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Government Publications

A basic guide in identifying and locating government information.

Government Publications Collection

Located on the first floor of Ned R. McWherter Library, government publications are arranged by the Superintendent of Documents classification system. 

Some documents have been relocated to a remote storage facility, as indicated in the Classic Catalog.
Upon patron request, staff will retrieve documents within 48 hours. 

Searching For Government Documents at UofM

Searching Our Collection

To search the Libraries' collection, start with the Classic Catalog or the search box below.
If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact us. 

For government publications held by the University Libraries. You can limit your search to government publications by changing the search location from All University of Memphis Libraries to Government Publications Department. Government publications in the Classic Catalog will be denoted by the FDLP eagle logo:

   FDLP logo - an eagle and book on a shield

You can also search for government publications held by the University Libraries from the Libraries' homepage (or the search box below). After you run a search, set the Filter by Format option on the left to Primary Source Documents. Government publications in your search results will be denoted by this image:

the words "government document" beneath an image of a piece of paper and a classical style temple

Search with Keywords (For Government Documents - Filter results by Format to "Primary Source Documents")

Searching for Government Documents beyond UofM

Searching Beyond Our Collection

To search all government publications, including those not held by the libraries, use one of the catalogs below.
If you find a resource that is not listed in the University of Memphis catalog, you can try checking for it on our shelves.

For all government publications published from 1976 to present.

For materials published from 1895 to 2004.
(A print version of the Monthly Catalog is located in the Government Publications Department, on the wooden shelves on the wall past the entrance to the Reading Room)

The official catalog of the Government Publishing Office. For historical and current publications with direct links when available.

For more resources beyond the UofM Libraries collection, visit our Research Resources tab.

Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification

Materials in the Government Publications department are arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system. SuDoc uses an alphanumeric classification system which assigns a SuDoc number to each government publication. SuDoc is a provenance-based system, meaning it arranges publications according to the US Federal agency or department that issues them (e.g., a SuDoc number beginning with S indicates the publication was issued by the State Department). For this reason, federal government publications are browsable by agency or department but not by subject.

Understanding SuDoc Classification

  • The dot (.) is a period, not a decimal. 

  • All numbers are whole numbers, not decimals (for example: .9 comes before .12) 

  • Letters come before Dates come before Numbers (for example: L 36.202 : F15/A precedes L 36.202 : F15/991 precedes L 36.202 : F15/2)

  • Dates prior to the year 2000 omit the initial 1 from the year (for example: "982" at the end of J 29.2 : D 84/982 refers to the year 1982)

  • Nothing comes before something (for example: AE 1.102 : G 28 precedes AE 1.102 : G 28/2/Trans.7


Other SuDoc Resources

SuDoc Numbers by Agency

How to Locate a U.S. Government Publication using the Superintendent of Documents Classification System

Formats & Location of Government Documents In the Library

The Government Publications department has special locations for certain materials that are not shelved in the stacks by SuDoc number. This is done for several reasons, usually based upon the format. 

General Collection arranged by SuDoc 

Stack ranges 1 thru 47 

Government Periodicals (GovPer)   

Stack ranges 48 thru 50 


Stack ranges 51 thru 52  


Map Library  


Microform area & Range 52 


Microform area and Map Library Pamphlets  


Microform area 

Code of Federal Regulations 

Federal Register 

Statutes at Large (Federal Laws) 

Supreme Court Reports 

U.S. / Tennessee / City of Memphis Codes 

Government Publications Reading Room