The place to go is your local Government Documents collection.
Luckily, when I was asked to find out why a river in Alaska is named the Hulah ula River, I already knew about the great resources in the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Government Documents collection. I looked for publications on Alaska place names and hit several useful sources right away. I knew about because I’d previously searched there for documents about U.S. stocks of chemical weapons left in the Pacific on Guam Island at the end of World War II. I was part of a Hawaii team with a contract to help the Government of Guam determine what chemicals were still on the island, if any. The super helpful librarians at Gov Docs helped me find declassified reports, journal articles, histories of the war, congressional hearings, reports to the United Nations, post-war Governors, and much more. They also showed me several data bases I could access and how to work the printed index systems. As a bonus they helped me find resources in off Oahu libraries and more.
Even if you don’t have any burning question today, drop by your nearest Gov Docs depository and learn what’s there. In Hawaii we would say “Try look!”
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