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Government Information  

Information on how to find publications that are produced by government agencies covering a wide variety of topics
Last Updated: Jun 22, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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FAQ about Government Information at UNLV Libraries

What are Government Publications?

  • Government publications are documents issued, published, or financed by local, state, federal, or international government agencies, such as the Department of Education, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, or the City of Henderson. Government publications come in many formats, including books, maps, periodicals, microforms, pamphlets, CD-ROMs, and Internet sites.

What do Government Publications cover?

  • Government publications can cover virtually any subject, including Congressional laws and hearings, nutrition, crime, diseases, endangered species, and immigration. The U.S. federal government is the world's greatest collector and publisher of statistics.

Where are Government Publications located in Lied Library?

  • Most federal, state, and local publications are located in the compact shelving on the east side of second floor of Lied Library. Microforms and CD-ROMs are located in cases on the second floor. Some titles are kept in the reference collection near the second floor desk. Government publications located in LASR (our automated storage and retrieval system) are indicated as such in the online catalog.

How are Government Publications arranged on the shelf?

  • Federal publications are shelved according to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification System, an alpha-numeric system that arranges publication by author or issuing agency, rather than by subject. For example, all publications beginning with C originated in the Department of Commerce; all documents beginning with ED originated in the Department of Education. Following this are numbers, letters, and punctuation, all of which are important in the location process.
  • State and local publications are arranged according to a system called Swank. Each state is given a number—Nevada is 29. As in SuDoc, the following characters in the call number are determined by the issuing agency. County and state publications have "Co" and "Ci" added before the "29," and are shelved after the Nevada state publications. Publications from some other states, mostly those surrounding Nevada, are shelved after the Nevada state and local items.

Where else can I find Government Publications?

Who can use the Government Publications collection at Lied Library?

  • Access to the Government Publications collection is open and free to UNLV students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public.

What Government Publications are available at Lied Library?

  • Federal Publications: As a selective federal depository, Lied Library collects approximately 70% of the publications distributed by the Federal Depository Library Program. These have been selected to meet the needs of the UNLV and Las Vegas communities. The Library receives these publications free of charge and agrees to provide free public access to them.
  • State and Local Publications: Most of the Nevada state publications, as well as many of those from county and city governments, come to UNLV from the Nevada state depository program administered by the Nevada State Library and Archives (NSLA). As with the GPO federal depository program, NSLA distributes these publications to state depository libraries free of charge, while the libraries in turn make them available to the public. Some state agencies and local governments send us their publications directly through various arrangements, and the library occasionally receives government publications as gifts.

Can I check out Government Publications?

  • Most of the U.S. and Nevada publications may be checked out at the circulation desk. Reference resources must be used in the library. If the publication is microfilm or -fiche, you may read it in the library or use the microform scanners to make copies.

How can I tell from searching the UNLV Libraries online catalog if an item is a Government Publication?

  • Check under the Location box on our catalog for the following: UNLV Gov Pubs, UNLV Gov Pubs Microforms, or UNLV Gov Pubs CD-ROM.

What about Pre-1976 Federal Government Publications?

  • Pre-1976 Federal publications must be accessed using a print index. The Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (Call Number: GP 3.8:) is located in the Government Publications stacks.

What types of maps are collected at Lied Library?

  • The Lied Library map collection contains a wide variety of maps, including maps accompanying environmental impact statements for federal and state land, U.S. Geological Survey, miscellaneous maps treated as government publications, and CD-ROMs containing maps that have been scanned or loaded as datafiles.

How do I find a particular map?

  • The Map Cases are located on the second floor of Lied Library. Our large flat maps are located in these cases, and are called UNLV Maps in the online catalog. Folded maps are in the Government Publications stacks, and are called UNLV Gov Pubs.

Can I check out maps?

  • Most maps may be checked out of the library for the same circulation period as books.

How do I cite Government Publications?

I need more help with Government Publications!

  • For further assistance in finding government information, contact the 1st floor Research & Information desk at (702)895-2100

Government Search Tools

  • FDsys -- Federal Digital System
    FDsys is a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) that provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Allows searching by collection, Congressional committee, date, and Government agency.
  • Federal Government Publications Catalog
  • FedWorld
    FedWorld is the NTIS gateway to federal government information providing links to science and technology resources, IRS tax forms, Supreme Court decisions, and more.
  • LSU Libraries Federal Agency Directory
    LSU offers both hierarchical and alphabetical listings of the complete U.S. Federal Government Agencies Directory.
  • Science.Gov is a searchable gateway to selected authoritative science information provided by U.S. Government agencies. Provides resources to topics such as: Agriculture and food, health and medicine, earth and ocean sciences, and many more.
  • U.S. Government CyberCemetery
    The CyberCemetery is an archive of government websites that have ceased operation (usually websites of defunct government agencies and commissions that have issued a final report). This collection features a variety of topics indicative of the broad nature of government information.
  • U.S. Government Manual
    Comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. Also provides non-searchable text and PDF versions of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
  •, the official U.S. gateway to all government information, provides resources for citizens, businesses/nonprofits, and Federal Government employees.

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