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Administrative Law Research: Presidential & Executive Branch Materials

Resources to help you get started with Administrative law research.

Key Resources for Presidential Documents

Presidential Documents consist of Executive Orders, Presidential Proclamations and other documents promulgated by the president and White House staff. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States both reproduce and compile Presidential Documents. 

Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders

Executive Orders vs. Presidential Proclamations

Presidential Proclamations are generally considered to be ceremonial or celebratory and are directed at the entire nation. Executive Orders are considered to be directives used by the president to govern the activities of government officials and agencies. 

Locating Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations

Proclamations and Executive Orders appear in both print and electronic format in various locations. 

The Federal Register publishes copies of all Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders. See the Federal Register page for more information on accessing the Federal Register. 

Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations are also produced in Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the compilation volumes of Title 3. These Title 3 compilations are considered to be permanent reference sources. 

Also see the Executive Order Disposition Tables from the National Archives and Records Administration. Contains modern orders, Federal Register citations and links to Executive orders that were amended.

The United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN), Advance sheets also reprint Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders. Print copies of USCCAN are available in the 3rd Floor - Federal Section of the Library. USCCAN is also available from WestlawSee U.S. Code Congressional & Administrative News: Presidential Proclamations

The United States Code Service advance service also includes Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders. This service can be located in the 3rd Floor - Federal Section of the Library.

Presidential Nominations

Presidential nominations submitted to the Senate are also published. They can be found in various locations.

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents includes a list of presidential nominations submitted to the Senate.

The Senate Congressional Record Daily Digest contains the names of those nominated and confirmed by the Senate.

Reorganization Plans

The President is required to submit proposed reorganizations plans to Congress. Proposed plans are published in the Congressional RecordIf approved, the plans are subsequently published in the Federal RegisterTitle 3 of the CFRThe United States Statutes at Large, and the 5 U.S.C. Appendix. For unapproved plans, consult the Congressional Record.

Other Presidential Documents

The President of the United States also issues other documents including:

  • Administrative Orders (published in Title 3 of the CFR and the Federal Register)
  • Findings
  • Determininations
  • Memoranda
  • Executive Agreements
  • Messages to Congress
  • Signing Statements
  • Pardons

This material is available in various formats. Consult the American Presidency Project for more information. 

Choosing A Source:

According to the Bluebook, documents appearing in both publications should be cited to the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States.

The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:

The Public Papers included everything contained in the Weekly Compilation since 1977. In 1989 the Public Papers stopped reproducing the full-text of proclamations and executive orders. It now lists them and provides citations to the Federal Register. 

GovInfo: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

The Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama are available online and can be found here

Lexis: Public Papers of the Presidents

The full text of the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States since 1979

American Presidency Project

The American Presidency Project houses the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States in full text from 1929-present.

LLMC Digital

LLMC Digital houses the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States from 1929 to 2001.

HeinOnline's U.S. Presidential Library also has the complete collection of the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. 

University of Michigan's Federal Digital Library

University of Michigan's Federal Digital Library also houses the Public Papers of the President's of the United States from 1929.

Sites of Interest

The Office of Management and Budget develops and executes the budget, engages in agency oversight, coordinates regulations with the priorities of the president, clears communications with congress and disseminates executive orders and memoranda to agency heads. Their website contains information on the budget and the other functions of the office including regulatory reform. 


The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness provides independent analysis of agency regulations, serving as a "regulatory watchdog". Their website features information and analysis on a variety of regulatory issues. 

Other Sources for Presidential Documents

The American Presidency Project

An online archive that contains an extensive collection of documents related to the study of the Presidency. This site has consolidated, coded, and organized into a single searchable database the various compilations of presidential documents. The archives also contain thousands of other documents, such as party platforms, candidates' remarks, Statements of Administration Policy, documents released by the Office of the Press Secretary, and election debates.

‚ÄčWhite House

Official site of the President of the United States. Includes presidential documents, such as executive orders and proclamations, cabinet and subcabinet nominations and appointments, the President's weekly video address, and policy statements on agenda items. Also includes information about the administration, the White House and links to government agency websites.

TracFed

Compiles information about the federal government, including agency actions and spending, court actions and more.

Public Papers of the Presidents

Collection of material that was compiled and published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration. It includes volumes covering the administrations of Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. As subsequent volumes are published, they will be added online. From the University of Michigan.

Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (ProQuest)

Compilation of Presidential documents before 1897 (through Cleveland’s second administration). The set is incomplete but has many relevant materials from that time.

Presidential Documents Guide

The National Archives and Records Administration also provides information and links to Presidential Documents. Their guide includes links to presidential libraries, online finding aids and information about the documents and their preservation. 

Lisa DeLuca, Presidential Research Resources: A Guide to Online Information

This guide gives various resources for presidential documents and information. 

Compilation of Presidential Documents

The Weekly Compilation was issued by the Office of the Federal Register every Monday between 1965 and 2009. It has since been replaced by the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents. It includes proclamations, executive orders, signing statements, veto messages, communications made by the president to Congress, and other materials released by the White House during the previous week. Each issue contains a table of contents and has a quarterly and annual index schedule. 

Locating the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents

HeinOnline Federal Register Library, 2009-

GovInfo US Government Documents, 1993-

Locating historical copies of the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents:       

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents reprints Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders of the preceding week (1992-)

A digital copy of the weekly compilation of Presidential documents can also be found through the library catalog here

HeinOnline

HeinOnline's Federal Register Collection also houses the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents in .PDF format from 1965. HeinOnline also houses the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents from 2009 to the present.

Westlaw

The Westlaw WCPD database  has full text copies of the Weekly Compilation since 1995.

Presidential Documents @ Pence

 The United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN), Advance sheets reprint Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders. Print copies of USCCAN are available in the 3rd Floor - Federal Section of the Library. USCANN is also availalble on Westlaw.

The United States Code Service advance service includes Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders. This service can be located in the 3rd Floor - Federal Section of the Library.

A digital copy of the weekly compilation of Presidential documents can be found here

Databases

Lexis

The Lexis database Presidential Proclamations & Executive Orders contains the CIS Index which hosts Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders. 

Westlaw

Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents (WCPD)

U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN)

Daily Presidential Documents (PRES-DAILY)

HeinOnline
HeinOnline's Federal Register Collection also houses the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents in .PDF format from 1965-2009. HeinOnline also houses the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents from 2009 to the present.

HeinOnline's U.S. Presidential Library also has the complete collection of the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. 

ProQuest

ProQuest contains a compilation of Presidential documents before 1897 (through Cleveland's second administration). The set is incomplete but has many relevant materials for that time. To use these materials, please visit Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897.