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Government Information

Regional Depository Library Logo The University of Maryland Libraries is a Congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government information collection is guaranteed by public law. (44 U.S.C. §§ 1901 – 1916).

Our government information collection contains legislative hearings, Congressional reports, federal regulations, census records, statistical reports, court decisions, agency publications, posters, pamphlets and more.


  • 1813 - U.S. government creates its first depository library program.
  • 1925 - UMD becomes a depository library.
  • 1962 - Congress passes the Depository Library Act of 1962 (Pub. L. 87-579)
  • 1965 - UMD becomes a regional depository library.
  • 2022 - UMD is the regional federal depository library for 52 federal depository libraries in Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia

As a regional depository, UMD administers the FDLP in its service region.

UMD's depository library coordinator is Celina McDonald, who came to UMD in 2014. Library patrons can schedule an appointment with her to receive research assistance.

  • Information created, collected, processed, or disseminated by or for the United States federal government.
  • Common examples of government publications include Congressional hearings, legislation, regulations, tax forms, treaties, census data, technical reports, maps, statistics, and reports from federal agencies.

Use the Catalog to find government information from the 1990’s to the present, as well as some older government publications. To search only the U.S. Government Information collection: Use advanced search. Set the location to U.S. Government Information (all). Note: Some government publications may be located in other areas of the Libraries.


Use the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications ( to find government information from 1976 to the present. Look for the SuDoc number (see reverse) to find the publication 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 Database Finder from the Libraries’ home page ( On the homepage, select the "Database" tab and then "Browse Database by Type or Subject or Name." On the next page, scroll down, and then chose "Government Documents (U.S.)" from the list (e.g., ProQuest Congressional, ERIC). Remote access to subscription databases is limited to UM students, faculty, and staff. Signing in requires use of your UM Directory ID and password.

SuDoc Call Numbers

Government publications 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 here.

Are you a federal depository library coordinator that would like additional information regarding the program in Maryland, Delaware, or the District of Columbia?

  • Visit our LibGuide. There you will find information regarding the region's discard process, legal requirements and guidelines, and how to connect with other libraries in the region.
  • Federal depository library coordinators who would like to contact the regional librarian can send an email to contact her directly.


GOVDOC-TALK is a private listserv for federal depository libraries in Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Its purpose is to increase communication among depositories in our Region, provide a forum for discussion, facilitate needs and offers, and allow for questions.

How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe

GOVDOC-TALK is a private listserv, so there is no "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" function. Membership has been established to include a contact from every depository library in the Region. If you are not the appropriate person in your library, please forward this information to the person who is. If there are additional persons in your library who should be included, please send a message to Celina Nichols (, who will add or remove names from the list as necessary. Please send questions about the list to the same address. Participation To post a message to the discussion list, please send email to

State Plan


The latest state plan for Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia can be found on the libguide for depository libraries in the University of Maryland's service area. Click here to look at the state plan.

UMD digitized its U.S. Government Posters Collection. The collection includes informative and artistic posters from the the 20th century. To check out the collection, click here

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