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Government Information at Purdue University Libraries


Purdue University Libraries have been a selective depository for U.S. Government documents since 1907. The U.S. Government is the world's largest publisher producing information on practically every subject with information useful for historians and for contemporary subjects. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), administered by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), is how this information is distributed to the American public through nearly 1300 federal depository libraries nationally. This information is freely available to the public at academic, public, law school, and federal agency libraries. Legal authorization for the FDLP is found in the United States Code Title 44

Purdue Libraries have extensive collections of U.S. Government publications available in paper, microfiche, and various electronic formats. These publications are selected to serve Purdue´s curricular and research needs along with the government information needs of Indiana´s 4th congressional district. Government publications are distributed to various school and departmental libraries on campus and many are accessible through the libraries online catalog .. The principal indexes to U.S. Government publications are in the Humanities, Social Science, and Education (HSSE) Library in the Stewart Center. Other libraries with significant U.S. Government documents collections include the Management & Economics, Engineering, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Life Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences libraries.

Government information collection strengths at Purdue Libraries include American political, diplomatic, and military history, congressional publications including the Congressional Serial Set, population and economic censuses, agriculture and agricultural economics, energy, engineering, geology, geologic maps, and patents and trademarks. The Engineering Library has been designated a Patent & Trademark Depository Library by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and possesses significant current and historical patent and trademark materials as well as the ability to quickly search and locate patent and trademark information.

Another unique government information feature of Purdue Libraries is the presence of the GPO Access which provides rapid access to the Congressional Record, Federal Register, Government Accountability Office reports, and other valuable federal legal, legislative, and regulatory information. Purdue was the first federal depository library to mount GPO Access on a WWW server. The Purdue Libraries website also features links to numerous additional government information sources from state, federal, foreign, and international governmental organizations. These can be found here.

Purdue Libraries also receive Indiana state documents and have been a depository for Indiana state documents since 1974. Legal authorization for this can be found in Title 4 of the Indiana Code. We also receive documents from international governmental organizations such as the United Nations and its various divisions such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. We purchase some foreign government publications such as annual statistical abstracts or yearbooks for countries as diverse as Australia, Israel, and the United Kingdom. We are also cataloging a steadily growing number of electronic foreign government information resources with particular emphasis on those from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Most government publications can be borrowed by Purdue staff, students, and faculty and the general public with a valid Indiana drivers license. Check individual libraries for exceptions to this policy and for the amount of time materials may be borrowed.

Government publications are a public asset that enhance individual and community knowledge of governmental activities and knowledge of U.S. History, the histories of U.S., states, and history of foreign countries. The Government Documents Department is prepared to assist you in meeting your government information needs.