Skip to Main Content

ENGL 2960 Business & Professional Writing: Government Information Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Government Documents Department

Federal Repository Logo The University Libraries at The University of Toledo have been a depository for United States federal and state government documents for almost 60 years.  The University Library (the main library being William S. Carlson Library since 1973) was designated a selective federal depository library by U.S. Congressman and Toledo native Thomas L. Ashley in 1963 in a process that was completed in December 1964.  The University Libraries currently collect 25% of content published by the federal government (recently reduced from 68%).*  By contrast, the State Library of Ohio is a regional depository and collects 100% of published federal and state government information.  In our fifty plus years of service, we have provided our users information published by every agency of the government.

Documents come in a wide variety of formats: paper, microform, and online, with the virtual format now being the most prevalent way to access government information.  The Government Documents print collection is located on the third floor of the Carlson Library, northwest side.  Rare and historical government documents (both federal and state) are housed in special shelving in the lower level of Carlson Library.  Please ask if you need assistance accessing any of our government documents!

To quickly browse our federal government collection, try searching our catalog by keyword "United States," then limit the results by location "CARLSON Government Documents." 

Read more about the history of the University Libraries as a designated depository in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP).

* as of 2022

U.S. Government Information by Area of Interest

Quick Links to related guides and pages

Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Call Numbers

Government Documents are arranged by Superintendent of Documents (or SuDoc) numbers.  The letters correspond to government agencies.  When reading SuDoc call numbers, remember that the number after the colon should be read as a whole number, so for example C 2:10 would be followed immediately by C 2:11, not C 2:101.  A full explanation is available on the Federal Depository Library Project website, including a comprehensive list of the current lettering used.

Common Superintendent of Documents Divisions

  • A Department of Agriculture
  • C Commerce Department
    • C3 Census Bureau
    • C21 Patent and Trademark Office
  • CC Federal Communications Commission
  • CR Civil Rights
  • CS Civil Service Commission
  • D Defense Department
  • E Department of Energy
  • ED Department of Education
  • EP Environmental Protection Agency
  • FT Federal Trade Commission
  • GA General Accounting Commission
  • GS General Services Administration
  • HE Health and Human Services
  • NH Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • I Department of the Interior
  • IC Interstate Commerce Commission
  • J Justice Department
  • L Labor Department
    • L2 Labor Statistics
  • P Postal Service
  • PrEx Executive Office of the President
  • S State Department
  • SBA Small Business Administration
  • T Treasury Department
    • T22 Internal Revenue Service
  • TD Transportation Department
  • VA Veterans Administration
  • X Congressional Record
  • Y3 Congressional Commissions, Committees, Boards
  • Y4 Congressional Hearings

For a really useful, browsable list of the SuDoc classification system and all its sub-sections, see UC San Diego's Library Guide.  Or for a quick at-a-glance view of the SuDoc numbers, see the University of Kentucky's libguide.

Elaine Reeves - Online Learning Librarian

Finding Government Information online

Many government agencies publish their information directly on the web.  Although the UToledo Library Catalog contains links to much of this information, you may want to use some of the following sites to find government information in electronic format:

Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository

The Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository is an off-campus storage facility for the University of Toledo Libraries and Bowling Green State University Libraries . Items that are kept in the depository show up in the UToledo Library Catalog with a location of NWO Book Depository.

Books may be requested by clicking on the Request icon while looking at a particular book in the UToledo Library Catalog.  You will be asked to enter your name, Rocket ID number, and which campus library you wish to pick up the book from.  The book should arrive within 3 to 5 days.

Patrons without a Rocket ID can request government documents, which are housed in the Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository, through a librarian at the Carlson Library. The requested items will be sent to the Carlson Library for their in- house use.

Patrons can also contact the Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository directly at 419-372-5760, and request government documents that are housed there.  Access to these documents will then be provided at the Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository’s reading room.

Today's Document

Featured digital document from the National Archives:

Loading ...

Finding Government Information in Databases

The libraries have access to several databases that provide government information, especially legislative information.

Finding Government Information in the UToledo Library Catalog

All of our government publications can be searched using the subject term "Government Publications" in addition to your other keywords

If you just want to see what we have in print documents, these can be found in the UToledo Library Catalog by searching by keyword and limiting your search Location: Carlson Government Documents.  To find government documents in the UToledo Library Catalog that have links to a web site, combine your keyword with the subject 'electronic government information'.

Government documents can be identified by their Call Number, which will have a colon (:) in it, and by the Location, which will often be Federal Documents, Ohio Documents, Documents Office, or Microform/Media.

Government Documents Policy

'Depository libraries must provide free access to FDLP information resources in all formats to any member of the general public without any impediments, such as age limitations, technology barriers, or residency status limitations. Providing for free access to the depository collection is a fundamental obligation of Federal depository libraries'.

Minors who do not meet the requirements for accessing the Internet will be provided, upon request, with mediated searching assistance for government information from a library workstation, they will also have access to the tangible depository collection. 

The term "minor" means any person under the age of eighteen (18 U.S. Code § 2256).