Federal Government Publications Collection
The United States government is the largest publisher in the world, publishing thousands of items a year on almost any subject imaginable in a variety of formats. These publications are the result of the activities of the many government departments and agencies; they are up-to-date and written by authorities on the subjects. Many contain statistics not available elsewhere. To make this vast amount of information available to the public, the government has designated libraries (known as Federal Depository Libraries) to receive copies of these publications. Seven libraries in North Dakota are Federal Depository Libraries; they're listed on another tab in this guide. The Livingston Lord Library at Minnesota State University Moorhead also is a depository.
The NDSU Library has been a Depository Library since 1907, and maintains a growing collection of more than 530,000 items.
The NDSU Library and the Chester Fritz Library at the University of North Dakota together constitute a Regional Depository. This means that every depository publication is received and retained by at least one of the two libraries. The collection is divided between the two libraries by government departments.
A list of agencies whose publications are available at UND and NDSU is shown on another tab in this guide. Each library may also receive some publications from the other library's categories. For example, NDSU receives some publications from agencies such as the Census Bureau, NASA, Smithsonian Institution, and Internal Revenue Service, which are in UND's area of responsibility.
How to Find Government Publications Call Numbers
Many government publications in NDSU's collection are included in our Library Catalog. The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications contains references to print and electronic information products created by Federal Government agencies, though not all items included are available at NDSU. Print indexes are available in the reference collection for locating older publications.
Government Publications in the NDSU Library
Print government publications are shelved in the northwest section of the upper level of the Main Library. Maps are filed in the northwest section of the lower level. Microfiche are kept at the Storage Annex but can be requested through the Pull Service.
Collections are arranged by the Superintendent of Documents classification system. This system is based on government organization rather than subjects, which keeps all publications from the same government department or agency together.
Government publications may be checked out at the Circulation Desk. Items not available at NDSU may be requested through Interlibrary Loan.
Government Information via Internet
Federal agencies are making an increasing amount of information available via Internet. Many electronic government publications are included in the NDSU Library Catalog and the Government Printing Office Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.