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U.S. GOVERNMENT INFORMATION RESEARCH GUIDE: About Depository #635

Guide to finding information produced by the U.S. Federal Government and on UR's Federal Depository Library (#635) holdings.

COVID-19 and Access to Print Documents in Boatwright Library

Spring 2020: Boatwright Library is CLOSED due to the covid-19 virus.

Most of our government documents collections are available online as usual. If you need access to a print document in our collection, please email Depository Librarian Samantha Guss at sguss@richmond.edu and we'll try to help you access what you need. Thank you for your understanding!

History of Depository #635

Boatwright Library has been part of the Federal Depository Library Program since 1900 and is the oldest Depository Library in Virginia's 7th Congressional District. We are a Selective Depository that currently receives very little in print, but maintain a historical print collection.

Physical location of government documents collections

The best way to find the location of a government document is to search for it in the Library Catalog first.

  • The bulk of the print government documents are located on Boatwright Level B2 (click here to see a map).
    • These are in order by SuDoc number (see right).
    • This collection is currently on the shelves in labeled boxes. If you need assistance with lifting a box or finding what you need, please ask at the Information and Assistance Desk.
  • Newer print documents -- those received since 2010 -- are interspersed with the rest of the collection, which is arranged by Library of Congress (LC) call number. 
  • Microforms are located in cabinets on the B2 Level in the Microforms Area.
  • CD-ROMs are also located in cabinets on the B2 Level in the Microforms Area.
  • Maps are on the B2 Level at the far end of the B2 Annex (far left on the map of the floor).

How government documents are arranged: SuDoc numbers

U.S. Government Documents have their own classification system, in which the Government Publishing Organization assigns a "SuDoc" number to each publication (The term SuDoc refers to the Superintendent of Documents, the head of GPO). This system classifies each document by the agency or department that issues the document instead of by subject. For example, SuDoc classification is for materials issued by the Agriculture Department. That means it doesn't make sense to browse the government documents collection (the way you might in the rest of the library) since many agencies/departments issue documents on similar subjects.

Quick Tips:

  • The dot (.) is a period, not a decimal.
  • All numbers are whole numbers, not decimals (.9 comes before .12).
  • Letters come before numbers.
  • Nothing comes before something (for ex. AE 1.102 : G 28 precedes AE 1.102 : G 28/2/Trans.7).
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