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Government Documents: Home


Welcome to the LRC's Libguide on Government Documents. As a Federal Depository Library, we are here to help you locate government publications to meet your needs.

Getting Started

To start searching for government documents, try the FDsys and Catalog of U.S. Government Publications websites described in the Getting Started tab.

FDLP Basic Collection

For a list of resources focusing on the workings and essential activities of the Federal Government, see the FDLP Basic Collection tab.

Other Resources

To learn about other places to search for government documents, see the Other Resources tab.

FDLP Overview

For more information about the FDLP and LRC's role in it, see the FDLP Overview tab.

What is a Government Document?

According to the United States Code, Title 44, Chapter 19, Sec 1901 (PDF):

A government document is "informational matter which is published as an individual document at government expense, or as required by law"

A government document can be published in various formats such as:

Books, studies, technical reports, manuals, websites, databases, etc.

A government document can be in tangible or intangible media such as:

Paper, microfilm/microfiche, CD-ROM or DVD, and online resources (born digital or scanned)

Government documents can be found in many different places:

on a government agencies' website, in the U.S. Government Printing Office's search tools, and in the collections of Federal Depository Libraries (FDL), State Libraries, National Archives, and Presidential Libraries

Contact the LRC



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Telephone: (301) 295-3350

Technical Services Librarian

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Arthur Liu
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James A. Zimble Learning Resource Center • 4301 Jones Bridge Rd. Bethesda, MD 20814 • Main Number: 301-295-3189 • AMI Helpdesk: 301-295-3358

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