Government Information

Ottenheimer Library is an official depository for United States and European Union publications. Both collections are partial depositories. The federal collection receives about 37% of the materials produced. The European Union collection receives about 25% of the publications released on hard copy with a additional growing percentage available from EU websites and the European Union Bookshop.

Shelving and Classification

The U.S. government documents are arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents classification, designed by the Government Printing Office. Each number indicates the issuing agency, sub-agency or office, type of document, and the number representing an individual item. Because the system is based on the agencies of government, it is constantly changing as agencies are created or eliminated. When doing historical research, keep in mind that some current departments grew out of others and therefore older materials might be under a different number. The Department of Education is a good example of this. Until the late 1970’s, it was part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and materials were classified under HE. Now, as it’s own department, all the Department of Education materials will start with ED.

The European Union collection is shelved using Library of Congress call numbers. Nearly all the materials in this collection have been incorporated into the Circulating collection on the 4th and 5th floors. There are a few serial publications shelved on the 3rd floor, and some statistical compilations in the Reference Collection on the 1st floor.

Circulation Policy

Circulation policies vary from one collection to another. Most federal documents can checked out. Exceptions to that rule include statistical compilations, periodicals, indices, laws and regulations, and certain volumes from the Bureau of the Census. Most of these documents are not under copyright, allowing unlimited photocopying.

The European Union collection is predominantly a circulating collection. Exceptions include serials and selected statistical compilations, shelved in the Reference Collection on the 1st floor.

Frequently Requested Agencies

Government Agencies and Depository Collections

  • State and Local
  • United States
  • European Union
  • International Organizations

Document Services

Popular Online Publications