Skip to main content

HI-200 Col. Wilkinson: Government Publications

This guide is designed as a starting point for doing research in the many areas of history.

What are government publications?

A government publication is published by and for the U. S. government.  It is written by government officials.  It can be a book, a magazine or journal, a brochure, a map and more.  The format of the publication can be tangible - paper, microfiche, DVD, but the information can also be electronic - digitized and freely accessible on the Internet.    There are many types of U.S. government publications, including Congressional reports, hearings, debates, and records; judiciary materials; and documents issued by executive departments (Defense, State, Labor, Office of the President, etc.).

Where are government publications located in Preston LIbrary?

Preston Library is a designated selective depository of U. S. government publications.  The collection is located on the 650 level arranged by the Superintendent of Documents Classification.  Publications on microfiche are located in  the microform area of the 500 level in metal cabinets appropriately labeled.

Paper documents can be checked out just like other printed materials while the microfiche must be used in the microform area.

Find Government Publications

U. S. government publications have been cataloged and can be found by searching the library's catalog, WorldCat @

Here are some tips for searching for government information:

  • search by title
  • search by issuing agency or department
  • search by keyword or subject headings
  • limit by format, i.e. book, serial, DVD, etc.
  • use a combination of these tips

Below are popular government publications:


Search the following databases and find government documents: