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Government Information: Introduction

Various links to guides, websites, and other points of informational interest on federal, state and local government information.

Congressional Record App

Read the daily edition of the Congressional Record on your iPad. The Congressional Record App is presented by the Library of Congress using data provided by the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Government Printing Office.

GPO Mobile

Welcome: About Government Documents

Government Documents are the publications put out by government agencies – federal, state, local, and international. They do not deal solely with law and politics, but are reports on every aspect of life whether involving current events, education, science, technology, sociology, medical, etc. They are often the best, and sometimes the only source of statistical information on a given topic. 

Most recently published government documents are available on the internet. However, many important documents are still only available in other formats, such as books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, maps, video and microfiche. 

Note: Not everything can be found using a Web search engine.

Public access to government documents is guaranteed by law and is your right as a citizen.    

SuDoc Classification System

The SuDocs (Superintendent of Documents) system organizes publications based upon issuing agency.  The SuDoc number or call number is based on this issuing agency.           

A = publications of the Department of Agriculture,
C = publications of the Department of  Commerce,
D = publications of the Department of Defense,
HS = publications of the Department of Homeland Security, and so on.

There are exceptions: 
Y 1 call numbers are general publications of Congress such as House and Senate Documents and Reports  
Y 3 call numbers are publications of  independent boards and commissions of Congress
Y 4 call numbers are House and Senate Committee hearings and publications.

The SuDoc system is not a decimal system.The number after the point is a whole number.

i.e. - in order --- A 1.2,  A 1.23,  A 1.256

If the call number is the same to a certain point, then varies, the order is: Years, Letters, Numbers. Until the year 2000, the first number was dropped from years, so those years have 3 digits. Beginning with the year 2000, years will be 4 digits. 

i.e. - in order ---   A 1.2:999   A 1.2:D 600,  
                         A 1.2:90-2

The call number stem is the numbers before the colon.  If this stem has numbers slashed onto the base number, the base number comes first, followed by the slashed numbers in order. (A 1.23: is the base number)

i.e. - in order --- A 1.23:   A 1.23/D:    
                       A 1.23/D-2:  A 1.23/2


An Explanation of the Superintendent of Documents Classification System

Subject Guide

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Kristine Owens
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Monday – Thursday:   12:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Malone University
Everett L. Cattell Library
2600 Cleveland Ave. NW
Canton, OH 44709
Subjects: Literature

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Guide Images

Manyof the images used throughtout this guide were selected from Google images, unless noted otherwise.