Government Information: U.S. Federal

by Research Assistance, David Michalski – May 4, 2022

The UC Davis is a selective Federal Depository Library.  The Library has a large collection of historical and current U.S. government documents from the Government Printing Office as part of the FDLP.  Federal government resources are received in various formats, including paper, microfiche, CD-ROM, DVD, and via the Internet. These resources are found in various locations in the Library depending on format and subject.

Government documents are listed in the library’s catalog, however, specialized indexes provide more detailed content access as well as access to online documents.  Many U.S. documents are shelved by the call number listed in the library catalog in areas throughout the UC Davis Library locations.   Most congressional publications as well as publications from various Federal agencies are located in the closed stack Government Information Collection on the lower level.

Government publications that are located in the Shields Library lower level Government Information closed stacks collection can be retrieved and checked out whenever the library is open.  Publications located in the Government Information stacks can be identified by the “Doc” in front of the call number (SuDoc No.) that you’ll find in the Harvest catalog.  Please ask at the first floor Information Desk when an assistant is available; at other times ask at the Shields Library Circulation Services to have a staff member retrieve a known document by call number.

The Library has access to free and licensed online databases for government information. Databases and reference materials are listed on pages within this guide.

Should you have questions or need suggestions on where to start your research using U.S. federal publications you can email the UC Davis research librarians at

In this Guide: