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U.S. Government Information

Federal Depository

Federal Deposit Library logo

The University of Delaware Library is a Federal Depository Library.

"A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but as Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
– James Madison, "Letter to W. T. Barry" (August 4, 1822)

Annex Request Form

The Library Annex is a remote storage area. Materials in the Annex can be brought to the Morris Library. The Library Annex Request Form is on the Library Web. On the home page select "Online Forms" (the icon is a checkmark).

The first line of the form asks for a UD identification number. If you are not affiliated with UD, type multiple zeros.

Most of the U.S. Documents in print are located in the Library Annex.

To reqest a publication from the Library Annex you must have a SuDocs call number. You should consult with a librarian before making this kind of request.



Quick Links

Provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Includes some of the most frequently used government information sources. Examples:

  • Congressional Record
  • Congressional bills and laws
  • Federal Register
  • Presidential papers
  • United States Government Manual (1995 to present)
  • United States Statutes at Large

The system was formerly called FDsys

Official government guide to government information and services. Includes links to government agency websites.

Official website for U.S. federal legislative information. Contains information on Members of Congress, calendars of Congressional proceedings, and the legislative process. Presented by the Library of Congress.

Not seeing what you want? Check The FDLP Basic Collection: Core U.S. Government Resources for additional titles. 

Federal Publishing and Libraries

The federal government is one of the world's largest publishers of statistical information and legal information, including state, local, national, and international data. In addition to legal and statistical information, government publications cover art, history, science, and many other areas. Most federal government publications published today are available on the Internet.

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) functions as a bridge between government agencies and the public. Government publications are sent to depository libraries free of charge and the libraries make the publications accessible to the public.


The University of Delaware Library is an officially designated Federal Depository Library (FDL) and has been a depository since 1897. The Depository number is 0087. The liaison to the Federal Library Depository Program (at the Government Publishing Office) is John Stevenson. 

Liaison to Depository Program contact information:

John Stevenson, Associate Librarian and Head, Multimedia Collections and Services
(302) 831-8671

Currently, the Library selects about 51% of the publications included in the Federal Depository Library Program, most notably hearings published by the Senate and House Committees on which members of Delaware's Congressional delegation serve.


The Call Numbers (SuDocs Classification)

U.S. documents are arranged by a call number system specifically designed for federal documents, called the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification system.

The SuDocs call number system is based on the government agency which released the document. For example, a publication from the Department of Agriculture begins with an "A," such as A 1.114:92 and a publication from the Department of Education begins with the letters "ED," such as ED 1.209 Sp1.

Agencies or bureaus under departments have the letter or letters for that department (the "parent agency") and a number unique to the sub-agency or bureau. For example, "A 13" is the Forest Service and "A 93" is the Economic Research Service, both of which are agencies under the Department of Agriculture.

The next part of the call number identifies the series or type of publication. The remaining parts of the call number identify the individual publication.

The call numbers file alphabetically by letter and then in numerical order by the first group of numbers, then the next group, etc. All numbers are whole numbers. Unlike the Library of Congress call number system used in most of the rest of the library, THERE ARE NO DECIMALS.

Examples of Shelving SuDocs Call Numbers

First the letter or letters at the beginning.

Note: "Nothing comes before something."

A 1.1:985
AC 1.1/2:975
Then numerically by the number, stopping at the period. C 2.2:207
C 21.12/2:966
Then numerically by the whole number down to the next slash, period, or colon. C 55.13:826
C 55.13/2:26
If at any time after the first period you must choose between a number and a letter, letters go before numbers. Y 4.Ec 7/a:92
Y 4.Ec 7/2:86
Continue looking by the whole number or letter up to the next punctuation mark until the end of the call number. Y 4.F49:92-47
Y 4.F49:857

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)

Libraries across the country participate in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The program's goal is to provide government information to the public (or DTTP, documents to the people). The program supplies government publications in electronic and tangible formats and provides continuing education for the dedicated librarians who assist the public.

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)