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U.S. Federal Documents: Home

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.

COVID-19 & NU Library Federal Government Collections

NUSearch includes information about publications from federal agencies in print, microfilm or fiche, and online formats.  However, not all of our federal collection appears in NUSearch.

Effective June 8, 2020, physical items in the Evanston campus libraries and the Oak Grove Library Center can be requested through NUSearch.  Effective June 14, 2021 appointments are no longer needed to pick up material in the library building. If you are not in Chicagoland, review the Borrowing Materials and the Returning Materials pages.

Alternatively, the HathiTrust repository includes more than 1.3 million digitized federal publications which are in the public domain and therefore, are available to all.

For assistance locating government information, please contact

Get Started Using Government Information


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


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 depository program.  Many libraries and other organizations, such as those noted below, are working to increase availability by creating digitized copies of these older documents.

Research Help

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Anne Zald
Anne Zald
Subjects: Government Information; Gender & Sexuality Studies; Social Science Data; Regulatory Compliance
Main Library Room 1214
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Skype Contact: anne.zald
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