These publications include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty. The Background Notes are updated/revised by the Office of Electronic Information and Publications of the Bureau of Public Affairs as they are received from the Department's regional bureaus and are added to the database of the Department of State website.
BBC News: Country Profiles
Full profiles provide an instant guide to the history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. They also include audio or video clips from the BBC archives.
This database offers constitutions, charters, amendments, and other related documents. Nations of the world are linked to their constitutional text posted somewhere on the Internet. Hosted by the University of Richmond.
Country Studies/Area Handbooks Program
This website contains the on-line versions of books previously published in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Army. Because the original intent of the Series' sponsor was to focus primarily on lesser known areas of the world or regions in which U.S. forces might be deployed, the series is not all-inclusive. Note on Timeliness: Studies included were published between 1988 and 1998. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. Older studies, including some on countries that no longer exist in the same form, such as East Germany and the Soviet Union, may be retained becasue they continue to offer historical information of value to researchers.
Europa: Gateway to the European Union
The English language version of the official site of the European Union (EU). Provides current news and upcoming events, EU activities, information on the different institutions and bodies of the EU, official documents, and information sources and contacts. Searchable.
Government Gazettes Online
"Government Gazettes, which are published by federal governments worldwide, are the means through which the government can communicate to officials and the general public. Gazettes are useful not only to monitor the actions of the government, but also as primary source documentation in research. ... A description of the contents and coverage are included for each gazette." Browseable. From the University of Michigan School of Information.
International Affairs Resources
An annotated directory of nearly 3,000 links to "information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international studies, and international relations topics." Topics include business and economics, human rights, international development, and public health. Also features links to maps, media sources, and organizations. A Virtual Library site.
Political Resources on the Net
Listings of political sites available on the Internet sorted by country, with links to Parties, Organizations, Governments, Media and more from all around the world.
Portals to the World
Portals to the World contains selective links providing authoritative, in-depth information about the nations and other areas of the world. They are arranged by country or area with the links for each sorted into a wide range of broad categories. The links were selected by Area Specialists and other Library staff using Library of Congress selection criteria.
This site contains lists of heads of state and heads of government (and, in certain cases, de facto leaders not occupying either of those formal positions) of all countries and territories, going back to about 1700 in most cases. Also included are the subdivisions of various countries, as well as a selection of international organizations. Recent foreign ministers of all countries are listed separately.
The official website of the United Nations, maintained by the UN's Department of Public Information. It includes general information, history, addresses and email addresses of member states, and an events calendar. Includes links to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library where the full text of general assembly session documents can be downloaded. Also has information on the UN bookstore and audio, video, and webcasts.
World Fact Book
Published annually by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), this is a handy reference work for basic statistical data on the countries of the world. Includes maps, and a handy resource called Flags of the World.