Government Documents

Government DocumentsWhat are Government Documents?


Government Documents is the official term given to materials received through the Federal Library Depository Program. They are official documents published by Federal agencies from three branches of the Federal Government. Included is legislative materials such as Congressional hearings and reports, statistical information and publications from various Federal agencies, and decisions from the United States Supreme Court.

Federal Depository Library ProgramThe Government Documents Collection


The MacPháidín Library has been a participant in the U. S. Federal Depository Library Program since 1962. Stonehill College, in cooperation with the United States Government, serves the campus and the surrounding communities as a selective Government Depository. A selective depositories is not required to receive all U.S. Government publications which are made available to depositories. The library currently receives approximately 19% of the available items for selection from the Government Printing Office.

Each week the library receives publications in paper, microfiche, or electronic format (CD-ROM or video). Many of the publications are now available online and can be found by searching HillSearch, accessing the agency website or using a search engine to locate the document.

The focus of the MacPháidín Library collection is:

  • Census and Demographics
  • Crime, Criminal Justice, and Law Enforcement
  • Education
  • Health
  • Legislation - Regulations
  • Statistical Data and Research
  • Supreme Court

Paper documents are located on the second floor of the library. Microfiche items are shelved in the microforms room on the first floor. The documents collection is arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents classification numbering system which is referred to as SuDoc. Frequently used and helpful reference items are shelved in the Reference Collection. Currently, about 95% of the collection is included in HillSearch. The links listed on the left side menu can be used as a starting point to assist you in locating documents on the Web. Some documents are in PDF (Portable Document Format) and need to be viewed with Adobe Acrobat software which is available for free at the Adobe web site.