Home > State Library of Arizona > Collections > Federal Publications
Federal publications are printed by the authority of Congress or by executive or judicial agencies at taxpayer expense and are distributed to federal agencies, their clientele and to depository libraries which serve the public. More than 500,000 records for items published since July 1976 can be found in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Also, MetaLib®, a federated search tool, can be used to retrieve reports, articles, publications and citations from 53 Federal databases. The State Library of Arizona, the Regional Federal Depository Library for Arizona, is designated to receive U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) publications distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program in a variety of formats: print, microfiche, floppy disk, CD-ROM, DVD and via the Internet through Federal Digital System (FDsys). This is the largest collection in Arizona and one of the most significant in the Southwest. Collections of federal publications are often referred to as “Federal Documents” but include only published items rather than individual records and manuscripts. Fourteen other Federal Depository Libraries in Arizona obtain a selection of these publications and also provide public access to their collections. For more information, please select one of the following:
- State Library of Arizona's Federal Publications Collection:
- Resources for:
Organization of federal publications
Federal publications are arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification System which organizes materials
by issuing agency. For example:
||Dept. of Commerce
||Civil Service Commission
||Dept. of Defense
||Dept. of the Interior
||Library of Congress
||National Military Establishment
||Dept. of State
||Dept. of War
As the government is periodically reorganized, agency names change and responsibilities are transferred to new agencies. As a result, it is possible for reports to change, be discontinued or receive a different classification over time.
Identifying and accessing a federal publication
Records for federal publications received since 1976 can be searched in the Library and Archives' online catalog. If a version of the publication is also available on the Internet, the “Electronic Access” field at the bottom of the record in the online catalog will include information about accessing the publication online. For example, see the catalog record for: Access to archival databases (AAD) system (Washington, D.C.: National Archives & Records Administration) (SuDocs No.: AE 1.130).
SuDocs numbers for many federal publications received before 1976 must be identified with a combination of paper indexes and the State Library of Arizona's Federal Publications shelf list. Please see: Identifying and accessing pre-1976 federal publications for more information.
Most of the materials in the collection are in closed stacks and must be retrieved by Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Number and year at the State Library of Arizona's Reference Desk (see Contact Information below). If time is a factor, call ahead to the Reference Desk and have specific items pulled and put on hold.
U.S. government periodicals
The State Library of Arizona receives periodicals published by the U.S. Government and shipped out from the U.S. Government Printing Office or directly from a federal agency. You may search for a bibliographic record for a periodical in the Library and Archives' online catalog either by entering a specific title or by entering a keyword with the subject "periodicals." You may also search by title, agency or subject in the U.S. Government Printing Office's U.S. Government Subscriptions Catalog. You may then use that information to see if the title is in the State Library of Arizona's collection or if it is online.
The Federal Publications Collection is located in the State Library of Arizona in the 1938 Addition to Arizona's Capitol and is available during the Library's business hours. The Reference Desk is located on the third floor in Suite 300. The mailing address is:
Federal Publications Collection
State Library of Arizona
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
1700 W Washington Street, Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2812
Phone: (602) 926-3870 or (800) 228-4710 (Arizona only)
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