Government Documents

William F. Maag, Jr. Library      A Federal Depository Library Since 1973

Finding Government Documents

Ohio Government Information
Historical Documents
Government Information on the Web
FDsys: Federal Digital System

Maag Library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents.
Public access to the gover
nment documents collection is guaranteed by public law.
(Title 44 United States Code)


Government publications are a valuable resource for papers and research projects. They are timely, authoritative, and diverse--covering topics from business, energy, drug abuse, education and civil rights, to many other political, scientific, and social areas of study.

Maag Library has been a selective government depository since 1973. Currently Maag selects about 48% of the publications available through the FDLP: Federal Depository Library Program. Documents are selected which support YSU's curricula, research, and programs as well as documents of general interest to residents of the 13th Congressional District. Maag is also a depository for selected Ohio documents. Most government publications are now published on the Web and are easily accesible through MaagNET or any Internet browser. The selected print collection is located on the Third Floor and is available during all Library Hours. For assistance, ask at the service desk on the third floor of the library or at the Reference Desk on the main floor.

Circulation Policy: Use of the collection is open to the public. Borrowing of materials, however, is limited to current faculty, staff and students as well as those patrons belonging to Friends of Maag Library. Reference materials must be used within the library. The circulation policy of the Government Documents section reflects the general circulation policies of Maag Library.


A good place to begin is by searching the library’s online catalog--MaagNET.  Search by subject, author, title or keyword. MaagNet includes the majority of documents currently held in Maag's collection. Titles available on the Web have a direct link in the online catalog.

Search for government documents in electronic and/or print format:

Search by subject, author, title or keyword. MaagNet includes the majority of documents currently held in Maag's collection. Titles available on the Web have a direct link in the online catalog.

When using MaagNET, government documents in print are identified by the notation Govt Docs.
Microfiche documents are identified by the term Micro Docs.

FDsys: Search Government Publications
FDsys: Browse Government Publications

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
The CGP is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online.

MetaLib is a federated search engine that searches multiple U.S. Federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while providing direct links to selected resources available online.

GPO Advanced Search / Off Campus Access
A catalog of U.S. government documents from 1976 to the present. The database describes Congressional reports, hearings, debates and records; judiciary materials; and documents issued by executive departments. It contains records on all subjects of interest to the U.S. government.

For government information search engines, see Government Information On the Web.


Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification System
Government documents have their own unique identification system known as the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification System.

FDLP Desktop: Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification System
A system of library classification developed in the office of the Superintendent of Documents of the United States Government Printing Office (GPO) at the turn of the 20th century.

Learning SuDocs Call Numbers (Michigan State University)

The SuDocs system follows the organizational structure of the federal government. Publications are grouped according to the issuing departments or agencies (i.e. C for Commerce, L for Labor). Other letters and numbers are added to further identify bureaus, type of publication, series or title.

Current Lettering for SuDoc Class Stems:

A Agriculture JU Judiciary
AE National Archives & Records Administration L Labor Department
B Broadcasting Board of Governors LC Library of Congress
C Commerce Department LR National Labor Relations Board
CC Federal Communications Commission MS Merit Systems Protection Board
CR Civil Rights Commission NAS National Aeronautics & Space Administration
D Defense Department NC National Capital Planning Commission
E Energy Department NCU National Credit Union Administration
ED Education Department NF National Foundation on the Arts & the Humanities
EP Environmental Protection Agency NMB National Mediation Board
FA Fine Arts Commission NS National Science Foundation
FCA Farm Credit Administration OP Overseas Private Investment Corporation
FHF Federal Housing Financing Board P United States Postal Service
FM Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service PE Peace Corps
FMC Federal Maritime Commission PM Personnel Management Office
FR Federal Reserve System Board of Governors PR President of the United States
FT Federal Trade Commission PREX Executive Office of the President
FTZ Foreign-Trade Zones Board PRVP Vice President of the United States
GA Government Accountability Office RR Railroad Retirement Board
GP Government Printing Office S State Department
GS General Services Administration SBA Small Business Administration
HE Health & Human Services Department SE Securities & Exchange Commission
HH Housing & Urban Development Department SI Smithsonian Institution
HS Homeland Security SSA Social Security Administration
I Interior Department T Treasury Department
IC Interstate Commerce Commission TD Transportation Department
ID US Agency for International Development TDA US Trade & Development Agency
ITC International Trade Commission VA Veterans Affairs Department
J Justice Department X

List of Classes of U.S. Government Publications Available for Selection by Depository Libraries

GPO Classification Manual

An actual SuDoc number may look something like this:

L 2.44:46/3

L = Labor Department
L 2. = Bureau of Labor Statistics
L 2.44: = Compensation and Working Conditions
L 2.44:46/3 = Volume 46, issue no. 3 of Compensation and Working Conditions

Important Tips:

  • The dot (.) is a period, not a decimal. All numbers are whole numbers (.9 comes before .12)
  • Order: Years, Letters, Numbers
    Before 2000, the first number was dropped from the year, so those years have 3 digits.
  • Nothing comes before something (for ex. AE 1.102 : G 28 precedes AE 1.102 : G 28/2/Trans.7)