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Last Updated: Feb 25, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Major Indexes and Documents at Penn Print Page

For Assistance with U.S. Government Documents

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Van Pelt Library
University of Pennsylvania
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Documents at Penn

The Penn Libraries have been a selective depository for U.S. government documents since the end of the 19th century and holds a strong collection of documents back to the founding of the nation. While Franklin, the Penn Library Catalog, provides access to bibliographic records for much of this material, the Library has many documents, particularly in microfiche, that are incompletely cataloged.  Many documents in digital format, both subscription and online are also available.

As a Federal Depository Library Program participant, the Penn Libraries make U.S. government documents received through the depository program available for the free use of the general public. The Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is the physical point of access for using the Penn Libraries' Federal Depository Library Program collection. Information for general public access to the depository collection is provided in this access policy statement:

Major Indexes and Search Tools, with links to some full-text

  • U.S. Government Documents: The Basic Collection (FDLP, USGPO)
    These United States government documents are vital sources of information that support the public's right to know about the workings and essential activities of their Federal Government.
  • Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, 1895-1976
    This database provides a comprehensive index to over 1.2 million items published by the U.S. government between January 1895 and June 1976. Provides PDF of page in print MoCat. (ProQuest)
  • Catalog of U.S Government Publications
    Contains records for historical and current publications and provides links to full-text when available. While records for publications dating back to the late 1800s are being added, for publications issued prior to 1976, the Monthly Catalog should be consulted too. (public site).
  • FDsys: Federal Digital System
    Includes the full-text of many notable executive, legislative, and judicial government publications. All Documents. (public site)
  • MetaLib
    MetaLib is a federated search tools that covers multiple U.S. Federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while providing direct links to selected resources available online.
    U.S. government's official web portal. was legislatively mandated through Section 204 of the E-Government Act of 2002. Since 2002, has received an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress. (public site)
    A gateway to government information. This site is managed by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) as part of it's information management mandate. (public site)
  • ProQuest Congressional
    Searchable, full-text version of Congressional Publications from 1789 to the present, including the Serial Set. See Congressional Publications tab above for specifics.
  • ProQuest Legislative Insight
    ProQuest Legislative Insight provides full-text PDF scans of many legislative documents. Legislative Insight organizes these documents by their affiliation with a particular piece of (passed) legislation.
    Full legislative histories. Includes:
    Part A: 1929-2012
    --18,058 histories
    --includes all Major Laws 1929-2012* and all CIS histories from 1970-2012.
    Part B: 1789-1965
    --9,000 histories
    --Major Laws 1789-1928*
    --Additional laws 1929-1965 not included Part A
    Part C: 2013
    Part D: 2014

Major Older Collections at Penn

  • Print
    The Penn Library holds many government publications in print form. Print titles are cataloged and shelved in the Libraries or in LIBRA Storage. Records of cataloged documents are listed in Franklin.
  • Readex Microfiche, 1980-1985.
    [Van Pelt Library]
    From January 1980 to December 1985, the Readex republication of all depository documents was received on microfiche. The Library discontinued this subscription in 1985. This microfiche is interfiled with the depository microfiche described below.
  • Depository Microfiche, 1981- .
    [Van Pelt Library]
    Penn Library selects approximately 30% of the U.S. government documents available on deposit. While some depository documents are received in paper and are cataloged in Franklin, a larger number are available only on microfiche. Documents on microfiche are arranged by SuDocs number. Use the print Monthly Catalog, WorldCat, and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications to find SuDocs numbers.
  • United States Government publications; depository [microform]., 1956-1980. Readex Microprint
    [LIBRA Storage: Microprint #5].
    For January 1956 through December 1980, the Library has a complete collection of U.S. Government depository publications on microprint. Documents can be identified by using the print Monthly Catalog, in which depository documents are marked by a 'bullet'. The microprint is arranged by year and MoCat entry number. LIBRA requests should include "Microprint #5" and the MoCat number.

Classic Indexes to U.S. Government Publications


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