Locating historical government documents using the Monthly Catalog

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1. The library owns the GPO Monthly Catalog in print from the early 1900s to 2004. These are located in the Government Documents Reference section on the ground floor. Catalogs from 1976 to the present are also available electronically from FirstSearch, and are incorporated into the Catalog of Government Publications.

2. Each bound yearly edition has a comprehensive index, and there is a cumulative index for every five years. Try searching for agency names or topical keywords.

3. Once you have located a possible source in the index, use its entry number to find it in the catalog. Note the title, agency, date, and SuDoc call number (the classification number with the colon [:]) for the resource. 

4a. Items that were distributed to depository libraries are indicated with a black dot in the Monthly Catalog entry. Check the shelf to see whether our library received and retained the specific document.

4b. If the item DOES NOT have a black dot, and it was printed between January 1953 and August 1971, it is possible that we have the item in microprint. The microprint boxes are located on the ground floor near the Government Documents Reference. The Monthly Catalog entry number ranges are listed on the each box. You may view, scan, and print these items using the reader located in front of Media Services.  

4c. If the item is a Congressional publication, use ProQuest Congressional to determine whether we have access to a digital version of the document.

5. For items not in our collection, try searching the OhioLINK catalog to locate the item at other libraries. 

6. Very few government documents collections are completely cataloged; feel free to request further assistance in locating materials. Please contact the Government Documents Librarian or another reference librarian for more information.