University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries

Research Guides

Government Shutdown Home

General information on government agencies and the shutdown

Since October 1, many U.S. federal websites have become unavailable due to the U.S. federal government shutdown.

Operations of agencies vary by agency.

On October 1, CNN posted a table, Government shutdown: what's closed, what's open with information on which federal agencies and offices are operating at what levels.

On September 30, the Washington Post's Wonkblog published a plain-English guide to the shutdown, purporting to tell you "Absolutely everything you need to know about how the government shutdown will work."

Subject Guide

Beth Harper

Ask a Librarian


Need help?

Ask a Librarian logo

Chat requires JavaScript.


or click for more options ...

Federal Depository Library Program

  The UW-Madison is part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), and has been a depository library since the mid 1800's.  This program, administered by the U.S. Government Printing Office, provides free federal government publications to depository libraries in exchange for the library's commitment to make the publications available to the public at no fee.

Government web sites status and work-arounds

This guide has information on the status of some of the major government agencies and web sites, ones consulted often by UW-Madison library users, affected by the shutdown, and work-arounds, when available.

This guide has separate pages/tabs for

Below is a list of agencies, bureaus, and offices that do not fit into the categories listed above.

American Memory, from the Library of Congress Available
Census Bureau Offline

This includes American Factfinder, FedStats, MapStats, Census FTP and much more.

See Census Resources for other databases to use.

beta Available Available, but not being updated "This website was last updated on October 1, 2013 and will not be updated until it reopens; as such, information on it may not be up to date. Transactions submitted via this website might not be processed and we will not be able to respond to inquiries until after appropriations are enacted." More information.
Department of Agriculture, including
Agricola (see "Notes")

“Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. After funding has been restored, please allow some time for this website to become available again.”

UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff have access to a commercial version of the Agricola database, via ProQuest.

Environmental Protection Agency Available, but not being updated "The EPA website and social media channels will not be updated until the federal government reopens."
FDSys (Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System) Depends on type of material "Congressional materials will continue to be processed and posted to FDsys. Federal Register services will be limited to documents necessary to safeguard human life, protect property, or provide other emergency services consistent with the performance of functions and services exempted under the Antideficiency Act. The remaining collections on FDsys are not being updated and will resume after funding is restored. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."
FEMA Map Service Center Available How other portions of FEMA are being affected
Library of Congress Available Includes American Memory, and Available "The Department of Health and Human Services [managing partner of the site] anticipates that the system will remain in an operational status, but with reduced federal support staff presence, should a lapse in appropriations occur. In addition, we anticipate that the Contact Center will remain available, and provide assistance to callers."
NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) Lookup , Census Bureau version Offline
National Archives and Records Administration Offline, with a few exceptions.

Federal Records Centers are operating on a limited schedule.

The Federal Register continues to be published daily. The Federal Register content is limited to actions affecting the protection of life and/or property.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (from USDA) Offline NRCS Water & Climate Center available, according to this notice
PubMed Available "PubMed is open, however it is being maintained with minimal staffing due to the lapse in government funding. Information will be updated to the extent possible, and the agency will attempt to respond to urgent operational inquiries."
SciTech Connect (from the Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information) Available
Science Accelerator (from the Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information) Available
State Department Available Available
Travel.State.Gov Available "Passport operations, visa operations, and critical assistance to U.S. citizens overseas continue." More information.
U.S. Copyright Office Offline

"...the office is unable to update the information on this website, respond to inquiries, or process transactions. Registration submissions will be accepted for the purpose of securing date of receipt, but will not be processed. Website updates and all normal business activity will resume when the government reopens.

If you would like to file a copyright registration online, the online registration system is available. Filing your claim now will help ensure the earliest possible effective date of registration, although copyright registrations will not be processed until the Copyright Office reopens."

United States Geological Survey (USGS) Offline, with some exceptions Workaround for scans of historical Wisconsin topographic maps: UW Digital Collections Historic USGS Topographic Maps of Wisconsin
USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) Available As of October 8, 2013, the USPTO says it expects the office to remain open for "a few weeks." More information at USPTO Operation Status.
The White House Available, but not being updated "...the information on this web site may not be up to date. Some submissions may not be processed, and we may not be able to respond to your inquiries."