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Government Information

Federal Depository Library Program

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The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) of the United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. It distributes materials in a variety of formats, including electronic, CD, microfiche, and paper.  AS part of its publishing program, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), through the FDLP, distributes certain classes of Government documents free of charge to designated libraries throughout the United States and its territories. These libraries are known as Federal Depository libraries. For an annotated list of the core U.S. Government resources made available at all Federal depository libraries, see the FDLP Basic Collection Guide on the FDLP website; for an additional list including historic cornerstone documents, see govinfo’s Other Resources, also known as Core Documents of Our Democracy.

Notre Dame's Hesburgh Libraries have been a selective depository for U.S. government publications since 1883. The present Documents Center collection in the lower level of the Hesburgh Library has over 800,000 publications received since January 1, 1968. These materials are arranged by Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification covering a broad spectrum of subjects. Access to governmental information at the local, state, federal, and international levels are freely available online, in paper and fiche to the Notre Dame community. Moreover, any resident of Congressional District IN-2 has access to federal publications. The Kresge Law Library has been a selective depository for U.S. government publications since 1985 and collects in the area of Law, including patents.

Government Documents

Government documents are publications of federal and local governments, including hearings, reports, statutes, treaties, periodicals (example: Monthly Labor Review), and statistics (e.g., U.S. Census). Documents of international governmental agencies (IGOs), such as the United Nations, and non-governmental agencies (NGOs), such as the World Trade Organization, are also generally considered government documents. In libraries, government documents are usually shelved in a separate section by their own classification scheme. For United States federal documents, this is the SuDoc number. Government documents are published in a variety of formats: paper, microfiche, diskette, CD-ROM, and online.

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SuDoc Explained

SuDoc Explained

Unlike traditional Library of Congress call numbers, SuDoc numbers are whole numbers, rather than decimal numbers. Examples of proper order are as follows:

Unlike traditional Library of Congress call numbers, SuDoc numbers are whole numbers, rather than decimal numbers. If the call number stem (the numbers before the colon) has numbers after the base number, the base number comes first, followed by the slashed numbers in order. If the call number is the same to a certain point, then varies, the order is: YEARS > LETTERS > NUMBERS. Until the year 2000, the first number was dropped from years, so these years will have only 3 digits. Beginning with the year 2000, years are indicated with 4 digits. What makes the superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system user friendly is that the precise letter(s) of the SuDoc number represent the Department or Agency that created the document. Examples of proper order would be:

SuDoc Examples

  • ED 1.2:Ad 9
  • ED 1.102:B 56
  • ED 1.302:B 49/2

If the call number is the same to a certain point, then varies, the order is: YEARS > LETTERS > NUMBERS. Until the year 2000, the first number was dropped from years, so these years will have only 3 digits. Beginning with the year 2000, years are indicated with 4 digits. Examples of proper order would be:

If the call number is the same to a certain point, then varies, the order is: YEARS > LETTERS > NUMBERS. Until the year 2000, the first number was dropped from years, so these years will have only 3 digits. Beginning with the year 2000, years are indicated with 4 digits. Examples of proper order would be:

  • A 1.35:993
  • A 1.35:R 42
  • A 1.35:R 42/995
  • A 1.35:R 42/2

SuDoc Call Letters

The SuDoc call numbers are organized by the following letters.

  • A
    Agriculture
  • AE
    National Archives and Records Administration
  • B
    Broadcasting Board of Governors
  • C
    Commerce Department
  • CC
    Federal Communications Commission
  • CR
    Civil Rights Commission
  • D
    Defense Department
  • E
    Energy Department
  • ED
    Education Department
  • EP
    Environmental Protection Agency
  • FA
    Fine Arts Commission
  • FCA
    Farm Credit Administration
  • FHF
    Federal Housing Financing Board
  • FM
    Federal Mediation and Conciliation Board
  • FMC
    Federal Maritime Commission
  • FR
    Federal Reserve System Board of Governors
  • FT
    Federal Trade Commission
  • FTZ
    Foreign Trade Zones Board
  • GA
    Government Accountability Office
  • GP
    Government Printing Office
  • GS
    General Services Administration
  • HE
    Health and Human Services Department
  • HH
    Housing and Urban Development Department
  • HS
    Homeland Security
  • I
    Interior Department
  • IC
    Interstate Commerce Commission
  • ID
    US Agency for International Development
  • ITC
    International Trade Commission
  • J
    Justice Department
  • JU
    Judiciary
  • L
    Labor Department
  • LC
    Library of Congress
  • LR
    National Labor Relations Board
  • MS
    Merit Systems Protection Board
  • NAS
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • NC
    National Capital Planning Commission
  • NCU
    National Capital Planning Commission
  • NF
    National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities
  • NMB
    National Mediation Board
  • NS
    National Science Foundation
  • OP
    Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • P
    United States Postal Service
  • PE
    Peace Corps
  • PM
    Personnel Management Office
  • PR
    President of the United States
  • PREX
    Executive Office of the President
  • PRVP
    Vice President of the United States
  • RR
    Railroad Retirement Board
  • S
    State Department
  • SBA
    Small Business Administration
  • SE
    Securities and Exchange Commission
  • SI
    Smithsonian Institution
  • SSA
    Social Security Administration
  • T
    Treasury Department
  • TD
    Transportation Department
  • TDA
    US Trade and Development Agency
  • VA
    Veterans Affairs Department
  • X,Y
    Congress