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MIT Libraries Staff Web

Selector's Toolkit: Gov Docs

resources for collection analysis

Glossary of Government Documents Terms

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)

  • Established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information.
  • Provides Government information at no cost to designated depository libraries throughout the country and territories.
  • MIT has been a depository since 1946
  • The authority for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the legal obligations of designated Federal depository libraries are found in 44 United States Code §§1901‐1916.
  • More information

Item Number

  • Refers to a category of materials (i.e., a group of SuDocs numbers)
  • Includes either one SuDocs number of multiple numbers
  • The basis for our "selections" from the FDLP

SuDoc(s) Number

(also known as SuDocs, SuDoc class, classification number, or class number)

  • A call number; what you'd put on the spine label, using a different classification system
  • "SuDocs Number" is derived from SUperintendent of DOcuments Classification number.
  • Based on the agency that issues the document, rather than on subject
  • Each number has two parts:
    • Stem: begins with a letter or letters, which designate the agency issuing the document, and ends with a colon
      • LC, for the Library of Congress
      • A, for the Department of Agriculture
      • NAS, for NASA
    • Individual book number: everything that follows the colon

Selection Cycle Procedures (coming soon)

Weeding Procedures (coming soon)