Answered By: Rory Elliott
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2017     Views: 126

The U.S. Government Documents (Gov Doc) collection consists of print, microfiche, and electronic media distributed by the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), most of which are housed in the Government Information unit on Floor 4 of the library.  The Alkek Library became a selective federal depository in 1955 through the sponsorship of then-Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson.


Federal government documents that have been cataloged can be searched in the Library Catalog by keyword, author, title, etc. To limit search results, click on the “Search Entire Collection” drop down menu and select “Gov Documents – Federal.”


Since more than 90% of the documents in Government Information are uncataloged, it can be helpful to consult the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (Research Databases). In addition to providing SuDoc numbers (call numbers) for documents that may be on the shelves in the library, the CGP includes URLs when internet access is available. Documents that are unavailable in either the Alkek Library or on the internet can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.


Many federal documents are being systematically digitized by academic libraries across the country and can be found in the Hathi Trust Digital Library (Research Databases). Since not all documents in Hathi Trust are available full-text, those that are designated “Search only” can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.


Full-text Congressional documents can also be found in Proquest Congressional Publications (Research Databases), which includes:



·         Legislative histories, bills and laws - 1969 to present
·         Members and committees - present
·         Congressional Record and rules - 1981 to present
·         Political news - 1989 to present
·         Congressional Research Digital Collection - 2004 to present
·         Indexing for Hearings – 1824 to present
·         Serial Set - 1789-1969 and 2004-present


And Start Your Research results can be limited to government documents by going to “Source Types” in the left margin, clicking the “Show More” link, then checking the “Primary Source Documents” box. Please note: as with all Start Your Research results, not all databases will be represented.


Finally, the Government Information staff can be consulted by phone (512-245-3686), email (, or in person on Floor 4 of the Alkek Library. There is also a Government Information LibGuide that can be helpful when staff members are unavailable.