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Government Information


 FDLP: Federal Depository Library Program Logo

The New Mexico State University Library is an official depository for documents produced by United States and State of New Mexico government agencies. The federal government established a system of depositories in 1813 in order to provide government information to the public free of charge. The New Mexico State University Library joined the depository program in 1907, along with most other land grant institutional libraries at that time. In 2016, the library became a shared regional depository, sharing the regional collection of federal documents with the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State Library. The library receives and houses a portion of the materials printed by the federal government and the remaining items are received and housed at the other two libraries.

Documents are available to meet the research needs of New Mexico State University and the 2nd Congressional District of New Mexico. They include subject areas such as agriculture, statistics, law, and science and technical publications. Public access to government documents collection is guaranteed by law in Title 44 of the United States Code. Most government documents at the NMSU library can be checked out, and most items housed at the University of New Mexico or the New Mexico State Library can be requested through inter-library loan using  NMSU Interloan Library Request It logo.

The collection is shelved according to the Superintendent of Documents Classification. You can find the Government Information Unit on the first floor of the Branson Library, and we are happy to help you navigate the world of government information. More information on the shared regional depository collection, NMSU's partner libraries, and lists of SuDoc classes and agencies housed at each library can be found here.

Find Government Documents in the Library Catalog

Step 1: Enter your search term.

Step 2: Select US & NM Government Documents from the "limit to" drop-down menu

Step 3: Click Search

Step 4: If the location is Branson Library - Government Documents use the SuDoc number to find the item on the shelf. If the location is Online US Government Document click on the link within the item record.

How to Use the SuDoc Call Number System

Federal documents are arranged on the shelves using the Superintendent of Documents Classification System (SuDoc). This system organizes materials by agency, rather than subject as with the Library of Congress system.

The first part of the number is a letter that identifies the department, commission or agency that issued the publication.

A = Agriculture

C = U.S. Census Bureau

I = Department of Interior

The numbers that follow indicate the sub-agency, such as the National Parks Bureau. For example:

I 29.9/5:156

I = Dept. of Interior, 29 = National Parks Bureau 

The numbers that follow indicate the type of publication and a final number unique to that publication. The letter X and Y refer to Congress. For example: A Congressional hearing referring to Homeland Security

Y 4.H 75:109-36

Y = Congress 

4 = Hearing

H = Homeland Security

These are the basic rules for finding documents on the shelf. If you have trouble finding a document, ask for help in the Government Documents Office.