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Government Information (United States)

A guide to finding and using information published by the three branches of the U.S. government.

How to Use the Physical Collection

You'll find government publications on the ground floor of the Howe Library, one flight down from the library entrance.


  • The collection is stored on tall, compact shelving.
  • The collection is accessible any time the Howe Library is open. (Library Hours)
  • If you need help finding and retrieving a document, please ask at the Reference Desk or the Circulation Desk on the main floor of the Howe Library.
  • Some parts of the collection are located outside the library in the Library Research Annex. These materials may be requested to be brought to the Howe Library for use; please inquire at the Reference Desk on the main floor.


  • Unlike the library's main collection, U.S. Government publications are arranged using SuDoc (Superintendent of Documents) call numbers, with publications grouped by the agencies that produced them (e.g., Agriculture, Interior, Defense). Information about this organizational system is available at "Structure of the Classification Number."

Borrowing Materials


  • Some materials are on microfiche, a format designed to save space.
  • Microfiche cabinets are located around the perimeter of the print collection on the ground floor of the Howe Library, and also in a staff-only area. For assistance locating microfiche items, please ask at the Reference Desk on the main floor.
  • Microfiche may be read and scanned using designated computer stations near the Reference Desk on the main floor.