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Government Documents   Tags: how do i find, research assistance  

Last Updated: May 17, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Finding Government Documents


What are they

U.S. government documents are the publications of departments and agencies of the federal government. They consist of pamphlets, maps, posters, books, reports, census reports, congressional hearings, journals, videos, and kits in physical formats like paper and microfiche and electronic formats such as floppy disk, CD, DVD and ‘web only.’ Government documents can cover virtually any topic.

Where are they

The Government Printing Office (GPO) distributes them to libraries which belong to the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The Marvin K. Peterson Library has been a depository since 1971 and currently receives about a third of what GPO distributes. Yale University, Southern Connecticut State University, and New Haven Free Public Library are among the other area depository libraries, and the Connecticut State Library in Hartford is the state's only regional depository, which means it receives and retains all documents distributed by GPO.

Who can use them

Part of the mission of the FDLP is to make documents accessible to all. Documents physically housed in this library can be borrowed by our faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Members of the general public can use them here in the library. Documents that exist in electronic versions are freely available online via federal agency websites and the library catalog.


Research Help

Librarians are available to help you find the information that you need. 

  • Visit us at the Information Desk any time that we're open, or
  • Call 203-932-7189 for help or to set up an appointment with a librarian for one-on-one research assistance.
  • Email

We'll help you learn how to use the catalog to find books and use our databases to find articles, e-books and more.

Subject Guide

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Anna Malicka
Contact Info
Tel. 203-479-4522
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Joe Scollo

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Information Literacy Librarian
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(203) 479-4186
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