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Government Documents   Tags: advanced research, government documents  

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2013 URL: Print Guide

Federal Documents Print Page

Government Documents

The Mudd is part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Some of Lawrence's 320,000 government documents are in LUCIA, the library catalog -- but not many. To find U.S. government publications, use one of the catalogs listed below.

The library is also a Selective Depository Library for State of Wisconsin documents, which means that we receive a portion of the thousands of documents published by Wisconsin state agencies.

Federal and State government documents have their own numbering system. See understanding the government documents numbering system below for additional information.


  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
    (1976 to present)
    Covers electronic and print publications from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government dating from July 1976 to the present.
  • Congressional Publications
    Congressional materials and legislative histories available through abstracts, titles, indexing information and other bibliographic data. Covers 1969 to present.
  • Monthly Catalog (1895-1995)
    Printed version of the index that provides access to older publications.
    Location: Index shelves (at the end of the reference collection, first floor)


  • American State Papers, 1789-1838
    Search or browse these legislative and executive documents, many originating from the important period between 1789 and the beginning of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set in 1817.
  • U.S. Congressional Serials Set
    Search or browse the Reports, Documents, and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, originally published in approximately 13,800 bound volumes.
  • Serials Set Maps, 1817-1980
    The maps published as part of U.S. Congressional Serial Set publications.

Understanding the Government Documents Numbering System

  1. The Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification number begins with a capital letter or letters representing a government department or agency. (A - Agriculture Dept., C - Commerce Dept., ED - Education Dept., etc.) The U. S. Congress uses the letters X and Y.

  2. The numbers that follow these letters represent the office of a particular department. For instance, all Internal Revenue Service publications will be given a number beginning with T 22. The numbers after the decimal point represent second and subsequent level offices.

  3. Numbers immediately following the colon indicate numbered series, volumes or dates. Letters and numbers immediately following the colon are based on a system which organizes materials alphabetically by subject.

  4. In general, documents are shelved in alphabetical and numerical order.
    • C 3.24/8: IN 23
      C 3.25: AF 48
      NAS 1.2: FR 76
      NS 5: 100

  5. This is not a decimal system. Numbers between punctuation are treated as individual whole numbers.
    • D 1.2: EX 83
      D 1.16: TO 75
      D 1.23: NA 42
      D 1.23/2: CR 76
      D 1.23/2-3: AL 23
      D 1.23/2-11: LI 45
      D 1.142: LE 78

  6. Numbers precede letters.
    • C 61.12: 89-7
      C 61.12: AM 32

  7. Senate Hearings and Prints:
    S.HRG. then S.PRT. by congress number. After that, numbers, and then alphabetically.
    • Y 4.B 85/2: S.HRG.100-45
      Y 4.B 85/2: S.PRT.100-37
      Y 4.B 85/2: S.HRG.101-13
      Y 4.B 85/2: S.PRT.101-20
      Y 4.B 85/2: 100-9
      Y 4.B 85/2: AR 56

  8. Microfiche is filed in the same way as paper except Foreign Broadcast Information Service (PREX 7.10 & PREX 7.13), House and Senate Reports and Documents (Y 1.1), and Bills and Resolutions (Y 1.4) are filed in the microfiche cabinets at the north end of the reference area. A finding aid for Y 1.4 is kept in the black binder in the microfiche area.

  9. Serial set volumes are shelved at the end of the document collection.

Government Documents Assistant

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Kim Knuppel
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(920) 832-7499
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