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As you search for something, you can better find it by asking the following questions. Each of these answers may help you determine what publication or collection will hold an answer and will indicate whether the material may be digitized.
Who created it?
- The House of Representatives? The Senate? A Committee? The President? An Agency?
What format was it created in?
- Is it a law? A rule? Remarks? Testimony? A Report? An Agency Publication?
When was it created?
- Before 1865? After 1976? After 1995? Is it currently being debated?
Consult the Legislative Process graphic to identify which collections and formats you should search.
Finding Materials Based on Year
Pre-1865 - Many founding documents for the U.S. have been digitized. See Government Websites Libguide for more information.
Post-1907 - Utah State University became a federal depository in 1907. We have been actively collecting physical copies of federal government materials since this date.
Post-1976 - Materials will be cataloged in the USU Library Catalog and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.
Post-1995 - Congressional and Executive Branch materials are available digitally on govinfo.gov. Physical materials can be located via the USU Library Catalog.
2015-2018 - Recent materials are often best located on Congressional, Executive Branch, or Agency websites.
More items are being digitized all the time. These ranges are not all inclusive and more may be available. See resource descriptions for exact range.
Digital Databases for Government Information
Govinfo is a site produced by the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO) that provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.
This comprehensive database of U.S. Legislative information contains the full-text of bills (1989 to date), laws (1988 to date), the Federal Register (1980 to date), the Code of Federal Regulations, the National Journal (1980 to date), information on members of congress, committees, and congressional publications.
Provides access to more than 80 million pages of legal history available in an online, fully-searchable, image-based format.
Presidential materials after 1928 are maintained by libraries run by the National Archives. Some presidential materials are held by the Library of Congress. Click here for more information.
Physical Materials - Visit the Government Information Department
Visit the catalogs below to find records of the physical materials in the Government Information Department. Note the date ranges available in the description.
The USU Library catalog includes records for government publications 1976-present with incomplete but expanding coverage of pre-1976 publications. Start here and be sure to check the format type. You can limit your search to government materials by using the Advanced Search and limiting your "Material Type" to "Government Document"
WorldCat is very useful for locating historic government documents, and many records include SuDoc numbers, the call numbers used for government publications at the library. Note the SuDoc number and format and visit the Government Information Department to find it in our collections.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
The federal government's catalog of post-1976 materials. It provides links to digitized historic material on federal websites. (Free resource)
Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications 1895-1976
Subscription-based, comprehensive index to historical information published by the United States federal government published between January 1895 and June 1976.Note the SuDoc number and format and visit the Government Information Department to find it in our collections.
Government Information Librarian
“This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code)”