An introduction to key search tools (and tips for searching databases) for finding government publications and sources for beginning searchers in SSCI/MDIS 3005.
Government Information Online
In the online age, most (but not all) official government publication and much public government information is available online. In the United States and, now, for many international agencies, this information is usually available free of charge. (U.S. government publications are, by law, are in the public domain and are not restricted by copyright.)
Government Documents in Print: the Pre-Digital Age
Historically (in the print world before the web), government documents in libraries consists of publications and public documents produced by governmental agencies, primary the U.S. federal government, but also state, local and international agencies. At Stanislaus State, the library's collection was predominantly centered on U.S. government publications from the U.S. government through their "Federal Depository Library Program" (making sure a library in every congressional district had access to federal government documents for free), with smaller collections from the State of California (and even Stanislaus County and the City of Turlock). Essential international publications from agencies like the United Nations, UNESCO, IMF, and the World Bank were purchased as well.