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Government Document Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Home

Answers to frequently asked questions about Government Documents in Purdue Libraries.


  1. What are Government Documents?  Government documents are information resources produced by local, state, national, foreign, and international government organizations. They can include the texts of laws, regulations, statistics, scientific and technical information, and detailed analysis of subjects ranging from accounting to zoology. They can be in various formats including books, maps, microforms, CDs, DVDs, web documents, and audio or video webcasts.
  2. Are there Government Documents in Purdue Libraries?  Purdue University Libraries, including HSSE Library, have extensive collections of government documents. Government documents in the HSSE Library will cover various humanities and social science disciplines and be produced by agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Justice, National Park Service, State Department, and U.S. Congress. Many of these documents are available in the Purdue Libraries catalog and the Govt.Documents Department provides access to a global variety of government information resources.
  3. What kinds of government documents do Purdue Libraries have?  Purdue has been a selective depository for U.S. Government Documents since 1907 and Indiana State documents since 1974. Libraries collections also feature government documents from international government organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Monetary Fund, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. HSSE Library's collections will feature annual yearbooks and statistical publications from countries such as Australia, Israel, and the United Kingdom. The Libraries online catalog will also feature selectively catalogued electronic government information resources from countries such as the United States and Canada.
  4. Can Government Documents be checked out?  Except for some historically rare and fragile items, most government documents can be checked out of the Purdue Libraries like any other book by eligible users including Purdue students, faculty, and staff along with members of the general public who present an Indiana driver's license to the Collection Access service point in any Purdue Library.
  5. Do Purdue Libraries have state or federal laws and regulations?  Purdue collects paper copies of federal and Indiana State laws and regulations. Paper copies of these publications including the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, Indiana Code, and Indiana Administrative Code are in the HSSE Library reference collection. Online access to federal legal, legislative, and regulatory information resources is available. Online access to Indiana State legal and regulatory information is available through the Indiana General Assembly website. Purdue Libraries also subscribes to Lexis Nexis Academic Access which provides access to federal and state laws, regulations and court cases. Access to additional federal legal information resources is available at Federal Resources.
  6. I need help finding government information resources. Who should I contact?  Bert Chapman is the Government Documents Librarian. He can be reached at (765)494-2937 or by email at
  7. Where can I find the GDP of different countries?  The GDP of 40 different countries can be found using the United Nations Statistical Yearbook which is an online database.

Subject Specialist

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Bert Chapman
(765) 494-2837

Fax: (765) 494-9007