Skip to Main Content

Government Information

This is a guide to research using government information.

Historical Government Information

The Claremont Colleges Library has a large collection of historical government documents from the U.S. government, California state government, the British government and several International government organizations. Approximately 50% of the collections are not cataloged and available through Library Search, the online public catalog of the library. Most government documents from 1976 to current are available via Library Search, but the remainder of the collection is not. There is no card catalog, so accessing the collections is primarily by shelf browsing the government stacks or by contacting the librarians knowledgeable about the collection. There is a small collection in the 4th floor storage that is inaccessible to the public. Here is a summary of holdings:

U.S. Government Documents - The Claremont Colleges Library has been a U.S. government depository since 1913. That makes it one of only three depositories in the state at that time. The library also has a considerable collection of documents earlier than 1913 that were donated to the library, primarily by members of Congress. The extensive paper Hearings and the Serial Set was in deteriorating condition and was donated to other depositories and the library purchased the Serial Set Online published by Proquest Congressional through 2004. Access to Serial Set documents since then is available via the Government Printing Office Web site. In addition the library purchased a a database of all Congressional hearings from 1769 - 2004. Access to these databases is available via all public library computers. The documents currently received in paper are very few, mainly archival law publications such as the U.S. Statutes at Large and the Public Papers of the Presidents. The library does purchase and download records for all publications the GPO creates in electronic format. These records are available via Library Search. Access is also provided through Government Printing Office databases for which links are provided elsewhere in this guide.

California State Documents - Claremont Colleges Library has been a California state documents depository since 1957. Most California state documents are available in Library Search and shelved adjacent to the U.S. government documents on Mudd One. There is a small collection of California documents that are not cataloged and are in storage. Access to most recent California state documents is available via the California state agency web sites; some of which are listed under the California State documents tab portion of this guide.

British Government Documents - The Claremont Colleges Library has an extensive collection of British government documents, almost none of which are cataloged in Library Search. Most of the collection is browseable, but again one must depend on the librarians as to the extent and content of the collections.

International Government Organization Documents - The Claremont Colleges Library has an extensive collection of documents from Intergovernmental Organizations (IGO's). Most of the documents are available through Library Search classified in LC classification order and shelved in the main library stacks. There are two collections of uncataloged items (pre-1970) IGO documents from a variety of organizations that are located in storage, and the League of Nations documents, that are shelved with the British government documents collection on Mudd One. Most can be located using the Library Search or it would be best to consult the librarians for Government Information, Political Science or History. Their contact information can be found here: Contact a Subject Librarian

Indexes to Historical Government Documents

Many of our documents are located on the 1st floor of the Mudd Library. Some older documents are located in Storage, located on the 4th floor of Mudd (inaccessible to students.) Most government documents can be checked out. If you have questions please ask at the Main Services desk. The majority of our government documents published after 1976 can be located by searching the library's catalog. For documents published before 1976, there are several paper indexes located in the Government Documents Reference section. Some of these are also online:

Checklist of United States Public Documents -- 1789-1909 GovDocs Ref Z 1223 .A113 1953x

Catalogue of the Public Documents of the Congress -- 1893-1940 Gov Docs Ref Z 1223 .A13 [Monthly] Catalog of Government Publications -- 1895-present GovDocs Ref Z 1223 .A18 or online -- 1994-present CIS Annual --

Congressional publications from 1970-1999 GovDocs Ref KF 49 .C62 CIS (see Proquest Congressional)

U.S. Serial Set Index -- Congressional publications from 1789-1969 GovDocs Ref Z1223 Z9 C65 1975 (see Proquest Congressional)

Cumulative Subject Index to the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, 1900-1971 GovDocs Ref Z 1223 .A182

Cumulative Title Index to U.S. Public Documents, 1789-1976 GovDocs Ref Z 1223 .Z7 L47

A Descriptive Catalog of the Government Publications of the United States, 1774-1881 GovDocs Ref Z 1223 .A 1885

U.S. Congressional Serial Set Finding List links agency copies of documents to Serial Set equivalents

U.S. Congressional Serial Set Inventories (University of North Texas Libraries) Government documents that pertain to the law, its statutory interpretation and related publications, though received at Davis Library, are housed in the HON GOV LAW section of the Government Documents stacks in the Mudd Library.. Some key titles include the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register and the U.S. Code.

For Claremont Colleges faculty staff and students:

ProQuest Congressional For indexing and abstracting of Congressional documents from 1769 to current. Links to full text through 2005. Links to selected Congressional Hearing testimony to current.

Government Documents Repositories