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United States Government Documents & Publications  

A guide to locating U.S. government documents at the NYU School of Law Library and on the internet.
Last Updated: Nov 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Finding documents--general tools Print Page

Government-wide portals & search tools

  • FDsys
    GPO's Federal Digital System provides free access to authentic, digitally signed PDFs of many federal government documents and publications.
  • govinfo, Beta
    Govinfo will eventually replace FDsys.
    The interagency portal to U.S. Government information and services for citizens, businesses and non-profits, government employees, and visitors to the U.S. Administered by the Federal Citizen Information Center of the General Services Administration.
  • MetaLib
    A federated search engine that searches multiple U.S. Federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while providing direct links to selected resources available online.

  •, from the interagency Alliance
    Gateway to U.S. Government science information, citations, data, publications, etc.
  • HathiTrust United States Federal Government Documents Registry
    A database of metadata on U.S. federal government documents, the Registry is planned ultimately to include all documents from 1789 to present.

Archived documents on the web

For documents of defunct agencies, or documents removed from websites, try the following sites.

CGP: Catalog of Government Publications

Use the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) to identify publications from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government. If you find a title of interest, click on the Locate in a Library link near the bottom of the record to identify a library that might have the publication in its U.S. depository collection. Make a note of the SuDoc number and Item number of the material. Check Julius for the Law Library call number and location, or ask for assistance at the Reference Desk. 

The CGP is not comprehensive for pre-1976 government publications. These can be identified by using Worldcat and the earlier years of the CGP and related catalogs shelved in the Derenberg Room on the first shelf on the left side of the room. 

See also Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909. Compiled by Carlos Diaz. Works best in Firefox or Netscape.


    JULIUS NYU Law Library catalog

    The JULIUS catalog of the law library lists all types of federal depository materials (reports, books, codes, etc.) in all formats (paper, microform, internet).

    With the drop down above, search by title, author, call number, keyword, or ISBN/ISSN number. The Advanced Keyword search in JULIUS has more search options.

    To search by author, it may help to put "United States" before the name of the government body, e.g., United States Tax Court. For a list of government agency, office, program and publication acronyms, see GovSpeak: A Guide to U.S. Government Acronyms & Abbreviations, by Kelly Smith, UC San Diego Libraries.

    To locate print material in the Law Library, note the call number and location in the Julius record. Click on the location for a map, or ask for directions at the Reference Desk or the Circulation Desk. The Derenberg Room of the Law Library is the location for some of the major law-related government documents, e.g., the United States Code

    Worldcat and the CGP can be searched to identify other U.S. government publications that the Law Library might not have. 


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