What 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.

The Government Documents Collection


The MacPháidín Library has been a participant in the U. S. Federal Depository Library Program since 1962. The library, in cooperation with the United States Government, serves the campus and the surrounding communities as a selective Government Depository. A selective depository is not required to receive all U.S. Government publications that are available to depositories. The library currently receives approximately 12% of the available items for selection from the Government Printing Office.

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. More help and information is available on our Government Documents LibGuide.

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

The paper documents are located on the second floor of the library arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents classification numbering system called SuDoc. Many of these documents are available in electronic format.as PDFs (Portable Document Format) and need to be viewed with Adobe Acrobat software which is available for free at the Adobe web site.


MacPhaidin Library provides informational resources that support the College's academic programs. Its goal is to provide faculty and students with the material and services needed for effective teaching, learning and research.