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Finding Government Documents in the Library   Tags: government, history, research, resources  

A brief overview of the SuDocs call number system and how it works in the library.
Last Updated: Aug 5, 2014 URL: http://research.northern.edu/finding_gov_docs Print Guide RSS Updates

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In the Library

This guide is intended to serve researchers wishing to locate government documents in the library. 

Government documents in the NSU collection take several forms. Some are in print, others are available online, and still others are available only in microfiche. More and more of our government resources are becoming available online, and you will see a fairly steady decline in the coming years in the amount of print materials we add to our Government Documents Collection. 


Researchers will find that government publications contain a wealth of fascinating information on a host of different topics.

Find Government Documents in the Library Catalog
All of our government documents, regardless of topic, format or location, are included in the NSU Library Catalog making searching these resources quick and easy. 

Different Locations
Some of our print government documents are integrated into the Main and Reference Collections, while others are retained in our Government Documents Collection.

  • The LOCATION or CALL NUMBER information in the catalog record will tell you where to find the document you're looking for.

Call Numbers (labeling)
Call numbers appear on all items shelved in the library.  Different labeling systems are used depending on where an item is shelved. We use the Library of Congress classification system to label and shelve the government documents we place in the Main and Reference Collections.

  • Government documents shelved in the Main and Reference collections will be assigned Library of Congress call numbers dependent upon their subjects.
  • The items we add to our Government Documents Collection are labeled and shelved using the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification system. 

Understanding the SuDocs System
SuDocs call numbers begin with one or two letters of the alphabet, just as Library of Congress call numbers do. However, unlike Library of Congress classification, which relates to the subject matter of the material, each letter of SuDocs call numbers stands for the issuing agency of the document. 

  • In the Library Catalog you can use the Collection Limit dropdown menu to select either Federal Documents or State Documents.  Notice that you can also limit to specific collections such as Federal Documents: Microfiche Cabinet or State Documents: Map Case.

See below for an example of a SuDocs call number:

C 61.34:987 

In the example given above:

C represents the issuing agency (Commerce Department)
61. indicates the subordinate bureau within the issuing agency (International Trade Administration)
34: is the number of the specific publication (U.S. Industrial Outlook)
987 indicates the year of publication (1987) 
See the panel at the right for more examples.

 

SuDocs Issuing Agencies

The following is a partial list of SuDocs issuing agencies by letter:  

A
Agriculture Department
AE
National Archives and Records Administration
C
Commerce Department
CR
Civil Rights Commission
D
Defense Department
E
Energy Department
ED
Education Department
EP
Environmental Protection Agency
FCA
Farm Credit Administration
FEM
Federal Emergency Management Agency
FT
Federal Trade Commission
GA
General Accounting
GP
Government Printing Office
GS
General Services Administration
HE
Health and Human Services Department
HH
Housing and Urban Development Department
HS
Homeland Security Department
I
Interior Department
IA
U.S. Information Agency
IC
Interstate Commerce Commission
ITC
International Trade Commission
J
Justice Department
JU
Judiciary (Courts of the United States)
L
Labor Department
LC
Library of Congress
LR
National Labor Relations Board
MS
Merit Systems Protection Board
NAS
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NF
National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities
NS
National Science Foundation
P
United States Postal Service
PE
Peace Corps
PM
Personnel Management Office
PR
President of the United States
PREX
Executive Office of the President
PRVP
Vice President of the United States
S
State Department
SBA
Small Business Administration
SE
Securities and Exchange Commission
SI
Smithsonian Institution
SSA
Social Security Administration
T
Treasury Department
TD
Transportation Department
VA
Veterans Administration
X, Y
Congress 

NSU Campus Resources

Contact Information

Williams Library
Northern State University
1200 S. Jay Street
Aberdeen, SD, USA 57401
Phone: (605) 626-2645
Email

 

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