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Federal and State Government Information: Using the Library Catalog

The Hekman Library is a depository for federal and state government information in a variety of formats.

Finding Government Documents at The Hekman Library

The Hekman Library has been adding records for government documents to its online catalog since the early 1990s.  The catalog contains records for documents in all formats: paper, microfiche, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and online. Records for online documents contain links to bring the user directly to the document. Starting in the spring of 2011 we stopped receiving most paper documents and went to electronic only. 

Searching the Catalog

You can limit your search to government documents only if you do an advanced search. Select Government Documents as an item type in the Search Library drop-down menu.Screenshot of Hekman library catalog search function.

Typical subject headings that will be found in government documents catalog records are:

How Government Documents are Shelved

The government documents collection is shelved according to the Superintendent of Documents classification schedule.  At first glance the call numbers are pretty intuitive, because most call numbers begin with a letter (or letters) that represent the department or agency issuing the document. Here is a complete list:

A for Agriculture

C for Commerce

E for Energy

ED for Education

L for Labor

LC for Library of Congress


S for State

T for Treasury

A few that are less intuitive are

AE for laws, regulations

X and Y -Congress

The rest of the call number is a series of numbers and punctuation that represent further subdivisions of the agency, the type of publication, the year of publication, etc.  Please ask for assistance at the Research Assistance Desk if you are trying to find a document on the shelf and cannot locate it.

The Michigan documents are shelved according to the Library of Congress classification system, as are the books in the library's main collection.