The European Union (EU) [preceded by the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), European Economic Community (EEC), and European Community (EC)] has become an important institution, both in Europe and on the world stage. During its development since the 1950s, the Community has produced a huge quantity of primary source documents about its activities. These documents come in many formats: "official publications" published by the Office of Official Publications and EU institutions, usually bound and monograph-like in format, and often have ISBN or ISSN numbers; a wide variety of documents perhaps most aptly called "working documents" - published by various EU institutions, but mostly by the Commission - which are often part of the legislative process and are usually not bound. The most thorough guide to the various kinds of EU documentation is European Information: a guide to official sources. Fourth edition, chapter 9, available in Documents box lower right.
This guide is the main or "umbrella" guide to EU resources on this website, providing instruction on accessing all major sources of EU documents. A number of "sub-guides" for specific EU policy areas are being created, links to which can be found in the Subject/Policy Guides box below. While the content of this main guide will not change much, over time more documents will be added to existing Subject/Policy Guides, so check the Updated on___ note on each page. Also, more Subject/Policy Guides will be created.
The titles on the Subject/Policy Guides are links to documents on two sources:
- Archive of European Integration (AEI) - nearly all the links on these guides are to documents located on the AEI - they are placed here in guides for patron convenience. But there are additional documents on the AEI which are not on these guides, so patrons should explore the AEI.
- EU websites. EU Bookshop, EUR-Lex, and websites of the EU Directorate-Generals (DGs) have been searched, and links to select documents found on those sites are placed on these guides.
NOTE: the Subject/Policy Guides do not include a comprehensive list of resources available. They include:
- enough documents to provide an outline of developments in the area as well as examples of the types of research materials available.
- list of websites relevant to the subject/policy area.