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Government Publications

Catalogs, bibliographies, and indexes are important tools to locate government publications. This includes all manner of government documents, reports, periodicals, patents, and archives.

Catalogs & Bibliographies

The separate nature of government documents in comparison to other kinds of publications, whereby they are usually classified and housed separately, means that they are also cataloged separately in their own catalog. For historical research it is useful to know that there have been numerous catalogs of United States government publications.

The published catalog of United States government publications began as a printed catalog in 1895 and changed its title numerous times. The electronic Monthly Catalog began in 1976. Its *various titles are listed below with QC holdings and reliable OCLC accession numbers that can used to search WorldCat. Most government documents published from 1895 to 1976 have been retrospectively cataloged in WorldCat. Most of the government documents held at Queens College Libraries are also listed in the CUNY Catalog. Many published government documents are in the process of being digitized. For details, see the Digitization Projects Registry.

Catalog of United States Government Publications

Catalog of United States Government Publications (CGP) (1976- ).
Previously entitled Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (MOCAT). "The CGP is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online."
*Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (1951-1975)
(Periodicals, Abstracts by title, 1951-1975); OCLC: 2264351.
*United States Government Publications Monthly Catalog (1940-1950)
(Ref. Index, shelved with Monthly Catalog, 1940-1950); OCLC: 2636094.
*Monthly Catalog, United States Public Documents (1933-1939)
(Ref. Microfiche, no.463-no.540, 1933-1939); OCLC: 2636052.
*Monthly Catalogue, United States Public Documents (1907-1933)
(Ref. Microfiche, no.151-no.462, 1907-1933); OCLC: 7447146.
*Catalogue of United States Public Documents (April 1895-1907)
(Ref. Microfiche, no.1-no.150, 1895-1907); OCLC: 7706359.
*Catalogue of Publications Issued by the Government of the United States (January-March 1895)
OCLC: 7545217.

Retrospective Supplements to the Catalog

Cumulative Subject Index to the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, 1895-1899
Essential for subject searching (Arlington, VA: Carrolton, 1977). OCLC: 3829593.
Cumulative Subject Index to the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, 1900-1971
Essential for subject searching (Arlington, VA: Carrolton, 1973-1975). OCLC: 6813811.
Cumulative Title Index to United States Public Documents, 1789-1976
Useful for known item titles searching (Arlington, VA: United States Historical Documents Institute, 1979-1982). OCLC: 4962666.
CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1789-1909: Guide to Documents Listed in Checklist of U.S. Public Documents, 1789-1909, Not Printed in the U.S. Serial Set.
Based on the 1909 Checklist (see below), this is used to locate documents by federal agencies prior to 1909 (Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service, 1990-1997), OCLC: 26054927.
CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1910-1932: Guide to Documents Not Printed in the U.S. Serial Set.
Published with an accompanying microfiche collection (Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service, 1996-2002), OCLC: 36197521.

Pre-cursors to the Catalog

Comprehensive Index to the Publications of the United States Government, 1881-1893 ( Ref. Z1223.A 1905, 2v)
Known as Ames'. Most of the documents indexed in Ames' were published in the United States Serial Set.
A Descriptive Catalogue of the Government Publications of the United States, September 5, 1774 - March 4, 1881 (Ref. Z1223.A 1885, 2v. [1970])
Known as Poore's. Most of the documents indexed in Poore's were published in the United States Serial Set.
United States Serial Set
The Serial Set is traditionally both an index to early government documents as well as the collection of the document texts themselves, mostly executive and congressional reports. To learn the place of a document in the Serial Set, one can use the private indexes created by the Congressional Information Service (CIS). This CIS U.S. Serial Set Index can be located through a search of WorldCat, a reliable record for which is OCLC number: 1729151. Printed or microform holdings for the Serial Set itself can be located through a search of WorldCat, a reliable record for which is OCLC number: 3888071. The Serial Set is also available through a subscription from Proquest Congressional or Readex. See the Law section of this guide for more information on accessing the Serial Set.
Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909 (Ref. Z1223 .A113 [1911])
The Checklist too can be used to learn the place of a document in the Serial Set.
Guide to U.S. Government Publications (Ref. Z1223 .Z7 A574 2005)
The Guide too can be used to locate historical government documents.
Tables of and Annotated Index to the Congressional Series of United States Public Documents
The Tables too can be used to learn the place of a document in the Serial Set. OCLC: 2562645 and 582840.

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Periodical Indexes

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access)
Catalog and index to the collections at the National Agricultural Library (NAL), (1900- ).
ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center)
From the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), (1966- ). The most comprehensive index to educational scholarship. Also available at ERIC (Proquest) and at ERIC (EBSCO).
MEDLINE (PUBMED)
From the National Library of Medicine (NLM), (1953- ). The premier index to scholarly medical journals. Also available at MEDLINE (EBSCO). The printed index version of Medline was called Index Medicus.
PAIS International
Traditionally compiled by the Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS), (1972- ). The printed index at QC is available (Periodicals, Abstracts, by title, 1991 to 2001). It is also available for subscription as Proquest's PAIS International.
U. S. Government Periodicals Index
Indexes 160+ periodicals (1988- ). The printed index can be located through a search of WorldCat, a reliable record for which is OCLC number: 32291603. Available for subscription as Proquest's Government Periodicals Index.

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How to Cite U.S. Government Publications

Indiana University Libraries has a useful guide (2010) on Citing U.S. Government Publications.

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