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Government Documents and Information: Home

Finding government documents & information at the Drain-Jordan Library, online, and around the world

Government Documents Depository


The Drain-Jordan Library at West Virginia State University has been a member of the United States Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since 1907. Learn more about the role of depository libraries and the FDLP.

As a selective depository, we receive approximately 10% of the items distributed to participating libraries via the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO).

For more about the FDLP at WVSU, feel free to contact the Government Documents Librarian.

Print Magazines

The Drain-Jordan Library receives several print journal subscriptions for free through the FDLP. These include: Army History, Army Sustainment, Economic Indicators, Library Journal, Smithsonian Magazine, and Social Education. These journals are cataloged in our Virtua Card Catalog and can be found in the Periodicals section of the library with our other magazines.


Some content for this LibGuide was adapted, with permission, from a previously created guide by the Librarians at the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.

Getting Started

Welcome to our Finding Government Information Guide!

Drain-Jordan Library provides free, equal, and unrestricted access to government information for all of our library users both from our campus community and the general public.

If you're just getting started, you might want to take a look at our popular online resources. You may also want to visit our library catalog, to search and access the "basic collection" offered by all Federal Depository Libraries.

Where is Government Information located in Drain-Jordan Library?

Uncataloged Government Documents Location The majority of government documents today can be found online. However, if you're looking for a physical copy, select print resources (usually books) are cataloged alongside our general book collection. Print resources that are too small to be cataloged in with our general collections are organized by SuDoc number, and are located in their own designated shelving area on the library's main floor.

More information on the Government Documents Collection and SuDoc classification.

What do I do if I'm looking for Online Government Documents, and I can't find them in the Library Catalog?   

No worries! Although we provide many government documents online through the Drain-Jordan Library, there are even more that can be found at FDsys: GPO's Federal Digital System. FDsys provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Through FDsys, you are able to: 

  • Search and browse for documents and publications
  • Access metadata about documents and publications
  • Download documents and publications in multiple renditions or file formats

Need print materials that we do not currently have?

This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with Interlibrary Loan (ILL) through the Library!

If the Drain-Jordan Library doesn't offer the item(s) you seek, then please consider using our ILL services to request and borrow the information. The delivery process for this service usually takes anywhere from one to two weeks, depending on the format and where the material is coming from. Once our library receives your requested material, you can check it out like any other library material and return it at the end of the rental period

I don't have time to wait on ILL!

For (possibly) more immediate access to print resources, use the Federal Depository Library Director (FDLD) to locate and/or get contact information for other FDLP libraries in your area. Another FDLP library may have the item you seek in their collection and be willing to fax or email you a copy if you're not able to visit their library in person. West Virginia University is a fantastic FDLP resource, and has been the Regional Depository for the State of West Virginia since 1882. However, many (if not all), of the resources after 1976 can be found online.

If you have any questions or need help finding and using these types of resources, please don't hesitate to "Ask Us!"


Can I Request Government Documents?

If there is a print or online resource you would like to see that the library doesn't currently have, we can change that! The selection process for government documents occurs year round, and the items we have selected start shipping out every October. Just email the government documents librarian to let us know.

Submit a Request or email the Government Documents Librarian.

Wondering what you can request? Check out the official U.S. Government Printing Office Bookstore page. Not everything on this page is available for FDLP libraries, but it's a good guide for the kind of content we can select.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Use the tabs found at the top of this guide to get details on and links to more online Government Resources. The Popular Online Resources tab is a great place to start! Or Ask Us!