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Government Documents: Home

Library resource guide for U.S. Federal Government Documents

What are Government Documents?

Government Documents are official publications produced by U.S. Government agencies (materials such as guides, statistical data, books, congressional documents/reports, etc.), in any format (print, electronic, websites, microform). The Government Publishing Office (GPO) distributes these materials to designated libraries, Federal Depository Libraries, throughout the United States and its territories.

Federal Depository Library Program

FDLP "The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. Every day the U.S. Government issues congressional bills, laws, regulations, presidential documents, studies, and more on a variety of topics. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. The FDLP is administered by the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO)." 

Government Documents at McDermott Library

McDermott Library has been a designated selective depository library since 1956.  Most of the collection has been received through the Federal Depository Library Program.  Publications not owned by the library may be borrowed from other depository libraries through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
• Our collection is organized using the Superintendent of Documents Classification Scheme (SuDocs)
• Location of documents:
          4th floor, compact shelving (print) 
          3rd floor, (microfiche)
• Documents received since 1992 are included in the library's online catalog
Most government information received today is in electronic form
Government departments and agencies provide much of their information on the Internet
Reference service for the depository library collection is always available to the faculty, staff, and cadets of the Air Force Academy, from the library's service desk, phone, or e-mail. Reference service is also available to the general public via telephone or e-mail.
The SuDoc system groups publications by government author, which are U.S. federal departments, bureaus or agencies.
The first letter/letters of a SuDoc number represents a government department or agency (parent organization).
For example, the SuDoc number:    D 301.82/7:
D = Department of Defense
The letters are followed by a number representing the agency or a subordinate office. 
301 = Department of the Air Force (agency in the DoD)
This number is followed by a period which is not read as a decimal point. The numbers following the period represent the type of document.
82/7 = Air Force History and Museums Program Publications
SuDoc classes are arranged alphabetically based on the leading letter(s). The number between the period and colon is a whole number
D 301.8: would be filed before D 301.13:
Michigan State University's SuDocs Basics provides further explanation and additional examples of the SuDocs system with an interactive quiz. Also, visit University of Minnesota's SuDoc Tutorial video.
Contact the Library Services Desk if you need assistance in locating a document on the shelf, 333-4406/4664.

Branches of U.S. Government

image 3 branches of U.S. Government

Documents on Display

Signing of Public Law 325, to establish the U.S. Air Force AcademyEstablishment of USAFA 

66 years ago on 1 April 1954, the U.S. Air Force Academy was authorized with President Dwight D. Eisenhower signing Public Law 325, the Act to provide for the establishment of a United States Air Force Academy.

The founding of the Air Force Academy was the result of individuals who years earlier expressed support for a dedicated military institution that would provide flight training.

image source: and U.S. Air Force Academy McDermott Library Archives

1926 -- General William “Billy” Mitchell:  Department of Defense and Unification of Air Service: Hearings before the Committee on Military Affairs House of Representatives 69th Congress, 1st Session January 19 to March 9, 1926

Testimony of General Mitchell pages: 396-440
Menoher Board report discussions pages: 908-917

1947 -- National Security Act of 1947 became law on 26 July 1947 and the Department of the Air Force was created

1954, Jan -- Full committee hearings on H.R. 5337, to provide for the establishment of a United States Air Force Academy House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services ; January 13, 1954

1954 -- The Air Force Academy Act, Public Law 325, April 1, 1954

Primary sources listed above and many other official documents are freely available on the Internet from sites such as and HathiTrust Digital Library. Also, the library subscribes to several government publication databases (ProQuest Congressional and HeinOnline—please go to the Library Resources tab and its remote access guide via BlackBoard for instructions).

McDermott Library’s Clark Special Collections on the 6th floor of the library is a repository for materials relating to the origin and development of the Air Force Academy:

To read more about the Air Force Academy’s history, please visit:


►►►Previously highlighted documents

Government Documents


U.S. Government Information - free and official

FDLP logo

"The appearance of hyperlinks on this web site along with the views and opinions of authors, products or services contained therein does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Government, DoD, USAF, or USAFA. These sites are used solely for authorized activities and information that supports the organization's mission. The U.S. Air Force and the Air Force Academy do not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these link locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD Web Site."

U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-2590 DSN: 333-2590, Updated 8 Apr 2018
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