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Syracuse University Libraries

Government Information: Home

A guide for finding government information.


The Libraries have replaced the Classic Catalog and SUMMON with a new library platform called "Libraries Search". Read more about this BIG change on the Library Blog. More information will be communicated on the Library’s website as the migration progress continues.

Government Documents

Government Publications at Syracuse University


Federal Depository Library Program symbol

The government documents collection includes all types of government publications in all formats. This includes digital documents from government internet sites and from tangible sources as we transition toward an all-digital collection. The Syracuse University Libraries is the second oldest depository library in New York State and has been a part of the Federal Depository Library Program for more than 140 years since it was designated by US Congressional Representative Frank Hiscock on Feb 7, 1878. We currently select 62% of all documents available to depository libraries. We also collect other government publications that include:

  • New York State, City of Syracuse and Onondaga County documents
  • Documents from the Council of Europe, United Nations, Great Britain

The collection includes over 500,000 paper items, thousands of items in electronic format, over 4,000 CD-DVDs, and over 2 million microfiche. Materials are located on the 3rd floor of Bird Library. Most government publications can be searched for by using the Libraries online catalog.

This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code)

General Public Access to Documents at SU Libraries

For Visitors:

All are welcome to use the Government Documents Collection when ever the library is open to the public Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm. Before coming to the Library please familiarize yourself with the "Use and Conduct" and the "Computer Use" links on the Library Policies page as well as other information on using any of the Libraries equipment and online catalog and databases.

For federal documents information on CD and DVD there is a stand-alone computer with a CD/DVD player available for use. Just ask at the 3rd floor service desk.

For federal documents information on microfilm/fiche, there is a fiche/film reader scanner available for viewing and saving documents to a flash or thumb drive. Please bring one with you as these will not be provided.

USB access keys are available for patrons who wish to use the computers to access government information from the databases. Ask for assistance at the 3rd floor service desk.

US Documents - Print and Digital Collection

The government documents collection at Syracuse encompasses all subject areas and are available in different formats. The vast majority of our collection is in the traditional print format, which is what you will see on the shelves when you visit the collection on the 3rd floor of Bird Library. Government documents are also available in our collection on microfiche and on CD/DVDs as well as digital access to documents from numerous websites and databases and the Library's online catalog.

Our collection holdings:

  • Print: Our print collection contains over 275,000 print items
    • Our print documents collection comprises paper publications from every Federal Agency as well as other Executive Branch Departments; All portions of the Judicial Branch and the courts as well as the Legislative Branch including both the House and Senate and Departments that report to them. i.e. Congressional Research Service., Library of Congress and the Government Publishing Office, etc. The vast majority of print documents are legislative hearings and Agency publications, all of which can be discovered using the Library's online catalogs and specific government document related databases. i.e. ProQuest Congressional and Hein Online. Also search for other available databases on the database tab on this guide.
  • Digital: The collection contains over 3000 CD/DVDs with digital data, documents, and imagery.
    • CD and DVDs from the Docs Collection are cataloged and can be found in the Document Collections's Annex next to the 3rd floor service desk. Ask for the disks you need by providing the call number and title to the attendant at the service desk and they will get it for you.
    • There are numerous online digital resources and website available for Federal documents. Many of the most used URLs and databases are available from other tabs at the top of this guide.
  • Online: There are over 80 different links to online databases and search engines available from the Federal Government on the Library's Gov Docs Research Guide.
  • New York State Documents: The collection of New York State documents is small and not extensive in coverage. Most documents in this collection are of an historic focus. They are located at the end of stack range #32 in the Gov Docs stacks. New York State documents on microfiche are located across from the print document collection in cabinet #27.
  • International Documents:
    • PRINT - SUL has an extensive historical collection of documents from the United Nations and the various programs administered by the UN. This collection is located between the US Congressional Hearings and the US Census Collections on the 3rd floor of Bird Library.
    • DIGITAL - See the International Documents tab on this guide for links to various UN databases, data repositories and websites.
    • MICROFICHE - The UN microfiche collection is extensive and has documents from the General Assembly and all other sub-agencies of the UN from 1946 - 2012.
  • Micro: There are more than 2,200,000 microfiche

US Documents - Microform Collection

The Microfiche collection is divided into four sections:

Sec. 1    Cabinets 1 - 15

U.S. Federal Depository Microfiche collection: 1980’s - 2010

Contains depository documents from all three branches of the Federal Government; Agencies, Executive, the Courts and from Congress, and are arranged in the cabinets by SuDoc call number. (A1.1: – Y10: ) Documents on fiche can be found in the Library’s online catalog.

Sec. 2    Cabinets 16 - 26

U.S. Federal Non-Depository Microfiche collection: 1981-1991

Contains non-depository documents from all three branches of the Federal Government; Agencies, Executive, the Courts and from Congress, and are arranged by U.S. Monthly Catalog number. To find documents in this collection you will need to download the PDF Document below and use the Hein Online database through the Library’s catalog to search the Monthly Catalog. The documents in this collection are from 1981 – 1991 ONLY!

Sec. 3    Cabinets 27 - 40

  • Documents from the State of New York.
  • U.S. Congressional Record (and all earlier titles) dates 1789 – date.
  • U.S. Government Congressional bills, testimony from the 96th to the 106th Congress.
  • United Nations Documents and Publications (1946 – 2012)
  • Great Britain – Parliament: House of Lords & House of Commons (1979 – 2005) Debates and Sessional Papers.
  • IIS (1983 – 2006) International Index of Statistics. The Library Database ProQuest Statistical InSight contains citation and indexing for IIS from 1983 to 2006 but no full-text. Citations from InSight can be used to find the full-text in the fiche collection for these years.
  • ASI (1982 – 1996) American Statistical Index. The Library Database ProQuest Statistical InSight contains citation and indexing for ASI from 1982 to 2003 but no full-text. Citations from InSight can be used to find the full-text in the fiche collection for these years.

Sec. 4    Cabinets 41 – 52

  • ASI (1996 – 2009) See above.
  • CIS National Statistical Compendium
  • NASA/NACA 1915-Date. This collection compliments and supplements the available online NASA publications found in NTRL, NTIS and the TRAIL databases.


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John Olson
358 Bird Library

Individual appointments for in-depth reference inquiries are also welcome through MS Teams or Zoom.

Preservation Steward

Syracuse University Library has entered into a Preservation Stewardship agreement with the US Government Publishing Office (GPO). The Libraries will be one of four geographically dispersed locations around the country to permanently preserve and retain the print volumes of the United States Statutes at Large, United States Code, Statistical Abstract if the U.S., The American State Papers, and the Code of Federal Regulations: Title 3 - The President.

GPO Offical Partner

Preservatin Steward