U.S. Federal Documents & Resources

Information for depository librarians

         FDLP emblem

Most government documents, maps and CDROMS may be checked out to patrons with a current borrower’s card or to other libraries via Interlibrary Loan. The loan periods vary according to the format and the borrower’s status, and are explained in the Library’s circulation policy. Reference materials and nineteenth century materials normally do not circulate but may be borrowed for a brief time with the approval of the Government Documents Librarian.

The Federal Depository Program at the University of Mississippi Libraries

The Federal Depository Library Program

The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. It distributes materials in a variety of formats, including electronic, CD, microfiche, and paper. As part of its publishing program, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) distributes certain classes of Government documents free of cost to designated libraries throughout the United States and its territories. These libraries are known as Federal depository libraries.

Federal Depository Libraries must offer free, public access to their Federal collections, even if the depository library is part of a private academic institution. In addition, information specialists are available at these libraries to assist the American public to locate Federal information.

University of Mississippi Libraries

The J.D. Williams Library has been a Federal Depository Library since 1883 and is the Regional Federal Depository for the state of Mississippi. The J.D. Williams Library holds the largest Federal documents collection in the state. We receive all Government publications distributed through the U.S. Federal Depository Library Program (Title 44, USC).

Providing FREE access to U.S. Government Information since 1883.

Government Documents Depository Access Policy

The Federal Depository Library Program (FLDP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government’s information. The Government Printing Office (GPO) administers the FDLP on behalf of the participating libraries and the public. Information products from the Federal Government are disseminated to these nationwide libraries that, in turn, ensure the American public has free access to the materials, both in print and online.

As part of a state-supported public institution, the University of Mississippi's J.D. Williams Library serves the general public, on site or by long distance, in addition to its primary clientele, the university community. Any resident of the state can apply for a borrower's card and can check out materials in person or can borrow them via interlibrary loan through their local library. 

Following the policy for the general library collection, depository materials in all formats except microfiche are circulated. Exceptions include reference materials, old or fragile items, and current unbound periodicals. However, microfiche are loaned or duplicated in response to interlibrary loan requests, and all print materials can be photocopied or scanned.

The bulk of the federal depository collection is housed in an open-stacks arrangement located on the 1st floor of the J.
D. Williams Library. Rare and fragile nineteenth century documents are housed in the Library's offsite storage facility and may be requested. 

As a Regional Depository, the Library sees its mission as serving all citizens, regardless of their location, both directly and indirectly by referral from Mississippi's selective depositories or from the Government Printing Office (GPO). Research assistance is provided in person and remotely. 

Depository publications are represented in the library's online catalog. The catalog contains records for all federal documents published since 1976, both tangible and electronic, as well as for a growing number of significant older publications.