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An introduction to government documents

The Document of the Day


About the Government Documents Collection

Grand Valley State University has been a selective depository in the Federal Depository Library Program since 1963 and currently receives aproximately 37% of the documents distributed by the program.

The U.S. Government collection currently consists of over 116,000 paper government publications, more than 60,000 maps, and thousands of volumes on microfiche.  In addition, patrons also have access to thousands of government publications available on the internet.  The collection is historically strong in Congressional documents, U.S. Geological Survey publications, and Smithsonian Institute publications.  While the overall focus of the collection is on Michigan and the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, the library receives publications that contain information on all fifty states and countries around the world. 

If you have any questions about how to find government publications, or how they might be useful in your research, please don't hesitate to contact Elizabeth Psyck, the government documents librarian, at or (616) 331-8674.

Featured Resources


Created by the Indiana Data Research Center, StatsAmerica allows you to compare states, counties, and metropolitan areas.

US State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism

The Secretary of State is required by law to provide Congress with a report of terrorism and terrorist activities within countries meeting a certain set of criteria. Among the many included topics are Terrorist Safe Havens, State Sponsors of Terrorism, and reports on terrorist activity within each region of the world. This is a particularly great resource for anyone in an international relations or political science class!

TRAIL (Technical Report Archive and Image Library)

This freely available database includes government technical reports published before 1975. Examples of available publications are the US Bureau of Mines Bulletin, The US National Bureau of Standards Monographs, and several documents from the US Atomic Energy Commission.

The Rumsfeld Papers

Recently released and declassified documents relating to Donald Rumsfeld's career in government service. Documents date from the 1940s through the end of George W. Bush's presidency.