Rice Library


Government Documents in the Library and on the web!

The Rice Library Catalog includes many government document publications. To readily search for only government documents in the Catalog:

  • Select Basic Search and type in the words Government Documents.
  • Search by a single word or put phrases in quotes.

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Example: if you were searching for government information on capital punishment, in Basic Search you would put "capital punishment" in quotes.

The U.S. Government is posting more and more material directly on the Web.

While the library has Government Documents in print and in microforms, if the publication is relatively recent scroll to the bottom of the record and look for a direct Web address.

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The United States Government Printing Office

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government documents iconThe G.P.O. is the world's largest publisher, publishing everything from the Economic Report of the President to colorful posters put out by the National Park Service. These publications are issued by Congress, government agencies, and commissions; are available electronically in paper or microform. These government documents are made available to the public through the Federal Depository Library program. USI Library Services has been a selective depository since 1969; it receives documents from 44% of the approximately 7000 categories available. Some documents have been cataloged and may be found in the online catalog.  Central Library (downtown Evansville) is also a selective depository--its holdings overlap but do not completely duplicate USI's.

Government documents are shelved in more than one location. A portion of them are considered reference materials and may not be checked out.  For help in locating documents, please ask at the Reference Desk.

Monthly Catalog - GPO produces an index to government documents that provides access via author, title, series/report, contract number, or title/keyword--current indexes are available online at www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/locators/cgp/index.html and previous years in Ref. Gov. Doc. GP3.8.

Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report - This commercial publication reports on activities in Congress and may be consulted to learn the status and/or date of legislation--once you have this information you can search for the document itself.

Superintendent of Documents Numbers - Government documents are arranged by the issuing agency and/or department. This explanation of what these numbers mean will help you in finding appropriate materials. A list of common author symbols are listed below.

AE 1.113:2/991
AE  represents the Author Symbol (in this example, the National Archives and Records Administration).

1.  Subordinate office or bureau within agency and/or department. 1 is the parent organization and will always be followed by a period.
113:  Series number (in this example, 113 is the general information leaflet series). This is always followed by a colon and occasionally there are numbers for new series closely related to existing series: these are designated like this: 5/a: or 5/2.
2/  A Unique book (item) number.
991  Date of revision (in this example, 991 = 1991). In the case this would be a serial, the number may represent a volume or issue number.