Government Documents

What are you looking for?


How U.S. Government Publications Serve You

  • These are suggestions only and do not reflect the full range of materials that may be useful to you.
  • If you need additional assistance, Ask Steely Library!

Government Publications Take Many Forms:

  • Books (paper):
    There are innumerable books (i.e. documents) on almost an equal number of topics which date from 1789 to 1997, some of which are original volumes and some are reprints.
  • Journals:
    The journal titles and holdings found in the documents collection are many, go back many years, and may be found in either paper, microfiche, or microfilm.
  • Reference Sources / Indexes:
    Some of the documents information reference sources include: Monthly Catalog of U. S. Government Publications, MARCIVE Service, CIS (Congressional Information Service), American Statistics Index, CIS US Serial Set Index, Index to US Government Periodicals (1970-1987), US Government Periodical Index, CIS Index to US Executive Branch Documents, 1789-1909, and Cumulative Title Index to United States Public Documents 1789-1976.
  • Microfilm / Microfiche:
    A major portion of the documents collection is made up of (monographs and journal) publications in either a microfiche or microfilm format. Many publications are available as part of commercial microform packages such as CIS US Serial Set 1789-1969 (publications) in microfiche.
  • Maps:
    There are census maps (which either show data or accompany data), topographic maps of varied sizes and scales, and US Forest Service national park maps.
  • Posters / Flyers:
    Many agencies issue posters and flyers of all sizes which are graphic, pictorial, or textual information or messages.
  • Compact / Floppy Disks:
    There are several hundred compact and floppy disks which covering almost an equal number of topics and subjects. Many of these disks are a unique source of information. Many disks reflect a title which is issued monthly, annually, or irregularly. Some are databases, some are agency compilations of its publications.
  • Videos:
    Many of the agencies are issuing unique video cassettes of information and presentations.
  • Braille:
    There are publications in a Braille format for the visually handicapped. Other bibliographic publications list available Braille publications and other media for the handicapped.
  • Internet:
    Many of the agencies have stopped publishing a book/journal/series title in a paper or even microfiche format and have provided a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) which should be used to access their publication. There have been many agency's publications which were published but are now easily accessible to the public because of the Internet.

W. Frank Steely Library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United states Code)

Photograph of Philip Yannarella

Philip Yannarella

Associate Professor & Government Documents Librarian

Additional information...

Contact Information

331 W. Frank Steely Library
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY 41099
yannarella@nku.edu
859.572.5455
859.572.5390 (fax)

Open Office Hours

  • Mondays from 9AM to 10AM
  • Tuesdays from 10AM to 12PM, and 1PM to 2PM
  • Wednesdays from 5PM to 7PM

Research Consultation Requests

Research Consultation options for all students 3 to 1 day in advance can be requested here.



The Government Documents Research Guide is maintained by Philip Yannarella. Suggestions and comments are welcome.

Steely Library phone number:  859.572.5457