U.S. Government Information at the University of Maryland Libraries
What Are Government Documents?
- Information created, collected, processed, or disseminated by or for the
United States federal government.
- Common examples of government documents include Congressional hearings,
legislation, regulations, tax forms, treaties, census data, technical reports,
maps, statistics, and reports from federal agencies.
How Do I Find Government Information?
Catalog to find government
documents from the 1990’s to the present, as well as some older government
documents. To search only the U.S. Government Information collection: Use
advanced search. Set the location to U.S. Government Information (all). Note:
Some government documents may be located in other areas of the Libraries.
- CATALOG OF U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS
Use the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
(http://catalog.gpo.gov/F) to find government documents from 1976 to the
present. Look for the SuDoc number (see reverse) to find the document in
McKeldin Library, or click the link for Internet Access (if available).
Use indexes and guides to locate items on a
specific topic. See the U.S. Government Information, Maps & GIS Services web
site for a list of guides:
Access Research Port from the Libraries’ home page
(http://www.lib.umd.edu). Select Government Documents from the databases by
subject category tab and choose databases from that list (e.g., LexisNexis
Congressional, ERIC). Remote access to Research Port is limited to UM students,
faculty, and staff. Signing in requires use of your UM Directory ID and
- Use web sites like USA.gov (http://www.usa.gov) to find recent government
- More government resources: http://www.lib.umd.edu/GOV/GIO/index.html.
Finding Congressional Hearings
1. Use the library catalog to identify the
hearing’s call number—it will begin with Y4—and the Congress in which it took
place. Hearing dates indicate the Congress. Use the charts posted in the Y4 area
on the 4th floor to convert dates to Congresses.
2. Locate the appropriate Congress (e.g., 109th
Congress) within the Y4 area of the SuDoc stacks.
3. Within the appropriate Congress, search for the
hearing by call number.
SuDoc Call Numbers
Government documents use a unique call number
system called the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) system. In the Libraries’
Catalog, the SuDoc number will be listed next to the material’s location:
Y 4.EN 2:S.HRG. 105-15
In the SuDoc system, government publications are
grouped together by issuing agency rather than
subject, so all publications from a particular government department or agency
are shelved together. To learn more about the SuDoc call number system, click