
    • Russia - Foreign relations - Treaties.
    • Treaties - Indexes
    • United States - Foreign relations – Treaties

If the controlled subject headings will not work for your search, you can also complete a general keyword treaty search by following the instructions below:

  1. Change the default option of Any Field by selecting the dropdown and choosing subject
  2. In the search box, paste in treaty OR treaties and complete your search
    • Tip: If you want information on treaties for a specific country add AND and then the country name (e.g. AND Canada)
  3. Filter by available online to find resources available electronically

Important Tip

If you start with a keyword search and find a resource of interest, open the resource record and review the details section. Here you will find subject headings that may assist you as you refine your search to locate additional resources of interest. The subject headings will be linked for your convenience and ease of searching!


Custom Google Search for Government Information

Thank you to the librarians of Queens University Library for sharing the code for the custom Google search

How to Search Google for Government Publications

Google searches are very useful. For best results, limit your searches to specific government web sites.


To find information on technology transfer in Alberta search for: technology transfer site:.gov.ab.ca OR site:.alberta.ca

By adding site:.gov.ab.ca to your search terms you limit the Google search to Government of Alberta sites only.

For Ontario Government sites add: site:.gov.on.ca; for Manitoba add: site.gov.mb.ca and so on

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