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U.S. Federal Documents

Northwestern University Libraries have been a U.S. Federal Depository Library since 1876. Our collection includes materials in paper, microfiche, CD-ROM, DVD formats and online formats. This guide is based on a similar guide by Kelly Smith at UCSD.

Key Resources for Identifying Government Publications

NUSearch contains information about some, but not all, of the government publications in the NU Libraries collections.

Use one or more of the following databases to identify U.S. government agency publications - each will have unique features and search options.

Indexes to Pre-1976 U.S. Government Publications

Unless otherwise noted, links go to NUSearch, which provides call number and location information for these print resources.

Collections of Digitized U.S. Government Publications

The vast majority of government publications are now published directly to the web, ensuring widespread availability. However, access to most older government documents remains somewhat limited; these items are generally only available in libraries that are part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) - this map/directory will help you determine which depository libraries are near you.  Many libraries and other organizations, such as those noted below, are working to increase availability by creating digitized copies of these older documents.

U.S. Federal Government Organization & Responsibilities

Knowing what an agency is responsible for, and who works in that agency, can help find the information you need,

How to Cite Government Publications

Open Access for Federally Funded Research