Many publications or documents of the United States government are made available through depository libraries, including the UWM Libraries. The UWM Libraries select documents on the basis of curriculum needs. Documents circulate following the rules of other library materials.

UWM Libraries primarily integrates government publications into the main collection, meaning that they are cataloged, classified, and shelved in the regular collection. Selected government publications are shelved in the documents area of the Compact Shelving west area or in the Microtext Area, shelved by Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) numbers [HE 20.6002:E 71, C 13.58:6784, etc.]. The majority of the documents held by the UWM Libraries may be searched by author, title, and subject in PantherCat, the online catalog. Most currently "published" documents are available only online, and are not listed in the UWM Libraries catalog. These can be accessed via the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, through agency websites which offer online access to their publications, or frequently located by doing a keyword or title search in Google.

If a document does not appear in the online catalog and is not located in the documents area by SuDoc number, ask a librarian for assistance. The document may be available in a series, on microfiche, CD-ROM, the Internet, or at the regional depository at Milwaukee Public Library.

SuDoc number prefixes correspond to departments and agencies of the federal government, e.g. "NAS" for NASA documents, "A" for Department of Agriculture, etc., and are not a subject arrangement. SuDoc numbers may be located in a variety of indexes for government publications. The principal index for government publications has been the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, now online (see Catalog of U.S. Government Publications). Other indexes may also be of value in finding government publications (see Indexes - Commercial).

The following is a select list of indexes and additional aids for searching for government publications. A good starting place to locate websites for governmental agencies and general information is,


Catalog of U. S. Government Publications1976-dateResources A-Z
An online index for U.S. documents available to depository libraries; this is the replacement for the print Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications. While some publications older than 1976 may be included, it is not the best source for those materials. The index gives publication information, including SuDocs number, and a link to online resources, but does not have any other full text.
Government Reports Announcements and Index
Search NTIS

Z 7916 .B4....
This indexes scientific and technical reports that are funded by the federal government but not distributed to depository libraries. The majority of these reports are available through interlibrary loan. {Title varies; call number may vary slightly}
Index to U.S. Government Periodicals
U.S. Government Periodicals Index
(compact) Z 1223 .Z9 I5
(compact) Z 1223 .Z9 I52x
These index 170 major journals published by the federal government. Major periodicals published by the government are also covered by other print or online subject indexes/databases.
Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications {Title varies}&bnsp;   1895-1995(compact) Z 1223 .A18
The principal index to documents distributed to depository libraries and selected other documents. Access can be by title/keyword, author, subject, report number, or SuDoc number. See the Catalog of U. S. Government Publications for current indexing. For multi-year searching, use the Cumulative subject index to the Monthly catalog of United States Government publications, 1900-1971, (compact) Z 1223 .A182x, or the United States government publications monthly catalog; cumulative personal author index. 1941-1975, (compact) Z 1223 .A181x. The UWM Libraries does not subscribe to the historical online Monthly Catalog, 1895-1976. See the RIS user guide,
Individual departments may have online publications lists or data online. Significant online publications lists are available from the U.S. Geological Survey, the Park Service, the Forest Service, the Bureau of the Census, the Environmental Protection Agency, etc.

For an extensive, chronological search of early government documents, beginning with 1774, the following indexes should be used.

Descriptive Catalogue of the Government Publications of the United States, September 5, 1774-March 4, 1881
           (compact) Z 1223 .A 1970
           Referred to as "Poore's" after the editor.

Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909
           (compact) Z 1223 .A113 1962

Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1970, with supplements to 1973
           (compact) Z 1223 .Z7 U52 and (MC) Z 06

Comprehensive Index to the Publications of the United States Government, 1881-1893
           (compact) Z 1223 .A 1962
           Referred to as "Ames" after the editor.

Catalogue of the Public Documents of the ...Congress and of all departments of the Government of the United States. ... March 4, 1893 - December 31, 1940
           (compact) Z 1223 .A13
           Referred to as the "Documents Catalog."

INDEXES - Specialty

American Statistics Index (ASI)
Proquest Statistical Insight
Dates vary
(MFC) HA 214 .A5x
Resources A-Z
ASI indexed statistics collected and/or published by the U.S. government. The Retrospective volume covered all material in print as of 1 January 1974; therefore selected older materials may be found in this collection. Microfiche full-text materials are found in the Microtext area, (MF) HA 02. Current indexing and full-text materials are available via the online Proquest resource.
CIS Index Annual1970-2008(MFC) KF 49 .C4x
This indexes congressional publications, including hearings and Congressional documents and reports. The microfiche full-text materials are found in the Microtext area, (MF) KF 01. Current hearings may be found online.
CIS US Serial Set Index1789-1969(MFC) Z 1223 .Z9 C65 1975
Indexes Congressional documents and reports published as the "Serial Set." The volumes indexing maps in the Serial Set are available in the AGSL. For print holdings of the Serial Set, check the libraries' catalog. Microtext volumes of the Serial Set for the years 1789-1969 will be found in the CIS collection, (MC) J 04.
United States Congressional Serial Set Catalog 1941-1998 (compact) Z 1223.A15
The official publication covering Congressional documents and reports has changed titles and formats over the years; early volumes were titled Numerical List. See also the CIS US Serial Set Index. For print holdings of the Serial Set, check the libraries' catalog.


Every year there are more government resources available online. This is a select list of possible print guides to basic information which may offer a good starting place. With the constant changes in governemnt publications and access, some information will be outdated.

Federal Internet Source: a Directory of Nearly 300 Sources of Government Information on the Internet and How to Find and Use Them     [1995]
            TK 5105 .875 .I57 F43x

Government Information on the Internet     [2ed]
            ZA 5075 .N69 1998

A site that covers similarly related materials, altho NOT an online version of this title:

Guide to Government Information Available on the Internet     [1996]
            TK 5105 .875 .I57 R925x

U.S. Government on the Web
            ZA 5075 .H47 1999

Washington Online: How to Access the Federal Government on the Internet     [1997]
            TK 5105 .875 .I57 W37


Some individual departments or agencies may have online publications, publications lists, or data online. Some significant resources are:

Agriculture, Department of

The Department of Agriculture has many publications online or listed in bibliographies, including publications from the Forest Service,, the Forest Products Laboratory,, most current soil surveys at, etc..

Census Bureau

Between the Census Bureau website and the American Factfinder, look for U.S. decennial census data, economic census, and the majority of other census publications. Many Census publications are also accessible through Proquest Statistical.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

            Resources A-Z

This index covers educational journals and research documents. Many research documents are from the federal government and may be found online. Older items are also being digitized and added to the online database. Microfiche of the research documents may also be located in the Microtext area of the UWM Libraries.

FDsys; Federal Digital System

This resource is replacing GPO Access and covers the same resources plus additional materials as the government adds them. Years of coverage vary depending on the publication.

Geological Survey

The USGS site allows for information about print, electronic, and online resources. The USGS Publications Warehouse allows a search for all types of USGS publications to download. Significant publications of the USGS are currently available only online, including documents and maps. USGS publications may also be researched from the commercial database, GeoREF, located on the Resources A-Z list from the UWM Libraries homepage.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) (formerly General Acounting Office)

The GAO has a long history of making its publications available online.

GPO Access

This allows searching of the full-text of the Federal Register, Congressional Record, Congressional bills and laws, and much other legislative, executive, and judicial federal government information. Years of coverage vary depending on the publication. GPO Access is an archival resource, having been replaced by FDSys.

Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

HathiTrust Digital Library

The digitized collection includes resources from the CIC libraries (Big Ten) and the University of California System. Full-text of works that are out of copyright or in the public domain are available for viewing or searching. SuDocs numbers for federal documents may not be included in the entry; most government publications available in Hathi are retrospective titles (5 years or older).

National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts

NCJRS has citations and abstracts to federal, state, and local government documents, books, research reports, journal articles, and unpublished research in the field of criminal justice. Some publications are available in full-text. Full-text of retrospective titles also being added to the online database.

National Service Center for Environmental Publications

The Environmental Protection Agency is making many of their historical documents, as well as current materials available online.

New Electronic Titles

This is a monthly list of titles available online, made available by the federal government; access is available via the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications under the "New Titles" link. Arrangment is purely by SuDocs, giving the online link, and includes new titles and retrospective titles. All current bills, laws, governmental hearings, and many other publications may be found via this list.

Proquest Statistical Insight
            Resources A-Z

Mentioned earlier, this covers statistical publications published by any branch of the government.

Strategic Studies Institute

The Institute makes available online many defense and military related publications. Many other military agencies also make their publications, current and retrospective, available online, including the National Defense University,, and various links from the Department of Defense,


Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources
           (REF) Z 1223 .Z7 G37x 2002

A style manual which provides comprehensive information on how to cite government publications.

Guide to Popular U.S. Government Publications     [4ed]
           Z 1223 .Z7 B35 1997

A selective annotated listing of popular, well-known, or important government documents. Included are documents on such subjects as aeronautics, alcohol and drug abuse, careers, energy, food, forestry, health and medical care, maps, national parks, social and ethical issues, veterans, and women.
Guide to U.S. Government Publications
           latest/RIS AskaLibrarian     (REF) Z 1223 .Z7 A572
Referred to as "Andriot" after its editor, this guide provides a listing of important series and periodicals issued by government agencies as well as a complete listing of present and retrospective SuDoc numbers. This also provides address and phone numbers of agencies issuing the publications.
How to Use the Major Indexes to U.S. Government Publications
           Z 1223 .Z7 R67 1989

Introduction to United States Government Information Sources     [6ed]
           Z 1223 .M674 1999 and netLibrary

Popular Names of U.S. Government Reports     [4ed]
            RIS AskaLibrarian Desk     (REF) Z 1223 .A199 U54 1984

Provides the correct bibliographic citation for government reports known by more popular titles. For example, the correct name of the Warren Commission report is "Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy." gives access to a pdf file of this title; and a link to an online searchable file made available by Indiana University Libraries,

Subject Guide to U.S. Government Reference Sources
            Z 1223 .Z7 R63 1996

Using Government Information Sources, Print and Electronic     [2ed]
           RIS AskaLibrarian Desk    (REF) Z 1223 .Z7 S4 1994

This book is an excellent tool for finding lists of sources on specific topics. It also provides various search tips to locate additional sources on a number of topics not covered by this volume. The 3rd edition, 2001 edition, Using Government Information Sources: Electronic and Print, is available for borrowing through the UW System Search.


See also the "UWM Libraries Homepage: Resources by Subject/Major" for links to sites for statistical or government information.


llb 8/9/11


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