SuDoc Numbers & The Catalog of Government Publications
Federal government publications have a catalog number provided by the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc). The cataloging scheme organizes government documents by issuing entity, sub-entity, and then chronologically. Many libraries use SuDoc classification numbers to organize their document collections. However, these collections do not always appear in the library’s general online catalog. There is usually a secondary database of government documents holdings to locate these items within a collection. Libraries sometimes do integrate documents into their main classification scheme, so it’s possible to locate a document by searching for it in the online catalog. Check at the individual library to learn how it tracks government documents.
Catalog of Government Publications
As the name implies, this is a catalog issued by the Government Printing Office of documents generated by various parts of the United States government. This publication was formerly known as the Monthly Catalog of Government Publications. GPO Access has a search page for the Catalog of U.S. publications. Coverage begins with 1994 publications. Searching is by keyword, keyword for online titles, title word, SuDoc class number, depository item number, GPO stock number, and publication date. New publications are added daily. Note that this material will be migrated at some point to FDsys.gov.
Another database of government publications is available through WorldCat. The database is called GPO. Coverage begins with 1976, and there are approximately more than 500,000 records in the database. There are 30 different search categories, with the ability to search 3 at one time. There are limits available for date and material type. This database is updated monthly. The GPO database through WorldCat is a commercial database and is not maintained or provided by the Government Printing Office.