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Government Documents


St. Olaf Libraries participate in a federal government program to receive a select number of government publications. These are available for ANYONE in the community to access and use.

Where can I find the government documents?

  • Most recent government documents are published electronically. Many of these are linked from Catalyst and many you can find at a government website or searching Google.
  • The print documents we have are primarily in the basement of Rolvaag Library.

How do I search for them in Catalyst?

  • Enter your search and then select "government documents" from the facets on the left.

Why would I use government documents?

  • Government documents are excellent for many kinds of research. From demographics from the Census, to agricultural statistics, to speeches on the floor of Congress, and more, government documents serve as excellent primary and secondary sources for your research.

Major Resources

Reading a SuDoc number

Government documents are cataloged using the SuDoc (superintendent of documents) instead of the Library of Congress classification scheme.

"I'm Just a Bill"

Government Documents at St. Olaf

Government documents are housed in the basement of Rolvaag Library.  Government documents organized by the agency that issued them. Each document is assigned a number according to the SuDocs classification (see example below).

Yes, government documents can be checked out of the library! Carleton also has a government documents collection and may have documents that St. Olaf does not have.

Many thanks to the Carleton Reference Librarians for the structure and much of the content of this guide.

Historic Documents

Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications