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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

History: U.S. Government Documents

This guide will direct you to useful research sources and tools for Historical Research

U.S. Government Reports as Primary Sources

Federal Depository Collection

The Library of Lehigh University was designated a selective depository for U.S. government publications in 1876. It is the oldest depository in the state of Pennsylvania and the largest depository in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan Area.

Early materials in this collection were often simply cataloged as books and may be found while conducting a search of our online catalog ASA.

Notable materials held in the collection are Congressional Documents and Reports, the Congressional Record, Congressional Hearings, Census materials and beginning in the 20th century, materials published by executive departments such as Labor, Commerce, Transportation and State.

Since 1998 all Federal government publications have records in ASA, the Lehigh library online catalog.

ASA is a web capable catalog and any URLs (hotlinks to web sites) included in the records of electronic publications will take you to directly to the Internet versions of these materials.To search for government documents that do not appear in ASA it is necessary to search the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications. This catalog is available in printed form in the Government Documents Department Reference Stacks under the call number 015.73 U5m and dates back to 1936. Publications issued since 1976 can be located through these databases:

Digitization Projects

Congressional Record

The official records of House and Senate actions are kept in their respective journals, but a fuller record of proceedings is kept in the Congressional Record, which has been published by the Government Printing Office (GPO) since 1873. GPO publishes new issues of the record daily and transmits each new issue to the Library of Congress overnight. The Congressional Record is available online in a variety of places as indicated below:

Lehigh's print holdings go back to 1873 as follows:

1873 - 1933 in Storage. The print indexes are in FM - 2- South in the Government Documents area  under call number  328.732 C74r.  Use the indexes to determine which volumes to request from storage.