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.
- Census Bureau Population and economic data, as well as collections of facts on special topics like poverty, scams, health insurance, and more.
- FedStats FedStats allows you to access government statistics without having to know which agency produces them. You can browse or search by topic, or look at an alphabetical list of all agencies.
- GovInfo govinfo is a service of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO), which is a Federal agency in the legislative branch. govinfo provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.
- National Archives Catalog The online public access catalog for the National Archives
- United States Code The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. Although the Code is published every six years, supplements are printed every year to present the most up to date information.
- Vital Statistics The National Vital Statistics System includes data on birth, mortality, maternal health, marriages, and divorces. Data is collected for all 50 states, two cities (NYC and Washington DC), and several U.S. territories.
- World Factbook The CIA World Factbook "provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities."
- FDLP Basic CollectionThis is a collection of the most important resources from the federal depository library program.
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?
- Congress.govThomas is the Library of Congress's portal for legislative information. You can search by bill number or keyword, or browse by sponsor. Popular bills (often including those getting significant press coverage) are linked from the front page.
- Country StudiesFrom the Library of Congress, this publication series "presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world."
- MetaLibMetaLib is 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.
- Occupational Outlook HandbookThe most current edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook outlines the training and education needed, job prospects, earnings, general responsibilities, and working conditions for hundreds of different jobs.
- StatsAmericaCreated by the Indiana Data Research Center, StatsAmerica allows you to compare states, counties, and metropolitan areas.
- U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact SheetsPublications from the State Department that provide an introduction to "the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty."
- U.S. Government ManualThis is the official handbook of the U.S. government. It includes information not only on the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, but also "on quasi-official agencies, international organizations in which the United States participates, and boards, commissions, and committees."
- Last Updated: May 12, 2023 12:16 PM
- URL: https://libguides.gvsu.edu/govdoc