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Government Information: Overview


  • Federal
  •  Executive
  • Judicial
  • Legislative
  • State & Local
  • Local
  • Statistical Sources
  • Legal Resources
  • Research Help


This guide will provide research guidance and help you find information provided by your local, state and federal governments. 

Use the tabs above to navigate through the guide to different types of resources.

ASU Library is both a federal and state goverment documents depository.  Therefore, ASU Library houses a large collection of printed goverment resources on the lower level Belk Library and Information Commons.

How do I find Government Documents

How Do I Find Government Documents?

  • Most current government documents and government information can now be found online. Use the online finding aids & search engines linked under the "Federal" tab to locate them. To look for paper government documents located in Belk Library, use the WNCLN Library Catalog located on the main library page . The Gov Docs Stacks, located on the lower level of Belk Library, includes over 680,000 items. To search just for government documents, select the Advanced search option, and limit your search to the location "ASU GOVT Docs".
  • Please be aware that a large portion of our Government Documents collection that were released prior to 1994 are not yet listed in our library catalog. Most of what we have in print, with some exceptions, was published between 1964-present. While everything produced from mid 1994 to the present is in the catalog, most of what was published prior to this period is not.


Use the GPO Catalog of U.S. Government Publications

  • To search for government documents not listed in Belk Library's catalog, use the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, produced by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). The GPO Catalog contains approximately 500,000 citations to publications of U.S. government agencies, the U.S. Congress, and the federal judiciary, with links to those publications that are available on the Web. Coverage is from 1976-present.
  • The GPO Catalog will allow you to find documents held by other libraries, which you can then obtain via Interlibrary Loan. In addition, the GPO Catalog includes records for many documents available in Belk Library Gov Docs Stacks that are not listed in the WNCLN online catalog.


Use the Internet

There are literally hundreds of thousands of federal government publications available online that are not included in either Belk Library or GPO catalogs. To find these publications, try the following:

  • GPO Access is a good place to begin. GPO Access offers free electronic access to over 300,000 full-text government publications, including the Federal Register; the Code of Federal Regulations; public and private laws; the U.S. Code; Congressional Record; Commerce Business Daily; congressional bills, hearings, documents and reports; the GAO blue books, and the Economic Indicators.
  • Metalib - a federated search tool that is a service of the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Use MetaLib's federated searching to retrieve reports articles, and citations by simultaneously searching across multiple databases.
  • Use a Web search engine. There are several that search only federal and state government Web sites. The best of these is Google U.S. Government Search . Another search engine, USA.Gov , is the federal government's official search engine. USA.Gov also offers a comprehensive Web portal to federal government sites.

Search tools

For handy search tools for finding federal government information go to the Federal tab

Social Sciences Librarian

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Allan Scherlen
Belk Library, Office no. 224
P.O. Box 32026
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608