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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

Government Information - Notable Government Documents List

The "Notable Documents List" originally compiled by the Notable Documents Committee of the American Library Association's Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) in the early 1980s, was created to promote awareness of government publications. Since 1986, the list has been published in the May issue of Library Journal.

To check out complete notable lists, please see the May 15th issues of Library Journal (access available online - USAFA Campus)

A few examples are listed below:

Search the U.S. Catalog of Government Publications to find many other official publications, digital and print, from the three branches of government.


►►►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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