Government Documents: Home

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 approximately 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. 

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About SuDocs

Most government documents at Grand Valley are classified in SuDocs, a system designed by the federal government. What's great about this system of classification is that documents from a particular agency are grouped together. Sometimes, though, how an agency's documents are classified may change. For example, current publications from the Department of Education would be in ED, but if you were looking for something published in the 1970s, it would be located under HE since the Department of Education used to be the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now the Health and Human Services Department).

For a basic introduction on SuDocs try this website from Michigan State.

If you have any trouble finding a government document, ask for help at the service desk or from any library employee.

What are government documents?

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