Skip to main content

U.S. Government Information: U.S. Government Documents

What is a Government Document?

According to the Federal Library Depository Act of 1962, a government document is defined as "informational matter which is published as a individual document at government expense as required by law." (44 U.S.C. sec. 1901)

Government documents come in all formats: print, digital, CD, DVD and microfiche or microfilm.

Today, however, the majority of Government documents are published in digital format.

Brooklyn Law School Library

 Brooklyn Law School library has been a member of the Federal Depository Library Program, since 1974, serving as a selective depository for U.S. government documents.   As part of this program,  the Government provides free copies of various official publications to our Library.   The Library agrees  to provide access to this collection to members of the public thus ensuring that the American public has access to its Government’s information.   

The authority for the Federal Depository Library Program and the legal obligations of designated Federal depository libraries are found in 44 U.S.C. §§1901-1916.

Most U.S. Law schools participate in the Federal Depository Library Program.

As a selective depository library, Brooklyn Law School selects approximately 11% of the materials that the Government has to offer.  Most of these items come from Congress and the Judiciary as well as select agencies.

Government Resources

GovSpeak - A Guide to Government Acronyms & Abbreviations from the UC San Diego Library

Citing Government Information Sources

FDsys - GPO's Federal Digital System provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government -  Government's Official Web Portal for all government transactions, services, and information.

Subject Guide

Government Mobile Applications

Check out the many free apps the Government has to offer.