U.S. Government Information at the University of Maryland Libraries
What is Government Information?
- 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.
How Do I Find Government Information?
- UM LIBRARIES’ CATALOG
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.
- CATALOG OF U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS
Use the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (http://catalog.gpo.gov/F) 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).
- INDEXES & GUIDES
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: https://lib.guides.umd.edu/GovernmentDocuments.
- DATABASE FINDER
Access Database Finder from the Libraries’ home page (http://www.lib.umd.edu). 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.
- Use web sites like USA.gov (http://www.usa.gov) and GovInfo (https://www.govinfo.gov/about/us-gov-info)to find recent government information.
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. Congressional publications are organized by Congress and then call number. There are charts posted in the Y4 area on the 4th floor to help people convert dates to Congresses and find materials.
2. Locate the appropriate Congress (e.g., 109th Congress) within the Y4 area of the government documents stacks in compact shelving on the 4th Floor.
3. Within the appropriate Congress, search for the hearing by call number.
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.