Official California and Other State Documents
USF Libraries have selected California State government documents. The
Dorraine Zief Law Library is the official California State depository
at USF, but its collection consists primarily of legal materials. The
Gleeson Library | Geschke Learning Resource Center does not
systematically collect California state or other state government
documents. Selected state government documents are cataloged and may
be located in Ignacio, and
some others are shelved by issuing agency in the Government Documents
room. For access to more comprehensive collections of California State
government documents, consider the California State Home Page and the Government Information Center of the main San Francisco Public Library in the Civic Center.
It is very important to note that state governments publish and
distribute only a small amount of the same kinds of government
publications distributed at the federal level. For example, while the
U.S. government almost always publishes hearings, many legislative
hearings at the state level are not transcribed or published. State
government documents, moreover, are much more difficult to locate than
federal documents as they are generally not organized as well as
federal documents. Ignacio, the California State Home Page, MELVYL, and California State Library Catalog
will help you locate specific titles of California State government
documents. For documents from other states, consult the official state
government Internet site or the catalogs of the State Libraries, the
major universities, or library networks in the states. To obtain copies
of government documents not at the libraries, look on the Internet for
the specific titles, use Link + or Interlibrary Loan, or call the issuing agency.
State Policy Resources
may find information on state policy in a variety of resources. If your
topic is recent, you will have a better chance of finding information
on the Internet. You may wish to check policy and research institution
Web sites such as those of RAND California or the Urban Institute.
If your topic has been controversial, it has been reported in the news
and probably has been or will be tested in the courts. You may wish to
check newspapers, news magazines, and legal resources. A very useful
source may be a law review article. Search for these articles in LegalTrac
and find the journals at the Law Library. If a law review article has
been written on your policy, it will likely provide background
information, the major effects of the policies, and a comparison of the
applicable laws in different state. If your topic was an issue that
went through the legislative process, you may wish to review
legislative histories. The literature for legislative histories is well
established for each state and is available in the annotated codes and
on the Internet. If your topic was an initiative or proposition,
consider looking at the election voter's pamphlet. You will also want
to look at news articles and information about the sponsors, either
individuals and/or organizations, of the initiative or proposition.
For information on how a policy is being applied, some of the things to
look for are court cases, more laws on the policy, discussions by
organizations interested in the policy, statistics, and implementation
and/or enforcement issues by state agencies.
California State (see also Law sources)
- Public Policy Institute of California
Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan research
organization, provides full-text of recent research on California's
economic, social, and political issues.
- RAND California
Operated by a unit of RAND, a national policy think tank, this site
contains current California and U.S. data as well as indexes and
full-text of recent research and other publications from leading
California public policy and research institutions.
- MELVYL -- California Digital Library, University of California
University of California system union catalog contains bibliographic
information on many California State government documents at UC and CSU
schools and at Stanford.
- Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times (via LexisNexis Academic)
The Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times generally take a statewide approach in their coverage of issues and politics.
- A Guide to California Government. League of Women Voters of California. REFERENCE JK8716 .G84 1992
- California Public Sector. California Public Sector Publications.
REFERENCE JK8730 .C358 1999
- Stateline.org -- Pew Center on the States
Operated by a research institution, this site provides information on
each state government and coverage of current state policy issues and
- The Book of the States. Council of State Governments.
REFERENCE JK2403 .B72 v.31 1996-97 (earlier in stacks) and LAW REFERENCE JK2403.B6 (earlier in storage)
Contains substantial background and statistical information on each
state as well as a section of essays on state government and such
topics as state environmental management and health care reform.
- Urban Institute
site of the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social policy
research organization, includes recent research reports, state case
study reports, and a state database with information on the fifty
states and the District of Columbia covering topics such as income
security, health, child well-being, social services, and demographic,
fiscal and political conditions.
- Newspapers (via LexisNexis Academic)
Includes full text newspapers from around the U.S. and around the world.
- NewsLibrary -- MediaStream, Inc.
List of links to many newspaper archives from all over the U.S.
Law (all states)
- Pacific Law Journal University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. LAW-STACKS K16 .A26 LIB. HAS: v.1(1970)-27(1995/1996)
A law review journal covering California. Each January issue reviews selected California legislation of the prior year.
- Subject Compilations of State Laws Greenwood Press. LAW REFERENCE KF1 .F68 LIB. HAS: 1960/79 - Latest received: 1998-99
Topically arranged list of state laws. Includes citations to law review
articles where relevant. Good starting point if you would like to
browse topics or if you are looking for another state to compare with
- Annotated states codes
The official code of each state along with supplementary information,
such as citations to relevant law review articles or court cases. The
annotations help describe the law and its history and effect.
Available for almost every state at the Law Library. (Official codes
are available for every state.)
- State Legislative Sourcebook Government Research Service LAW REFERENCE JK2495 .S72 2000
Includes official state legislature information.
- Law review articles in law journals
Searchable in LegalTrac
via InfoTrac. You may find an article comparing laws in different
states on your topic. Law journals focusing on California include the Pacific Law Journal and California Lawyer (formerly titled State Bar Journal).
- Topical reviews of law. Various at the Law Library.
Comprehensive review of law nationwide in specific subject areas, such as employment law or environmental law.