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Government Documents: Documents Basics

information and resource guides from Government Documents Department

The FDLP: Helping to Keep America Informed

FDLP logo
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. Since 1813, depository libraries have safeguarded the public's right to know by collecting, organizing, maintaining, preserving, and assisting users with information from the Federal Government. The FDLP provides Government information at no cost to designated depository libraries throughout the country and territories. These depository libraries, in turn, provide local, no-fee access to Government information in an impartial environment with professional assistance.

SuDoc Explained

The government documents received at TCCL are housed in the Research Center at the Central Library (4th St & Denver Ave). These materials are primarily arranged by SuDoc, short for the Superintendent of Documents call number system.

The SuDoc system is an alpha-nermic call number scheme that places materials together in the shelves according to the agency that issued the document, reflecting the organization of the government. Here's an example:

sudoc explainedclick the image for additional information


For a more detailed explanation visit:
FDLP Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification Scheme



How to Find Government Information

Know your government!


The best way to find government information is to be up on your civics.

In essence here is how the government works: the Legislative Branch makes the Laws, the Executive Branch enforces the Laws, and the Judicial Branch interprets the Laws. Although it is also helpful to know which agency does what. 

 Here are a  few links that might help you find what you need, or you can always contact us (contact information on the right of the page).

Government Information on the Web

There are millions of government websites. These are just a few to assist with your online search of government information.