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Government Information


Mikkelsen Library has been part of the Federal Depository Library Program since 1969. A selective depository, we receive about 25% of the publications produced by the Government Publishing Office each year. We are supported by the University of Minnesota, which serves as our regional depository and receives and permanently retains all publications distributed to depository libraries.

Some of these documents are integrated into our main collection and/or reference collection, but the majority are arranged by Superintendent of Documents classification number and shelved behind the reference collection on the main level of the library. They are included in the library catalog.

The collection is available whenever the library is open. Documents may be checked out for 4 weeks and renewed up to 2 times.

About Government Documents

According to the United States Code, Title 44, Chapter 19, Sec 1901, a Government Document is "informational matter which is published as an individual document at Government expense, or as required by law."

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is the official producer and distributor of information, resources, and official publications from the Federal Government, in both digital and print formats.

The GPO distributes documents to libraries throughout the United States through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Congress created the FDLP in the early 1800's "to provide free, ready, and permanent public access to Federal Government information, now and for future generations." Their vision is "to provide Government information when and where it is needed in order to create an informed citizenry and an improved quality of life."

Finding Government Documents

All of our Government Documents are searchable via the library catalog.

If you are in need of a document that our library does not own, you can submit a request for an Interlibrary Loan. Visit for more information.

Search online documents and official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government at the website, is the official web portal of the United States Government. You can search the site or browse a topical list of government information and services.

Search for federal publications using the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP). The CGP contains descriptive records for historical and current publications, both electronic and print, with direct links to those available online.