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Government publications are issued by the State and the Federal government for free. To start a quick search, try USA.GOV.
Not all government publications are online, though. After all, they have been being published since 1813.


On The Shelf

In the Stacks

Many government documents are in other collections. These books, periodicals, audiovisual, and other materials may be found by searching the online catalog. For example, searching by keywords "Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development" retrieves a list of more than 100 books, CD-ROMs, and other materials in circulating collections on first, third, fourth, and fifth floors.

You may search specifically for government documents using the "Advanced" Search. For example, a catalog search qualified by item type "Govt. Document, Circulating" will retrieve only materials which may be checked out; a search for "Govt. Document, NON-Circulating," will retrieve only non-circulating items. Most of the federal materials circulate; some do not.

In the Government Documents Collections, 2nd Floor

There are several special collections of government publications on the second floor of the library:

For the circulation policies for government documents, see Circulation Policy: Government Documents Collections.

  • Federal Government Print Collection

    Most federal government publications are on the north (bayou) side of the 2nd floor. (Library floor plan) Look for the hanging red, white, and blue eagle.

    You may notice that they have unusual looking shelf numbers, such as "LC 19.16:" or "AE 2.106/3:26/". Federal materials are organized using "SuDocs" (Superintendent of Documents) numbers.  They have a colons (:) in them. The SuDocs numbers show what agency made them. (For further information concerning the SuDocs scheme, see An Explanation of the Superintendent of Documents Classification System.)

  • Louisiana Print Collection

    State of Louisiana publications are near the Bell Tower. (See the floor plan).

    The numbers for Louisiana documents ("LA Doc numbers") are similar to the federal SUDOC numbers. Like the federal numbers, LA Doc numbers have a colon. (For further information, see  Classification Schedule for Louisiana Documents)

  • Government documents oversize materials

    The oversized government documents are on a table in the Government Documents Reading Area. Some of these circulate.

  • Federal and Louisiana maps, posters, etc., in the Map Case

    The government documents map cases are in the Government Documents Reading Area. In addition to maps, the map cases contain posters, art prints, calendars, and other large graphical materials. These do not circulate.

  • Federal government publications on microfiche, Media Services

    Documents on microfiche are located in cabinets inside Media Servies, 2nd floor, Room 205, near the Government Publications Office. These may be found in the online catalog with any search, and their location will appear as "Media Services, 2nd Floor."

  • Federal and Louisiana pamphlet file materials, Media Services

    There are print materials in filing cabinets in Media Services, near the Government Documents Office. The uncatalogued materials cannot be found using the online catalog; for assistance locating materials in the non-circulating pamphlet collection, contact the Government Publications Office at the library. They may be removed from Media Services for purposes of photocopying or reading.
  • Federal and Louisiana CDs and DVDs, Media Services

    There are federal and State of Louisiana electronic publications on CD-ROM and DVD, on top of the pamphlet files in Media Services. These may not be checked out.

  • Materials in Government Documents Office

    There are reference materials in the Government Documents Office. Patrons are welcome to consult these materials during hours when the office is open, or call ahead to make sure that someone will be available to assist you.

"E-Docs": Electronic Government Publications

Many electronic government publications may be accessed in the library catalog. The University Library has more than 26,000 "e-docs." Their virtual "location" appears in the item record as "Electronic Government Publication." To read them, URL link in the record. To limit your catalog search to only these, select the "Advanced" Search, and limit by item type "Government Publications, Electronic."

Web Resources

Sometimes, the online publication duplicates a physical one, but many are online only. You can find some here:

  • Federal
  • State
  • International and Miscellaneous



  • About Government Publications & Online Resources     

    The University Library collections contain more than 200,000 print and non-print federal and state publications. The Library receives these materials at no cost as part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the Louisiana State Documents Depository Program (LSDDP).

    "Established by Congress in 1813, the FDLP is often referred to as "America’s first freedom of information program." The FDLP is based on the principle that "citizens should have free, unimpeded, local access to official information produced by their Government.... The FDLP provides Government information at no cost to designated depository libraries throughout the country and territories. These depository libraries, in turn, provide local, no-fee access to Government information in an impartial environment with professional assistance." (About the FDLP).

    Logo of Louisiana State Documents Depository Program"The Louisiana State Documents Depository Program (LSDDP), established by the Louisiana Legislature in 1948, assures that the state's citizens have free, convenient access to Louisiana's public documents. The Recorder of Documents office administers the program, receiving copies of all public documents from state agencies and institutions, then creating the official list of these publications. The documents are distributed to the 41 academic, public and special depository libraries where everyone can use these materials" (About the LSDDP).



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