Skip to Main Content

U.S. Government Information

Provides access points to sources of often used information created by the U.S. government

Our Collection

FDLP logo The SLU Libraries U.S. Government Documents collection officially began in 1866 with the designation of Pius XII Memorial Library as a Federal Depository Library. The collection is notable for the comprehensive set of departmental annual reports, historical ephemera, and Presidential and Congressional reports. The 700,000+ despository documents are located at the Locust Street Library Facility and items are available through a variety of service delivery options. Newer materials (from 2000 to present) are listed in the Saint Louis University Libraries Catalog and can be requested through the catalog by SLU users. The majority of the materials are not cataloged, and can be requested by contacting Rebecca Hyde or Jesse Swoboda. Members of the public may also contact Rebecca or Jesse for documents to be delivered to Pius Library for easy use. As a depository library, our government documents collection is available to all members of the public. 

For extensive use of large portions of the documents collections, on site visits are possible at the Locust Street Library Facility with prior appointment. Contact Jesse Swoboda for more details.

Not sure if we have what you need? Not sure what you need? Contact Rebecca Hyde for reference & research assistance.

Government Publishing Office

The Federal Depository Library Program, FDLP,  is a division of the U.S. Government Publishing Office and administers the dissemination of government information at the national level.

What are Government Documents

What are Government Documents?
The term “government documents” is defined in section 1901, title 44 of the United States Code as “informational matter that is published as an individual document at government expense, or as required by law.” They include physical as well as online only materials including reports, statistics, congressional hearings, laws, Supreme Court decisions and more.

What Can Government Documents Do for Me?
Government documents are one of the largest sources of information in the world. They contain statistical information, government rules and regulations, first-hand studies, and expert opinion and advice. Whatever your field of study — Business, Political Science, Public Policy Studies, Education, Sociology, Public Health, Medicine, Economics, History, American Studies, International Affairs, Area Studies or even the day-to-day concerns of buying a used car or running a house – you will find reliable, authoritative and up-to-date information in the publications of the United States Government.

Pius Library -- A Government Documents Depository Library
Pius Library of Saint Louis University has been a U.S. government documents library since 1866, making it one of the twenty-five oldest depositories in the nation. There are approximately 700,000 volumes in various formats housed in the library. At the moment Pius Library selects about 50% of all available depository items and through its network and special agreements with other depository libraries in the region, you can quickly obtain almost any current federal depository publication.

Where are government documents located?
Most government documents (except government documents reference books and frequently requested documents) are housed at the Locust Street Library Facility.

How do I Identify Government Documents?
Most government publications published after 2000 are included in the library catalog system. Earlier documents are not in the online catalog and patrons should contact government information librarian, rebecca Hyde, for assistance.

Historical Research

The U.S. Government has always cared about everybody's business which means they published and collected information on countries all over the world. Download the guide to learn where to start your historical research using Government Information.