Skip to Main Content

Government Documents

The Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University has been a Congressionally designated federal depository for United States Government publications since 1913.

Get Online Help

Reminder: Online Access

  • Library resources require going through CWRU Single Sign-On.
  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
  • When logged in and a browser window is not closed, access should continue from resource to resource.
  • Remember to close your browser when done.


KSL's government documents collection is located in the only stacks on the second floor, in front of the Flora Stone Mather research commons.

SuDoc Agency Classifications

A - Agriculture
C - Coomerce
D - Defense
E - Energy
ED - Education
GA - General Accounting Office
GS - General Services Administration
HE - Health and Human Services
I - Interior
J - Justice
Ju - Judiciary
L - Labor
LC - Library of Congress
S - State
SI - Smithsonian Institution
T - Treasury (includes IRS)
X, Y - House and Senate
Y4 - Congressional Committees


The best way to find government documents in the KSL collection is to use the KSL catalog.

KSL's "Discovery" search feature provides a more powerful search tool if you only know keywords. T

If you already know the title of the document you are searching for, use the Advanced Search on the catalog with a title search.

If you already know the Call Number of the document you are searching for, use the Government Document Call Number Search page.

Organization of the Collection

SuDoc system

United States Government publications are classified by the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification System. This system was developed in the library of the Government Printing Office between 1895 and 1903. Like other classification schemes, the SuDoc system has expanded as the size and scope of the federal government has expanded.

The SuDoc system groups publications by government author. Government authors are federal departments, bureaus or agencies of the United States. Since the SuDocs system reflects the organizational structure of the federal government, government reorganization creates changes in the call number system. Thus, some series of publications can be located in several different places within a collection.


The document is a yearbook from the Department of Agriculture published in 1985

A 1.10:985

  • A 1.10 indicates agency/type of document
  • : Separates agency/publication information
  • 985 indicates 1985 publishing date
From the following illustration the searcher can know that this publication is a serial-specific issue 83-87 of the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • The first letter/letters of a SuDoc number represents a government department or agency (parent organization).
  • TD for Transportation Department.
  • The letters are followed by a number representing the agency as a whole, or a subordinate office. This figure is followed by a period.
  • TD4. for Federal Aviation Administration.  After the period, there is a number designating the series or category grouping of publications followed by a colon.
  • TD4.10/4: for FAA Airworthiness Directive Listing
  • The numbers after the colon represent individual publications in the series TD4.10/4: 83-87 for issues 83-87

CWRU Libraries Discovery