Skip to Main Content

Research Guides

Foreign government information

A guide to major print and electronic foreign government information.

About the president

The president has the constitutional and statutory power to issue executive orders and proclamations that have legal effect. These two documents have been published in the Federal Register since 1936.

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and the semi-annual Public Papers of the Presidents gather together many presidential messages, statements, speeches, press conferences and other presidential documents in one place.

The original Presidential materials are housed in the Library of Congress and Presidential libraries.

The White House


Presidential proclamations and other executive orders

Proclamations and executive orders are legal documents issued in separate, numbered series.

While proclamations address the general public, most executive orders are working documents, through which the president manages the operation of the federal government.

Confidential or classified executive orders are issued, but not published.

Presidential messages

Beginning in 1965, the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents collected presidential messages, statements and other presidential materials released by the White House during the preceding week.

Public papers of the presidents

Published approximately twice a year, this series contains the text of president's speeches, message, statements, communications to Congress, executive orders, proclamations, nominations and appointments.

Since 1977, Public Papers has incorporated all the materials originally published in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.

From 1987 onwards, the full text of proclamations and executive orders are not included in the Public Papers

Economic reports of the presidents

An annual report transmitted by the President to Congress within 10 days after the submission of the Budget.

  • overviews the nation's economic progress with substantive data appendices and text
  • includes national income, wages, production, prices, moneys stock and government finances statistics


Presidential libraries

Presidential Libraries are repositories for the records, papers and historical materials of their presidents.

They preserve vast archives of presidential documents and make them available to the researchers.