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Government Information for Legal Research

An overview of Federal Depository Library Program's government document resources for legal research available at the Vincent C. Immel Law Library.

Federal Depository Library Program: A Resource for Government Information

What are Federal Depository Libraries?

"The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. It distributes materials in a variety of formats, including electronic, CD, microfiche, and paper. As part of its publishing program, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) distributes certain classes of Government documents free of cost to designated libraries throughout the United States and its territories.These libraries are known as Federal depository libraries.

Federal depository libraries must offer free, public access to their Federal collections, even if the depository library is part of a private academic institution. In addition, information specialists are available at these libraries to assist the American public to locate Federal information." (, 2014)


"At the Vincent C. Immel Law Library legal information professionals provide access to government sourced legal information, and the expertise needed to help you navigate that access regardless of format. We are here to assist you in developing your legal research projects."

Kathleen E. Casey, M.A.L.S., J.D. – Head of Reference & Faculty Services,

Government Information Librarian; Vincent C. Immel Law Library



What is the Federal Depository Library Program?

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) receives it's mandate to provide government sourced materials to the public by virtue of  "Chapter 19 of Title 44 of the United States Code, sections 1901-1916" (Baish, 2011).

"Under Title 44 U.S.C. §1909, the Superintendent of Documents is charged to uphold U.S. Depository Library Program laws. These duties include, but are not limited to, the requirements to investigate depository library conditions, ascertain whether a library is compliant, make recommendations and, if necessary, to remove noncompliant libraries from the Depository Library Program." (Baish, 2011)



“Pius XII Memorial Library was designated a Federal Depository Library in 1866, so we have a rich historical collection that includes information about almost every part of the world and on almost every topic. We provide research support on everything from 19th century congressional materials to current all-digital government information!”

Rebecca Hyde, M.L.S. – Research & Instruction Librarian for Government Information

Pius XII Memorial Library