The federal government is in shutdown mode. Does it affect your research? Well, maybe.

Some federal agency web sites are down until funding is restored, while others are available but not being updated.

The Library of Congress, Census Bureau, National Park Service, and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture are among the federal agencies that have shut down their websites. That means, for example, that if you need to access online government information, e.g., audio files of natural sounds recorded at the Grand Canyon and provided by the National Park Service, or agricultural statistics such as dairy cattle and milk production from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, you’re out of luck for now.

If you want to access the FBI files on James Cagney, however, you still can. That FBI web site is available but not being updated during the shutdown. A number of other agencies are continuing some functions; see more information about what’s affected by a government shutdown at

What determines what an agency does during a shutdown? See the memorandum to heads of executive agencies and departments under “Information Technology” that provides guidance on “Planning for Agency Operations during a Potential Lapse in Appropriations.”

screen shot of web site on Oct. 1, 2013

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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5 Responses to Shutdown!

  1. DJ says:

    American Memory digital library and ERIC database are down too.

  2. BB says:

    Right, American Memory is provided by the Library of Congress, so it’s down for the duration of the shutdown. The only online content the Library of Congress is providing now is content related to the legislative process, like

    The ERIC database is available via EBSCOhost, but the access to the full-text ED documents is down because that content is on the government servers. The currently non-functioning link to that content is “Full Text from ERIC .” Access to full-text articles is unaffected by the shutdown, since that depends on Andersen Library’s subscriptions (we don’t have access to ALL articles, but that’s not because of the federal government shutdown).

  3. BB says:

    Help for finding Census data during the shutdown:

    The Missouri Census Data Center (MCDC) has mirrored quite a lot of Census Bureau data. Try it — the American Community Survey Profiles are here: All states are in the system – it’s not just Missouri.

    For power users, I like the American Community Survey Standard Profile Extract Assistant. The interface takes some time to learn but once you’ve mastered it, you can do some amazing data manipulation:

    -Marie Concannon
    Government Documents Regional Coordinator
    University of Missouri

  4. BB says:

    UPDATE: The Library of Congress has put its servers back up. Librarians at Mississippi State University have provided a guide for keeping up with government source availability during the shutdown at

  5. Barbara says:

    FURTHER UPDATE: The Reference librarians have temporary access to Census data via Social Explorer, thanks to the generosity of Oxford University Press. Please come to the Reference Desk for assistance.

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