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Government Documents at Colby: Federal

Colby has been a U.S. Federal Government Depository Library since 1884. This guide describes the collection, provides finding tools, and access information.

About the Federal Depository Library Program

SuDoc Classification

Depository items are arranged by their Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) call number, in which publications are grouped together by their issuing agency.

For example the U.S. Industrial Outlook has the SuDoc number:

C 61. 34: 994

(issuing agency)

International Trade
(subordinate bureau
within agency)

the title

Year of

Note: that the 'dot' in a SuDoc number is a period, not a decimal. For example, "C 61.34:" is shelved after "C 61.7:"

Collection Development Policy

Material is selected under the Federal Depository Library Program to support the curricular and research needs of Colby faculty and students and the general surrounding population. Reference and Branch Librarians extensively review Item selections every two years in light of these needs. Librarians strive to balance the need for a physical in-house collection with Internet availability, duplication among the CBB consortium libraries, and the existence of the Regional Depository at Fogler library, University of Maine.

Accessing the Collection

Access to the Documents collection is facilitated in a number of ways. Major series and sets are cataloged, while the documents in the collection that do not receive individual cataloging are accessed through the use of specialized indexes. Colby provides a number of government finding tools as well as products from private sector publishers in order to provide access to the Federal Depository Library Program's Collection. For example:

Provides free public access to full text, official Federal information and finding aids.    

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications or REF Z1223 .A18 (Request from Colby Storage)

Congressional Publications (1789 - current)
Presents indexing of historic (1789+) and current congressional information.  This collection includes the full text of congressional publications, finding aids, a bill tracking service, and the full text of public laws and other research materials, in addition to research related to specific legislative proposals and laws.

American State Papers (1789-1838)

Legislative and executive documents from the beginnings of Congress to the beginning of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set in 1817.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980)
Included are digitized reports, documents, and journals submitted to the House and Senate from the 15th though the 96th Congresses. Digital images include maps and color plates. 

House and Senate Journals (1789-1813)
Recorded minutes of House and Senate floor action, chronicling matters considered on the floor, votes and other actions taken, as well as excerpts from executive department communications and member responses.

Senate Executive Journals (1789-1866)
Proceedings of the Senate executive session, separate from its legislative journal.  Material here includes matters relating to the confirmation of presidential nominees and consent to making of treaties.

Core documents of the FDLP's Electronic Collection as well as Internet links to other documents the library selects are maintained in the Colby Catalog. The Colby, Bates, Bowdoin Consortium (CBB) works to provide broader access to the document collections at all three Depositories through the joint search feature of the catalog and collaborative collection development. Access to federal documents not available within CBB is made available through the MaineCat and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system available to Colby students and faculty.

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