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U.S. Government Information

Federal Depository

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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)

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.

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.