What Are Government Documents?
The United States Government Publishing Office is the largest publisher in the world, in both the number and variety of its publications. Government documents record the activities of the agencies, offices, bureaus and departments of the federal government. They include Congressional hearings, reports and documents; and the publications of presidential task forces and specially appointed commissions.
What Subjects Are Covered?
Government documents are a great source of information about all aspects of public policy, from business, communications, and defense to health, education, and social welfare. They also contain statistical information of all kinds. Anyone interested in current topics such as family violence, aging, immigration, trade, employment, hazardous wastes, or business development may find helpful material in U.S. Government publications.
Documents at the Salmon Library
UAH is a congressionally-designated selective federal depository of the U.S. Government. As such, the Salmon Library receives that portion of all GPO publications which have been determined to most closely suit the needs of the University and the citizenry in the community. (Suggestions for new acquisitions are always welcome).
Location and Access
Most of the documents currently received by the Library are housed on Ground Floor Central Tower in the Library. Some titles have been added to the online catalog. However, because most documents are not represented on the on-line book catalog, search in Marcive WebDocs or ask at the reference desk for assistance.
A dedicated PC and printer are available for government document research. You can contact Gary Glover at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256.824.6526 to arrange a session on this computer.
Finding Goverment Documents
There are three excellent online sources to help you get started searching for government information.
GPO Access Users, the resource to use for searching for online Government Publishing Office files is now FDsys (Federal Digital System). If you have GPO Access bookmarked, you will want to update that link (right now, it redirects for you).
|If you're looking for:||Try using the:|
|Census data||Government Documents stacks|
|Congressional documents||Congressional Information Service Index, (e.g. appropriations hearings)|
|Federal grant money||Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance|
|Federal law||United States Statutes at Large or United States Code|
|Federal regulations||Code of Federal Regulations, in Government Documents|
|Federally generated numbers||American Statistics Index|
|International trade data||Government Documents stacks|
|NASA publications||Government Reports Announcements & Index or on the NASA Technical Reports Server.|
|Older documents, by specific years||Monthly Catalog, 1895-1940, (annuals), on microfilm, N-1|
|Older documents, generally||Cumulative Index to the MoCat, 1900-1971
|Patent searching information||Index to the U.S. Patent Classification System in Government Documents , Index of Patents: Part II, Subject of Inventions in Government Documents :... and Official Gazette in Government Documents
Asking for Help
If you need help, do not hesitate to ask at the reference desk for assistance or contact the Government Documents librarian Gary Glover at Gary.Glover@uah.edu.