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Government Publications   Tags: help guide, how to  

A basic guide in identifying and locating government information
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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SuDoc Classifcation

The Superintendent of Documents uses an alpha/numeric classification system which assigns a SuDoc number to each publication.  This system classifies each document by the agency or department that issues the document, not by subject.  For example SuDoc classification A is for materials issued by the Agriculture Department.  Consequently it is impossible to browse the collection since each agency/department issues documents on various subjects.

  Explanation of the SuDoc Classification System


Quick Tips:

  • The dot (.) is a period, not a decimal.
  • All numbers are whole numbers, not decimals (.9 comes before .12)
  • Letters come before numbers
  • Nothing comes before something (for ex. AE 1.102 : G 28 precedes AE 1.102 : G 28/2/Trans.7)     

    Finding Government Publications


    The University of Memphis Library has been a Federal Depository since 1966. At that time we received about 65% of the materials that were offered through the Federal Depository Library Program.  In 1989 the Library became the Regional Depository for the state of Tennessee.  From that time forward the Library receives 100% of the offered materials.  There are 22 other depository libraries in Tennessee listed here. In order to be certain if the Library owns a document, several places must be checked depending upon the date.

    Catalog Classic  For all government publications published from 1989 to present.

    Marcive WebDocs  For all government publications published from 1976 to present.

    Monthly Catalog Of U.S. Government Publications   For Materials prior to 1976. (A paper catalog of government publications located in the Government Publications Department Reading Room)


    Federal Digital System (FDsys)                                                                                        

    Federal Agency Directory

    Government Databases                                                                                                                 


      Special Locations

      The Government Publications department has special locations for certain materials that are not shelved in the stacks by SuDoc number.  This is done for a number of different reasons, but usually for the reason of format.

      Government Periodicals (GovPer)         Stack ranges 48 thru 50 

      Census                                              Stack ranges 51 thru 52 & Reading Room

      Maps                                                  Map Library & Microform Area

      CD's                                                 Microform area & Range 52

      Pamphlets                                          Microform area

      International Information                     Reading Room

      Federal Register & CFR                      Reading Room


      Citing Government Publications

      The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources. Diane L. Garner

      REF J9.5 G37x 1993 (located behind the RIS Desk)

      Citing U.S. Congressional Documents

      Brief Guide to Citing Government Publications

      Legal Research & Citations in the USA

      ProQuest Citing Congressional Publications

      Citing Medicine (NLM)


        Subject Guide

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        The University of Memphis | University Libraries | 126 Ned R. McWherter Library | Memphis, TN 38152-3250
        (901) 678-2208 (Reference and Services) | (901) 678-2201 (Administration) | (901) 678-8218 (Fax)


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